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Podcast: What Would Copernicus Do? Insights from Health Evolution


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Actionable Insight

"The current provider-centric healthcare model is very ‘Ptolmeic.’ We’ve designed everything around the provider. @jvmurch #OWHealth"

In this episode of the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast, Julie Murchinson, Chief Executive Officer of Health Evolution, sits down with Sam Glick, Partner, Health & Life Sciences, Oliver Wyman, to share her views on the rapidly evolving dynamics of leadership in healthcare. Julie, whose work at Health Evolution focuses on building a community of leaders to propel the healthcare industry forward and accelerate transformation, also chats about advancing executive engagement, driving diverse thinking among leaders, empowering female influencers, and social determinants such as loneliness.

Julie says the pace of industry change is mounting. As the pendulum continues to shift toward the patient / consumer, conversations on effective leadership are quickly shaping healthcare’s new future. And the boundaries for what a healthcare company “is” are blurring rapidly as the consumer-centric evolution pushes onward.

“Just as Copernicus once challenged the commonly accepted notion of the Earth as the center of all that is, the center of healthcare’s universe is changing.”

“We’re looking at different ways to put people together who are leading multi-trillion dollar businesses to help us make change,” she explains, of Health Evolution’s greater mission to drive diverse thinking and marry contrasting leadership perspectives. “When CEOs can start to really conceptualize their businesses in different ways, others follow suit and start to go down that path as well.”

"People see what ‘health’ and ‘healthcare’ should look like,” explains Julie. “We’re still digging our heels in on some areas until we’re forced to get there.”

“Seeing what Amazon has been able to do, I think we’ll see some really major players come in after they study the industry for a while, pick up those pieces they see as being most relevant and important to the consumer, and put them back together again,” says Julie. “And those businesses might look nothing like what a typical health plan or health system looks like today.”

Examining the Healthcare Consumer’s Place in the Sun

Julie says the definition of “consumer” is changing dramatically, and innovative definitions of “human experience” are thereby influencing and shaping how business models operate. Collective perceptions of the healthcare industry are evolving, similarly to…the evolution of the Copernican Theory.

“Just as Copernicus once challenged the commonly accepted notion of the Earth as the center of all that is, the center of healthcare’s universe is changing,” she explains. “Ptolemy’s followers believed the sun, the stars, and the planets rotated around the Earth. But we now know the planets, including Earth, revolve around the sun.”

“Copernicus discovered in 1543 that this new reality was revolutionary and challenged conventional thinking, which triggered an avalanche of more scientific discovery,” she says.

“What does this have to do with healthcare?” she asks. "The current provider-centric healthcare model is very ‘Ptolmeic.’ We’ve designed everything around the provider. But if you think about the very consumer-centric Copernican Theory, you see it in a different way.”

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For more information on this and other podcast episodes, check out the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast page, featuring executive conversations on the business of transforming healthcare.


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