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innovation in healthcare

4 Ways to Boost Innovation in Healthcare

innovation in healthcare


“The reluctance to connect in healthcare by vendors (or make the burden to do so for providers too high to jump

through) is morally crass. It keeps care fragmented, frustrates patients and providers, increases the risk of medical

error, and holds revenue associated with value-based and coordinated care hostage. It has led the government to the

brink of mandating rudimentary information fluidity, rather than allowing those who are actually good at exchanging

health information to rise, build unique care services, and defeat the idle”-Jonathan Bush, CEO athenahealth


On June 1st, I had the honor to join Jonathan Bush and 26 CEO’s from some of the most innovative healthcare companies as we inspired D.C.’s Congressional staff in Capitol Hill to create the necessary policies to boost innovation in an effort to improve America’s current healthcare system.

Disconnected, costly, and frustrating, America’s healthcare system is unhealthy and at the mercy of D.C.’s Congressional Staff and disruptive healthcare companies like us to spearhead legislative initiatives to drive better patient outcomes at a lower cost.

So we speed dated D.C’s Congressional staff and shared our experiences of  the day-to-day realities in healthcare, barriers to improvement, and the policies we must have to boost innovation in healthcare.


Here’s what we requested:


  1. Stop data blocking–The Meaningful Use directive missed the mark. The funds have mainly ended up in the pockets of a few huge corporations making their power and control over healthcare data even more monumental. As a result, we requested that legislation engage in initiatives to disrupt the power structure and drive interoperability.


  1. Broaden the definition of reimbursable Telehealth. Chronically ill people should not  have to come in for an in-person visit at the doctors office to receive basic care. Not all doctors and patient interactions need live video. Doctors should be paid to help people in the appropriate context and setting. Doctors should not be forced to use a specific media. Broadening the definition of  Telehealth by removing the prerequisite of a face to face visits between patient and doctors would enable caregivers to provide  valuable care from any location with or without a live face on the screen. This would create time and cost-efficient care based on the patient’s needs as opposed to the need for create a reimbursable “visit”.


  1. Make it easier for Physicians to practice medicine in multiple states–  Physicians can only practice medicine in states where they have a license. Working across borders currently creates financial and administrative burden, and hinders the development and adoption of innovative medicine. If Congressional Staff were to push common requirements so states could have the means to mutually recognize medical licenses granted by others states–geographical implications would be eliminated.


  1. Empower innovation in healthcare IT by freeing the FDA from their role in regulating healthcare IT— The FDA is designed to regulate invasive medical devices and drugs, not software. However, the FDA is currently regulating healthcare IT . This is a major road block for innovation as the FDA has a hard-won process and has the power to change regulatory framework at their sole discretion, any time. As a result, we requested lower barriers and more predictable regulatory practices to stimulate and drive innovation.


After our meeting in Capitol Hill, it is obvious to me that the American healthcare system needs more than just a bandage–it desperately needs innovation to disrupt the current system and drive better patient outcomes at a lower cost.

I won’t rest until we’ve succeeded!  I’ll be back for you Capitol Hill….

Disruption happens when the force for change is harder than the resistance. Connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn to join us in shifting the paradigm.

P.S. Sign the More Disruption Please pledge at http://www.athenahealth.com/mdp-pledge


-Asa Nordgren

CEO & Co-Founder

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