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The Health Care Pulse

Dean Brody

While our region has always been known for its strong automotive industry, the health care industry employs more individuals than any other sector in Michigan. Last year, the Detroit Regional Chamber in partnership with Accenture, set out to speak to CEOs and senior leaders from some of the largest health care organizations in Southeast Michigan to glean insight on key strengths, challenges, and opportunities.
The responses we received from leadership was very refreshing. While all acknowledged the competitive nature of the health care players, there was a level of camaraderie and kinship demonstrated in acknowledging the collective strengths of the health care assets and a universal sense of ownership for raising the overall health and wellness of the residents in our region.
Throughout this exploration, some unique strengths, as well as some key challenges and opportunities, were identified about our health care ecosystem.

 

UNIQUE STRENGTHS

 

 

 

 

HIGH DENSITY OF HIGH-QUALITY HEALTH SYSTEMS

While many metropolitan regions may have only one or two marquee health systems to access care, this region has many. All within a 40-mile radius, the area boasts no less than six major health systems all with a long reputation for quality care and quality outcomes.

MISSION-DRIVEN

Many of the largest health systems and health plans in our region are not-for-profit with a clear mission to serve the needs of our region and its citizens, instead of for-profit shareholders. While the business of health care is still very much a priority, margins can support missions.

WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH AND ACADEMIC ASSETS

Our health care ecosystem sits squarely in the middle of the University Research Corridor of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. The University of Michigan is consistently ranked as one of the best academic medical centers in the country.

 

KEY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

 

 

 

GREATER FOCUS ON SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH

Many of the CEOs noted the growing research and focus on the social determinants of health, such as income, education, housing, and food insecurity. There was a sense that their organizations could be doing more on this issue, and ideally, more in collaboration with their fellow CEOs and senior health care leaders.

CONTINUED EXPLORATION OF THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN HEALTH CARE AND MOBILITY

Some CEOs noted the opportunity to explore and implement the intersection between health care and next generation mobility, with a focus on how health care is delivered where people are (e.g. at their homes, work, etc.) instead of in a medical facility.

CONTINUED FOCUS ON INNOVATION

Many CEOs acknowledged the unprecedented levels of venture capital being poured into the health care industry with an eye towards disruption. Most acknowledged current efforts to invest in and encourage innovation within their own organizations and the need to attract talent, ideas, and partnerships from outside their organizations.

Dean Brody is the managing director of Accenture.