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Joe Flower

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Healthcare Futurist. Healthcare Speaker
With nearly 30 years’ experience, Joe Flower has emerged as a premier observer and thought leader on the deep forces changing healthcare in the United States and around the world.

Fee Range: $10,001 – $20,000

As a healthcare speaker, writer, and consultant, he has explored the future of healthcare with clients ranging from the World Health Organization, the Global Business Network, and the UK National Health Service, to the majority of state hospital associations in the US as well as many of the provincial associations and ministries in Canada, and an extraordinary variety of other players across the healthcare industry—professional associations, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, health plans, physician groups, and numerous hospitals. He has been a consultant on change and the future with the US Department of Defense, Airbus, and ArianeSpace, as well as a number of governments in China.

Flower is the author of hundreds of healthcare articles. For over 20 years he was a contributing editor and regular columnist at the Healthcare Forum Journal. When the Healthcare Forum became the Health Forum of the American Hospital Association, he went on to a regular column in Hospitals and Health Networks Online. For 12 years he has written a regular column for Physician Executive, the Journal of the American College of Physician Executives. He is also the author of a number of seminal articles of the Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities movement.

His newest book is Healthcare Beyond Reform: Doing It Right for Half the Cost, which clearly and boldly sets out a vision of the Next Healthcare and how to get there. Specifically, it outlines the following: what most people don’t know about the politics of healthcare; the secrets to surviving the changes in healthcare and changes in healthcare law; making sense of healthcare economics now and in the Next Healthcare; why healthcare has to be cheaper if it’s going to be better; the steps every organization leader needs to take to join the Next Healthcare; and which organizations are doing it right and how.

Flower was a contributing writer for Wired Magazine in its explosive early years, and a columnist for the pioneering health websites and

A founding member of the International Health Futures Network, he is the principal author of the landmark healthcare forecast “Technological Advances and the Next 50 Years of Cardiology,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Speech Titles and Descriptions:

How To Get What We Pay For: A Handbook for the Revolutionaries
Healthcare is changing rapidly — but into what? Flower’s new 2015 book, explains how getting healthcare to the tipping point where the entire system becomes both much better and vastly cheaper is an all-hands-on-deck exercise. It’s not something we can leave to Washington, or to healthcare leaders alone. It calls for action by clinicians, healthcare leaders and insurers, but also employers, investors, state and local governments, and even ordinary voters, patients, and consumers — you. And on the way we can all get better healthcare for less. Here’s the playbook and the toolkit: to-dos, checklists, resources, and Flower’s uniquely clear and actionable Big Picture.
[Best for: Any audience interested in healthcare, including civic groups, healthcare systems and medical groups, insurers, healthcare supply chain organizations, healthcare professionals, employers, investors, consumer groups. Customized for your group.]

The New Healthcare Revolutionaries: Employers, Investors, Municipalities, Consumers, You
If you are purchasers of healthcare, or investors, if you’re a consumer group buying health coverage, or local governments making planning decisions you need to understand the historically unique moment in healthcare that you’re operating in now. If you want both much lower costs and much better care, you have to know how the choices you make now determine what will available to you in one year, three years, five years. Healthcare organizations, whether insurers, hospital systems, group practices, even health tech manufacturers, are undergoing massive changes and are looking for new ways to do business. Find out what drives them. Discover the impressive superpowers that you — employers, state and local governments, communities, and consumers — have available to you as soon as you unlock them.
[Best for: Purchasers of and investors in healthcare, including civic groups, local and state government groups, insurers, employers, investors and inventors in health tech, health tech user groups, consumer groups. Customized for your group.]

Volume to Value: The Path to the New World of Healthcare
We’re going there: Everyone agrees that bit by bit, by leaps and slides, we are abandoning fee-for-service and moving toward “value-based purchasing.” We are changing the entire basis of the business of healthcare, the revenue flows and cost structures that have kept us alive up until now. But what does “volume to value” mean exactly? What are the steps toward getting to value? How do we survive the transition? What does this Promised Land even look like? How will we know when we are there? What are the challenges, what are the metrics, which are the best models for your particular organization to follow? How can you tell you’re succeeding? Who will be your allies? Perhaps most important, how can you help your team, your leadership, your people to move in concert in the right direction?
[Best for: Healthcare systems and medical groups, insurers, healthcare supply chain organizations, healthcare professionals, state hospital associations. Customized for your group.]

