• Drive Innovation
  • Executive Conversations

What To Expect at February’s Wharton and Harvard Healthcare Conferences

Blog Header Image

Actionable Insight

"From #OWHealth: Here's what to expect at this week's @whartonhcc and @HBSWSA #healthcare and #business conferences."

This February, Oliver Wyman will be participating in two of the most consistently insightful healthcare conferences – the Wharton Health Care Business Conference (WHCBC) and the Harvard Business School’s Dynamic Women in Business Conference to explore tomorrow’s healthcare consumer, and the evolving role of women in healthcare and business.

Here’s more on what Oliver Wyman expects to experience, explore, and reflect on later this month.

The 24th Annual Wharton Health Care Business Conference

Held in Philadelphia on February 22 – 23, this year’s WHCBC – Dr. Patient: Adapting to Consumer-Driven Care – shines a spotlight upon the new heart of the healthcare industry: the consumer. The evolving role of the consumer-centric landscape has been a headline of late in healthcare. Terry Stone, Managing Partner, Oliver Wyman, and Sam Glick, Partner, Oliver Wyman, just predicted earlier this month that 2018 will (finally) be the year of the consumer.

Key themes to be discussed and debated include the new role of healthcare consumer as a more proactive, engaged, and educated health decision-maker. For example, Helen Leis, Health & Life Sciences Partner, will be speaking alongside executives from Thomas Jefferson Health, Aledade, Ascension Health, and Oxeon Holdings on the panel – Are We There Yet? Tech’s Role in Consumer Health – about the latest advancements, solutions, and winners in healthcare technology.

More broadly, participants can also anticipate acquiring a better understanding of how and why companies should update their business models to incorporate healthcare consumers’ needs and wants, or else risk becoming obsolete. And, those in attendance can look forward to learning more about where the next big consumer-centric investment opportunities lie. Here’s a quick overview of the keynote speakers and what they’re doing that likely caught the Wharton team's interest.

WHCBC’s Keynote Speakers: Who and Why

Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, CVS Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, oversees CVS Health’s clinical affairs, medical affairs, and healthcare strategy. As Aetna’s former Chief Medical Officer and a former professor at Harvard Medical School, Troyen’s work with CVS Caremark includes addressing opioid addiction and improving medication adherence. According to Troyen, half of consumers have difficulty understanding their prescription regime. Regarding opioid addiction, CVS Caremark has been specifically working to limit prescription duration to seven days and restrict daily dosage according to opioid strength. We nonetheless expect Troyen to offer a few cutting-edge insights into the new direction for CVS, especially in light of its recent groundbreaking merger activity.

After being nominated last year by President Donald Trump as the country’s ninth VA, David J. Shulkin, MD, Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), US Department of Veterans Affairs, oversees the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system, which serves nearly 9 million Veterans across 1,700 care sites. Recently touted as “the most interesting doctor in the world,” David, who notably experienced the VA’s transition from the VistA electronic health records (EHR) system to Cerner EHR, has managed some of the world’s largest civilian medical systems. Among his many industry-changing accomplishments, David made the VA the nation’s first healthcare system to publish clinic waiting times. We therefore expect to learn more about the new future of veteran care, and perhaps even glean some valuable insight into Trump’s greater perspective on healthcare reform.

Sean Duffy, Co-Founder and CEO of Omada Health, helped launch a California-based digital behavioral medicine company that helps conquer chronic disease. Sean is on the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center Leaders Alliance and was a panelist at the 2016 Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit. Last month, Omada Health announced plans to launch the largest randomized controlled digital diabetes prevention program to date, alongside the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Wake Forest University. “I’m really interested in obesity-related chronic disease because it’s just crippling people, and economies across the globe,” Sean told Doctorpreneurs. “Most would argue it’s the epidemiological crisis of our era.” Nonetheless, we expect to learn more about the future of chronic illness, and how Omada’s prevention program may shape the industry to come.

Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA, CareMore Health System’s President and CEO, is a physician and former senior advisor to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Donald Berwick. Sachin helps lead Anthem’s health plan and care delivery system initiatives, which generate over $1 billion in revenue. Sachin recently shared his views on how healthcare can best serve consumers in Forbes: “Patients will inevitably be best served by the organization that hires the best people – no matter how fancy the app; how slick the consumer experience; or how convenient the location; or how forward-thinking the payment or delivery model,” he said. “For the foreseeable future, the key ingredient of great healthcare delivery will always be great people first – and great process and technology, second.” We look forward to Sachin elaborating further on his consumer viewpoint at WHCBC.

The 27th Annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference at Harvard Business School

Held in Boston on February 24 (just a few weeks before International Women’s Day on March 8), this event – Your Story: Redefined ­­– offers a powerful and dynamic platform for women from all different walks of life to empower and uplift each other regarding their experiences, triumphs, and lessons learned involving their corporate, business, and professional lives. This conference, held amidst the #MeToo movement, no less, aims to help women define – and redefine – their own stories about business leadership, and ultimately celebrate tomorrow’s generation of women influencers.

Key themes to be discussed and debated include alternate investing strategies, women in technology, sexual harassment in the workplace, finance, pay negotiation, and tightening the wage gap. Numerous executives from companies and organizations including Ellevest, TIAA, and MM.LaFleur will share industry insights on these, and other topics.

Conference Panels to Address the Underrepresented Female Leader

Expect to collect some especially valuable takeaways from conference panels such as:

Gaps in Healthcare for Women: This panel will address how women in healthcare are under-represented, negatively impacted, and have lesser-quality access to affordable healthcare compared to consumers in other demographics. Panelists will also discuss how women are affected across sectors such as pharmaceutical and biotech, and distinguish differences between being a female payer and female provider.

Women in Healthcare Innovation: Here, women at the leading edge of the healthcare industry will discuss how some of the latest and greatest innovations in science and technology are helping change the future, why this matters, and how women are working together to help drive healthcare forward.

The 21st Century ‘She-Suite’: Here, panelists will discuss the how, and why, behind why there are so few high-profile female CEOs. Also, female panelists will share key struggles they have faced while attempting to scale the corporate ladder.

And, we look forward to learning more from keynote speakers, such as:

Alison Wagonfeld, Vice President Marketing and CMO, Google Cloud, who will deliver the conference’s opening keynote. “It’s estimated that the cloud is a $1 trillion market opportunity, and yet only 5 percent of the market has moved to the cloud. There’s a tremendous opportunity to transform so many businesses with the power of our cloud technology,” Alison told Google. “I get particularly excited when I think about how companies can use machine learning in fields such as healthcare,” she added. We expect Alison to talk more on the power of the Cloud, and where its next great potential lies for leading industries.

Adena Friedman, President and CEO, Nasdaq, will deliver an afternoon keynote. “We are the home to the four largest companies in the world. We are extremely proud of that, and we are the home to the great innovators of our time,” Adena recently told CNBC at this year’s World Government Summit in Dubai. “Over the last year we've had $350 billion of market cap switch from the New York Stock Exchange to Nasdaq [and] in the last decade it's been a trillion dollars. And the reason is because companies want to be part of the future.” We expect Adena to share her journey of being a female CEO, and what the greater implications of her story mean for other female leaders and disrupters.

Paula Tolliver, CIO, Intel, will be one of several panelists speaking about women as dynamic agents of change. "Being CIO of Intel, and being at the middle of the ecosystem of Silicon Valley and working across many industries, it's exciting," Tolliver said at last October’s Grace Hopper Celebration. "And I personally want more women to be more representative of that." We expect Paula to discuss how women in business can generate industry-wide shifts.

Follow the Wharton and Harvard Conferences in Live Time

Be sure to follow @OWHealthEditor and @OliverWyman on Twitter for live updates and insights from these events, and to stay in-the-know with what the future of healthcare holds.

Join our community of innovators. Become a contributor to Oliver Wyman Health. Email your ideas to the Editor at OWHealth.Editor@oliverwyman.com.