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6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with MGC Diagnostics CEO, Todd Austin

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6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at fjaskulke@medicalalley.org

This interview with Todd Austin, CEO of MGC Diagnostics, has been lightly edited for clarity and length. Mr. Austin’s interview is the third interview in the series. To see more, click the button below.

6 Questions Series

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

I believe it will be a combination of both. The cost of providing healthcare, whether diagnostic, therapeutic or pharmacologic, will always be under pressure, thus manufactures will be continuously reducing cost of goods sold to maintain gross margin.

Healthcare recipients and providers will demand better outcomes, especially regarding economically burdensome chronic diseases.

Fundamentally, the US healthcare system will dictate the change – that is, if the system remains an ROI based business, then costs and delivery efficiencies will be the focus. If the US healthcare system transitions to value-based, then I believe improved clinical outcomes will drive change.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

Value based healthcare needs to encompass the spectrum of disease, starting with early diagnosis and intervention, to the management of long-term chronic care effectiveness. To be most impactful, the shift to early diagnosis and intervention will yield the most dramatic long-term value.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

US Healthcare is market driven – identify the largest disease population, target the highest reimbursement schema associated with high volume disease and develop products and services aligned to the opportunity. US Healthcare is a business, not a social service. There are stakeholders, shareholders, investors, etc…the deliverable is earnings.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

MGC Diagnostics is an example of the ‘blind spot’ I reference above. We are a multinational capital equipment manufacture aligned to cardiorespiratory chronic disease and the ‘baby boomer’ population which warehouses the highest percentages of these chronic diseases.

Granted our devices are used to diagnose and manage disease, but at the most fundamental level, they are revenue generators whether in hospitals, clinics or private practices.

These devices are ideally aligned to provide population screening, early diagnosis, and monitor interventional therapies – however, there is little to no reimbursement for these activities when compared to outpatient testing of patients with chronic, comorbid diseases. As such, the incentive as a manufacturer it to develop products which deliver the highest return for both the company and the customer.

On the flipside, we intensively invest in education and sponsor research to support those healthcare providers focused on early diagnosis and interventional disease management.

Why is a presence in the Medical Alley Association critical to your company?

Medical Alley provides a valuable service to our company in the form of education, awareness, collaboration and political reform. Being able to network with other leaders, at the forums provided by Medical Alley, help me digest information and align our strategies to trends identified and shared by its diverse membership.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

Access to policy makers and healthcare economics professionals. The closer I can be to the decision makers, the more I can help shape their focus and align our resources to drive change.

About MGC Diagnostics:

MGC Diagnostics® is a global medical technology company dedicated to providing cardiorespiratory health solutions. We develop, manufacture, and market non-invasive diagnostic systems for detecting, classifying and managing cardiorespiratory disease. That singular focus guides our strategy and defines our commitment to customers, employees and stakeholders. With more than 40 years of experience in the industry and product placement in more than 45 countries, MGC Diagnostics brings unmatched insight for solving today’s challenges and anticipating tomorrow’s opportunities.

To learn more visit https://mgcdiagnostics.com/

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