By Samantha Goldman, Senior Manager, Enterprise Marketing
President Bill Clinton delivered the closing keynote address at the Castlight Enterprise Healthcare Summit on June 10, 2014. Steve Forbes and Magic Johnson also delivered keynotes at the event.
Chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes, discussed the need to manage healthcare as a strategic investment — from the perspective of both the employers offering coverage, and the employees who are choosing care for themselves and their families.
“What is the difference between … us today and people living in the Stone Age thousands of years ago? … We know more. We have more knowledge. And for markets to work, you need information,” said Forbes, also noting that we’ll only have a “truly patient-centric system thanks to technology.”
So why are we amidst a healthcare crisis? Pinpointing the crux of the issue, Forbes continued by saying that it’s because “we don’t have real free markets in healthcare.” We have pieces of it, which is why we still produce more new pharmaceuticals, more new devices, diagnostic devices, medical devices than the rest of the world. But it’s kind of a crazy system.” said Forbes.
In terms of the future of what Forbes described as the “hodgepodge system that we have today,” he recognized the change that technology and solutions providers like Castlight are enabling. “What we’re seeing is a true rebirth of an industry […] in ways we’ll barely recognize just 5 or 10 years down the road [where we’ll] truly get more for less,” Forbes said, adding that “there’s a vacuum out there, and [Castlight] is moving aggressively into it.”
As part of his remarks at the Summit, Earvin “Magic” Johnson called upon his personal experience with the U.S. healthcare system, as well as the challenges he has faced as CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises and Chairman of the Magic Johnson Foundation.
“At the end of the day, [healthcare costs are] what’s going to kill us as CEOs. Because of the rising cost, now when the Magic Johnson Foundation goes out to those corporations to get funding, they can’t give it to me anymore, because they’ve got to redirect those dollars to [healthcare],” said Johnson, adding that “we’ve got to get a handle on this as employers, as CEOs, as companies who are trying to do the right thing but eventually can’t, because of the rising cost of healthcare.”
Calling on advice from one of his mentors, Johnson further noted that “you can’t be about just making money. You’ve got to be about changing the world,” he said, noting how critical education is to enabling such change.
“The key is education. […] We’ve got to go in and educate the people about the plans that are available to them,” said Johnson, also recognizing the role that transparency plays in changing the system. “We have to know how much things cost,” he said.
As a business owner and CEO, Johnson believes his job should be to encourage his employees to live a healthier lifestyle, telling the audience that the goal should not be about how much money we can make, but about “how many lives can we impact and change.” These principles are ones by which the Castlight team is also guided, with the Enterprise Healthcare Cloud creating those touch points not only between employers and their employees, but between employees and their healthcare.
President Bill Clinton then took the stage for his keynote presentation.
“[The high cost of healthcare] constrains wages, it constrains investment, it constrains growth, and it doesn’t make us healthier,” said President Clinton.
The ripple effects of the crippling cost of healthcare are only compounded when viewed through the lenses of employers and their employees. “Most people are insured through their place of work, and one of the big challenges over the years has been getting information on price and quality,” President Clinton said.
More information on Castlight’s inaugural Enterprise Healthcare Summit can be found at www.castlighthealth.com/summit.