Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Boston Chapter’s 2013 Forum Reveals 4 Ways to Create Value in Healthcare Reform

July 10, 2013

July 9, 2013, Boston, MA – Key women healthcare leaders driving healthcare reform and innovation in Boston all agree on what is required for reform success today – patient involvement. Speaking on a cross-sector panel of female health care leaders, Dr. Karen Boudreau, CMO, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan articulated a key point that resonated with the rest of the panel: "We in healthcare haven't figured out what is important to patients. Until we figure that out, all the technology in the world isn't going to help us.”

This central theme of patient involvement being critical to the success of healthcare reform and value creation was the focus of the 2nd Annual Healthcare Forum open panel discussion hosted by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Boston on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MA. With over 150 attendees, the event highlighted the future of healthcare in the U.S. under the topic, “Value Creation in an Era of Healthcare Reform.”

Healthcare reform is a topic that is vast and complex, requiring collaboration across healthcare entities involved in direct patient care, but one area all leaders agreed on is that patient engagement is critical to its success.

The conversation highlighted 4 key ways to create value in healthcare reform:

  • Cost Transparency: Physicians now share the financial risk of keeping patients healthy. This discussion includes how to be cost effective from both a patient’s view and a healthcare industry view.
  • Patient Value: Patient value will be determined by what the patient determines value is, requiring more collaboration and communication between the doctor and the patient. And, doctors have to consider patients’ experiences and to what level they have to struggle with the long process of diagnosis and treatment.
  • Patient Education in Context: Context is critical to engaging patients. Their story is unique to them, and their story holds the key to understanding what they value. It is important to understand what mechanisms engage patients with their treatment, healing or recovery procedure, and to then educate accordingly.
  • Patient Engagement in Their Treatment: Doing nothing can be considered treatment; it has value as long as it is part of the overall plan, and not a passive response. Despite medical advances that motivate doctors to perform new procedures, with the U.S. being the most expensive healthcare system in the world, doing nothing as part of a treatment plan merits more consideration from healthcare providers. And for healthcare manufacturers, a big question followed this point: Do we need patients’ insight initially when designing or launching a new drug or device technology? Clinical differentiation and new models for doing business must drive pharmaceutical and medical device business strategies in a way that costs can be contained and patients can truly take advantage of new technology to improve health.

Panelists represented all sectors of healthcare: health information technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, medical device technology, hospitals and payers. Martha Bebinger, healthcare reporter for WBUR, moderated this dynamic panel, including the following thought leaders:

  • Michele Bennett,  COO, Wool Labs 
  • Dr. Karen Boudreau, CMO, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan 
  • Anne Fitzgerald, VP, Network Development, Brigham and Women's Health Care
  • Buket Grau,  Senior Director, Program Leadership and Management, Biogen Idec

More information about the Healthcare Forum’s topic, along with a discussion of how manufacturers are involving patient considerations in their strategies, can be accessed in an article written by Sony Saltzman, a leading medical device journalist who attended the forum. Please click here for the article:

About Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and the Boston Chapter

Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), started in 1977 and is now in its 4th decade as a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to further the advancement of women in healthcare worldwide. With 15 chapters throughout the U.S. and Europe, the HBA is headquartered in New Jersey with offices in Philadelphia and Research Triangle Park. HBA has over 6,000 individual members and 120 Corporate Partners. It is widely recognized as the catalyst for leadership development of women in healthcare worldwide.

HBA’s Boston chapter is the premier professional development organization for women in the healthcare industry who seek inspiration, knowledge and support to enrich and develop their careers. With over 700 members, HBA Boston offers a dynamic and inviting environment for women at all career levels to connect, collaborate and learn outside their own organizations and areas of expertise.

For more information about the HBA Boston Chapter, please visit   

About HBA Boston Chapter’s Healthcare Forum
HBA Boston initiated the chapter’s first Healthcare Forum in 2012 as an annual leadership event to celebrate over ten years of Boston chapter accomplishment in empowering women in healthcare leadership and influence. The objectives of the Forum have been to leverage the richness of the healthcare spectrum in the Boston area and capitalize on the experiences in reform already underway.



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