MODERATOR: Let me ask a theoretical question. What's health care going to look like 20 years from now? What are we going to be doing and how will physicians fit into the equation?
DiLISI: That's a tough question. Even five years out is difficult to project. Technology definitely will shape where the industry is 20 years from now. We'll have even more data than we are dealing with now. And we haven't yet figured out how to put it all together and how to use that data to make good clinical decisions. Other industries are using big data to get smarter, to target the right people and become more sophisticated. Maybe 10 years from now, we'll be able to harness big data to become more sophisticated.
DAVENPORT: The relationship between the patient and the physician is going to change dramatically, just within the next few years. Technology will play a significant part by enhancing connectivity between physicians and patients. It's going to be a challenge for physicians who resist the technology boom. It's going to definitely change the relationship.
LINN: The fee-for-service model that we’ve all grown to love for many years is unsustainable and the physicians will have to evolve. In 10–20 years, the role of physicians will be managing more critical patients, and they will not be doing the tasks that, quite frankly, don’t require a physician’s expertise at this time. They will have to develop skills in managing a group of nurses and other providers to provide patient care that is going to be drastically different than how we’re delivering care today. They’re going to need new skill sets to do that. It’s going to be a fairly transformational time in the next 10–15 years.
MOFFA: That’s exactly right. When I think about what the health care field will be like 20 years from now, I think about the generations who are much younger than I. What do they want the physician to be? If their consumer habits hold true, 20 years from now when the 18- to 23-year-olds reach their 40s, they’ll have some strong opinions about how they want consumer health care to be. The consumers will be what truly drives it. So, I’ll answer your question, John, with another question. What role does the consumer want the physician to play?
MODERATOR: We’re coming to a close and I want all of you to think about this phrase: ‘Physician-led, professionally managed.’ What does it mean to you? What comes to mind when you hear that statement? How does it resonate in your organizations?
MOFFA: That phrase is probably relevant now, John. As we move forward, there will be less distinction between physician leadership and professional management. The line between the two is starting to blur. Physician leadership and professional management will be more integrated in the future.
LINN: There’s going to have to be a recognition that a partnership is necessary for all of us to be successful. Neither party will be around 20 years from now if we go it alone.
DAVENPORT: I would hope that new physicians coming out of medical school would have a better understanding about the expectations and the changing role related to their involvement and engagement. That would help to enhance physician engagement.
DiLISI: Some of the most successful organizations will be led by physicians who can professionally manage. We need to teach them how to do that. It’s an important skill and the best physician leaders will have that skill set.