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WellPoint CEO: Healthcare Revolution Under Way

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 28, 2014

"Connecting via smartphone is a preview of the changes we'll see in healthcare in our lifetime," Swedish told the audience of healthcare executives. "It's not just evolutionary, but revolutionary."

The contemporary consumer wants information to make informed purchase decisions, and wants access through a variety of forums. Further, they want this info shared with someone who can help them.

Integration Lacking
Swedish argues that there is a lack of integration and context for such information, but the revolution in healthcare will be dependent on a rapidly evolving tech landscape through big data, social networks, and personal connectivity.

"Currently 4 billion people on earth don't have access to doctor, but 2 billion of them have access to a smartphone," he says. "There are great advances in data mining that lead to decision making that is fast, accurate, and predictive."

Wellpoint, like many peers, is leveraging these through consumerism, data and analytics to incentivize patients and healthcare providers to make smart choices that will revolutionize the marketplace in ways that are unpredictable.

Swedish, formerly CEO of Centura Health and before that Trinity Health, spent most of his 40-year career on the "other side" as a hospital or health system executive, argues that the modern health plan has to be much more than a payer. The so-called consumer-driven, high-deductible health plan-based member makes up one fifth of Wellpoint's membership, and that number is trending higher.

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