What They’re Watching: Scott Sukow, American Liver Foundation

Scott Sukow is the Executive Director of the American Liver Foundation, Pacific Coast Division. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to talk about the need for transparency during enrollment, especially for patients living with chronic conditions.

Well the American Liver Foundation is really looking at how we can support patients living with chronic health conditions access the care that they need. And as we take a look at holistic health care system where everyone’s looking at cost and outcomes, which are very good things, we want to make sure that those things are not at the expense of choice and not at the expense of transparency. And understanding that sometimes consumers make a bad choice and giving them the option to correct that and re-enroll or change what their coverage may be. So, we want good outcomes, we want affordability, but we really want to make sure that we do it in a way that there’s not limitations on choice or transparency for those living with chronic health conditions.

Transparency unfortunately sometimes takes investment and investment is also cost. So, you’re really having these conversations with payers and providers about how to make more transparent their systems so that consumers can say “I’m going to choose this plan because it has this network of providers that have outcomes about my particular health condition that are important to me, and I want to make a choice that aligns with my chronic health condition.” Well all these measurements and transparency measures have to be made public and that’s going to take some investment from payers or plans. But how do we kind of push that along so that we get a good marrying of costs, investments on those costs, and where consumers have robust choice and they’re making educated choices.

So, legislation tends to be how we do that. Another way is by creating a dialogue with multiple stakeholders groups really looking at the holistic health care network, whether it’s a system or payers or providers, and saying “How do we create a conversation where we start sharing where our values are from a chronic health perspective for patients and understanding where their priorities are as a payer or their priorities as a health care system and saying where is there alignment?” And maybe there’s some low-hanging fruit that we can come to the table on pretty easily just by having those conversations.