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TIPS FROM TOP - “US Healthcare Industry” by Mr. Ashish Chandra, Associate Director, United Health Group

On Saturday, 7th October, 2017, the Industrial and Management Engineering department of IIT Kanpur had the opportunity to host a very insightful and informative seminar by Mr. Ashish Chandra on “Healthcare Systems and Analytics”.

The seminar commenced with Mr. Chandra introducing himself. An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Mr. Chandra has worked in various top tiered Pharma and Healthcare companies, and has 12 years of experience as a decision scientist. Currently, he is the Associate Director of United Health Group, prior to which he had worked for seven and half years in Market RX.

Mr. Ashish started the seminar by talking about what is healthcare. Then he explained the various models in healthcare provision: National Health Services - Beveridge Model, Social Health Insurance - Bismarck Model, Community Based Health Insurance, Voluntary Health Insurance, and ‘Out of pocket Payments’. In each of the models he talked about the revenue sources, groups covered, pooling organizations, and care provision.

Mr. Chandra then went on to describe the US health care system which is an amalgamation of two major models - the government sponsored program, and the private sponsored program. In the USA, healthcare is a very sensitive issue due to the exorbitant medical cost. Elections are fought over this and this is one of the key constituents in political manifestos.  The concept of ‘Over investment but less effectiveness’ was discussed.

In very simple terms, the speaker talked about the various opportunities to make healthcare more affordable and effective. These include - migration from fee-for-service to new provider payment models, consolidation of healthcare stakeholders, widespread use of data and analytics in patient care, spending and utilization for specialty pharmaceuticals, Medicaid expansion due to healthcare reform, migration to value-oriented healthcare marketplace, growth and performance of accountable care organizations, role of technology in patient engagement, and increasing patient cost sharing. Mr. Chandra also talked about the plans of Google to launch a pill that will revolutionize diagnoses.

Mr. Chandra explained how the healthcare system is shifting towards precision medicine, where doctors will potentially be replaced by computers, and will make analytics and data driven decisions. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data will empower physicians, scientists and patients alike with the latest, most accurate clinical understanding in real time.

The seminar was very interactive and it was a great opportunity to learn about the health care industry, its current situation, and the direction in future. Mr. Chandra also advised the audience on how to prepare for future corporate life. It is imperative to keep learning and keep improving every day if we wish to make a mark in this world.


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