Climate Change And Health Insurance Resilience In European Context – Dr. Elizabeth Baca serves in a number of national and global advisory roles, providing systems thinking that supports care delivery innovation and fosters holistic health and well-being, while recognizing that health equity and sustainability are central to this work. Previously, he served on the General Pediatrics Faculty at Stanford Medical School and directed the Pediatrics and Community Child Advocacy Rotations, and served in both the California Governors Brown and Newsom administrations. Baca studied health policy at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela and completed his MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and his Doctorate of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Neal Batra is a principal in Deloitte’s Life Sciences and Healthcare practice focusing on business model and commercial operating model innovation, redesign and transformation. He leads Deloitte’s Life Sciences Strategy & Analytics practice, leading the evolution of the next generation enterprise/function by connecting strategic choices with analytics and technology. Batra has more than 15 years of experience advising healthcare organizations across ecosystems on critical strategic challenges, including leading businesses in biotechnology, medtech, health insurance, and retail healthcare. Batra is the co-author of Deloitte’s provocative Future of health insights, speculating on the healthcare ecosystem in 2040 and the most important business models and capabilities. Batra lives in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. He holds an MBA from London Business School and a BBA from the College of William and Mary.
Climate Change And Health Insurance Resilience In European Context
Michael Joseph Johnson is a manager with Deloitte Consulting LLP and has extensive experience in healthcare transformation. His involvement has focused on financial operating model transformation, payer-provider convergence, a digitally-centric patient pricing experience and innovative contracting and pricing strategies. He also acts as a leader in developing Deloitte’s climate change and health strategies and offerings.
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Jay Sekhon is a manager in Deloitte Consulting, leading complex operational transformations for both healthcare providers and payer organizations, helping them improve patient outcomes, achieve strategic priorities and advance toward more equitable, sustainable and resilient health systems.
Wendy Gerhardt, Deloitte Services LP, is a research leader with Deloitte’s Center for Health Solutions. He is responsible for conducting research to inform healthcare system stakeholders about emerging trends, challenges and opportunities. Prior to joining Deloitte, Gerhardt held various roles in strategy/planning for health systems and research for healthcare industry information solutions. He holds a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MA in health policy from Northwestern University. He is based in Detroit.
This report outlines the core climate risks to the future of health and offers strategies that healthcare organizations can use to build more resilient operations.
As the complex relationship between climate change and human health becomes increasingly apparent, the medical profession, life science organizations and healthcare systems have begun to respond. The medical research community now fully recognizes climate change, as the “greatest threat” to global public health,
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This report outlines the core climate risks to the future of health and offers strategies that healthcare organizations can use to build more resilient operations. Here is a summary of key insights to support industry leaders as they build new business plans, reduce their environmental footprint, adapt their operations to changing conditions and contribute to a more equitable and resilient healthcare system for all.
Climate change endangers life on every continent, universally worsening various health conditions and damaging important drivers of our overall health and well-being. And environmental threats to health outcomes and related impacts on other health drivers (eg, socioeconomic impacts on communities) are accelerating as extreme climate events become more prevalent.
Each of these events has a very real cost to human health. Winter storms and cold temperatures in Texas, for example, battered hospitals and emergency departments (EDs), seriously disrupting health care operations, and forcing the cancellation of elective surgeries.
Conversely, a heat wave in King County, Washington prompted an increase in ED visits for heat-related illness in one weekend in June 2021.
Towards ‘just Resilience’: Leaving No One Behind When Adapting To Climate Change — European Environment Agency
Given the impact on human health of these increasingly common extreme environmental events and conditions, many stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem are finally beginning to feel a broad sense of urgency. The medical research community now fully recognizes the impact of climate change on human health, as more than 200 medical journals issued an unprecedented joint statement last September citing it as the “greatest threat” to global public health.
This issue has become a priority for the US government, and human health is playing an even more important role in the dialogue of the United Nations COP26 global climate conference. And, as part of a broader portfolio of environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities, companies across sectors are increasingly focused on reducing their operational footprints, and are even beginning to address the health impacts of climate change.
At Intermountain Healthcare, for example, climate change has become an organizational priority, driving investments in renewable energy, decarbonization and energy efficiency. Even for health plan organizations, with smaller direct emissions footprints than their provider and life science counterparts, climate and sustainability initiatives have become leadership priorities. Centene, for example, has increasingly prioritized environmental and climate issues in recent years with a focus not only on reducing emissions but the impact of environmental factors on the health of their members. Healthcare ESG coalitions have also emerged as important players in recent years as organizations have begun to address climate-related challenges on an ongoing basis.
Organizations such as Bon Secours Mercy Health have joined healthcare ESG coalition groups such as the Nationwide Primary Healthcare Network to collaborate across organizations on the social determinants of health, including those affected by environmental issues.
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At the same time, health care is rapidly shifting its focus from the reactive treatment of disease and illness to a model that equitably and proactively promotes health and well-being across populations. These changes are likely to continue to accelerate as data and technology, applied in a decentralized manner directly with consumers outside of traditional care settings, allow us to have “always on” measures of health, better understand the underlying causal mechanisms of health and well-being, and predict sickness and disease. This shift alone represents a dramatic change for players across the healthcare industry, demanding new business models from incumbents and disruptors alike. However, climate change and its associated impacts may present significant challenges to realizing this healthier future.
Climate change not only contributes to a host of health issues, but it can also exacerbate health inequalities that the industry has only recently begun to work diligently to correct.
This is because the communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change tend to be those least able to manage and recover from the physical, economic, mental and social devastation that accompanies it.
Indeed, addressing the “biggest threat” to global public health is no small undertaking. It will likely require health organizations to reduce their own substantial carbon emissions, transform their operations to meet growing needs, and engage across sectors to create more sustainable supply chains. Organizations should understand the vulnerabilities in the patient populations they care for, as well as the expected climate impacts based on geography for the region they serve. As first responders to human health emergencies, and as organizations dedicated to health and wellness, life sciences and healthcare organizations hold the responsibility to demonstrate resilience in times of need and contribute to building healthier communities. Without organizational-level change to become more climate resilient, a healthier and more equitable Future of Health may not be achieved.
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By 2040, Deloitte envisions a world where seamless collaboration among stakeholders focused on health and wellness is the standard. It is a consumer-centric wellness future where data, technology and new ways to prevent disease and promote wellness are easily accessible. The Future of Health is organized around consumers, not healthcare institutions, and consumers owning their own data. It is an environment where digital transformation—enabled by always-on sensors; radically interoperable data; artificial intelligence; and an open and secure platform—fueling innovation and change. These advances will not only affect how, when, and where care occurs, but who is responsible and the types of services, products, and businesses in the industry. Further reading can be found in our published report.
We can no longer ignore the unbreakable link between the health of our planet and the health of our people. As healthcare leaders, we have a responsibility to protect our patients and the communities we serve from the health impacts of climate change. This is a moral and business imperative, and at its core, climate change is a health equity issue. Taking care of the Earth is part of taking care of the people who depend on us. — Lloyd H. Dean, CEO, CommonSpirit Health
Behind the walls of clinical care settings, there are social, economic, and environmental factors that account for 80–90% of the “modifiable contributors to healthy outcomes.”
The focus of the Future of Health is the realization that addressing these drivers of health is essential to providing more holistic, equitable and proactive care (figure 2).
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Climate change stands out as a major force multiplier (driver to
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