Follow the Money: Tracking What’s Working and What’s Not In the Shift from Volume to Value
Okay, we are moving from “volume to value,” from fee-for-service to various kinds of risk-based contracts, value-based purchasing, and accountable care financial structures. Fine. The revenue flows, cost structures, capital requirements of the Next Healthcare are completely different and vastly more complex than the ways that we are trained in and have experience with. How do you know when you’re making money? How do you know when you’re just burning your seed corn? How do you leverage legacy investments in plant, personnel, and tech? How do you forecast next year, let alone five years from now? Most importantly, the systemic feedback loops can be confounding, as success with population health management can seriously cut into acute and ED revenues, for instance — but by how much? How soon?

What are the state-of-the-art models for forecasting costs and revenues in this rapidly changing environment? Is anyone doing it right? Where do you go for help? These are bet-the-company questions. If we don’t answer them, we don’t have a future.
[Best for: Healthcare systems and medical groups, insurers, state hospital associations, healthcare financial managers. Customized for your group.]

Healthcare 2020-2030: Imagining a Day in the Life of the Next Healthcare
We are going somewhere fast in healthcare. “Volume to value,” new patient-centered tech, big data, population health management, seamless coordination — what will it look like if all these reforms and tech shifts actually work? Does the whole thing actually work? What does the Next Healthcare look like, day to day, for clinicians, healthcare leaders, patients, parents, employers? In this talk we take the imaginative journey and you’ll learn how to make the choices that will get you where you want to go.
[Best for: Any audience interested in healthcare. Customized for your group.]

FutureDoc 2020-2030: A Day in the Life
In 2015 we are re-defining what it means to be doctor in ways that are both astonishingly futuristic and classical. How different will it be? How will you make a living? Will it ever get easier? What will tech do the job? What parts of the job will be turned over to robots, sensors, and algorithms? Take a tour of the future in detail in the actual workflow of doctors ten years or more in the future.
[Best for: Physicians and medical groups, investors and inventors in health tech, health tech user groups. Can be customized and re-framed for other providers and clinicians, especially nurses and allied health professionals.]

Getting to Seamless: What does it take?
Much of the “volume to value” image is built on seamless care coordination within and between organizations, regions, and levels of healthcare. Most organizations have trouble being transparent even to themselves. Many organizations have neither the capacity nor the inclination to truly build broad teamwork and seamless care flow. Is anyone doing it right? What does that look like? What are the elements, technically and organizationally? What’s it take?
[Best for: Healthcare systems and medical groups, insurers, healthcare supply chain organizations, healthcare professionals, state hospital associations, health tech investors and inventors. Customized for your group.]

Smart Behavioral Health Care: A Key to Driving Costs Down and Quality Up
If you are looking for savings, that’s where the money is. If you are looking for better, earlier, more effective healthcare, that’s where the big opportunities are. Mental and behavioral health have to form a big piece of any strategy for building better and cheaper healthcare — but most of us are doing it wrong. Here’s how to do it right.
[Best for: Healthcare systems and medical groups, insurers, healthcare supply chain organizations, healthcare professionals, state hospital associations, mental/behavioral health organizations, healthy communities/public health organizations. Customized for your group.]

How Can We Think About The Future of Healthcare: A Master Class in Methods and Pathways
I’m a futurist with a long past, gathering data, scanning for patterns, constructing testable scenarios, searching out dependencies and feedback loops for decades now. Would you like to follow along? Would you like to have more insight into your future and the future of your organization? How do you think about the future in an organized, useful way? We’ll cover the basics in this talk, including:
• trendspotting and trend testing
• Constructing useful scenarios
• Spotting and challenging your own assumptions and beliefs
• Data gathering: Sifting the firehose
• What statistics do and do not tell you
• The peculiar ways of complex adaptive systems: Basics of analysis
[Best for: Any audience interested in the future.]

The Next Health Care: Talks For Specific Industry Sectors
Flower regularly brings his analysis of the future to specific industry sectors and stakeholders, such as:
• Hospitals, health care systems, and hospital associations
• Clinics and clinic associations
• Physician groups and other professional associations
• Behavioral health
• Long-term care and hospice
• Pharmacies
• Pharmaceutical companies
• Health care financial managers
• Health plans and managed care
• Major vendors
• Employers
• Investors
For each of these sectors, Flower unpacks the changes engulfing health care, and illustrates precisely how those trends and forces will re-shape the sector, re-define their part of the industry, shift their goals, their finances, their strategies, and their effectiveness.

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