strategy+business — Winter 2013
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The HEALS Approach To Bundles

Drawing on Booz & Company's substantial experience in analyzing and creating bundled healthcare offerings, we have developed a unique approach, which we call HEALS (for healthy, acute, and long-term solutions). Like standard bundles, HEALS are all-in-one, end-to-end packages for specific medical conditions and procedures. They combine medical care, financing, and patient engagement into an integrated service at a flat fee, with a guaranteed outcome. To make this work, HEALS assembles a multidisciplinary team that collaborates to improve outcomes over time, along with a care coordinator to ensure that patients are engaged throughout the entire process.

Several features make the HEALS approach distinctive. First, the products are designed specifically around customer preferences and needs. By contrast, other bundles focus more on the cost advantages. This approach even extends to the question of which procedures and services might use a HEALS model. For example, some payors and providers have specifically decided not to develop bundles for highly standard outpatient procedures like tonsillectomies and insertion of ear tubes, for which the results are generally consistent and satisfactory. However, we believe the principles are as appropriate for these relatively simple procedures as for their more complex counterparts. The principles give patients a simpler, more transparent service with better customer satisfaction.

Another key difference is the focus on eliminating unnecessary administrative waste. Other providers and payors working on bundled care look at the investments needed to transition to a new claims system- a significant expense. However, we believe that HEALS can reduce administration expenses by 15 percent.

Last, HEALS takes a results based approach. HEALS programs can be complex and costly initiatives. The economic opportunity for the health system must be big enough to cover its investment during the transition, so HEALS programs are designed to get up to speed quickly, ensuring the health system's ability to thrive over the long term.