Blue Shield of California’s President and CEO, Paul Markovich, discussed the pressing need for public policy efforts to address the shortcomings of the current healthcare system. Markovich emphasized the importance of California as a diverse state, stating that if improvements can be made there, they can be replicated nationwide. With a focus on transforming the dysfunctional healthcare system, Blue Shield of California aims to create a healthcare system that is accessible and affordable for all.
One of the main challenges highlighted by Markovich is the rising cost of healthcare, which surpasses inflation rates and leaves many Americans unable to afford necessary care. In response, Blue Shield of California is actively working to disrupt the pharmacy value chain, which contributes significantly to increasing costs and inequities. Markovich advocated for collaboration and innovative partnerships as a means to lower prescription drug costs, citing Blue Shield’s collaboration to manufacture insulin at reduced prices.
Additionally, Markovich called for increased pharmaceutical competition through updates to drug patent policies. By allowing lower-priced generics to enter the market as patent monopolies expire, drug costs can be lowered.
Markovich also stressed the importance of patient control and ownership of health data. He proposed the establishment of a national Digital Health Bill of Rights, which would prioritize patient ownership, accessibility, and usability of health information. Blue Shield of California aims to provide 80% of its members with access to digital medical records by the end of 2024.
Markovich concluded by emphasizing the need for urgency and accountability in transforming the healthcare system. Blue Shield of California remains committed to its mission and will continue driving change to improve healthcare accessibility, affordability, and patient outcomes.
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