Aaron Crane: Poker lessons for healthcare finance
Growing up, I loved to play poker. It was an annual family holiday tradition, and my brother and I have carried this forward with our children. There are lots of lessons in a poker game. Play the hand you are dealt. There’s a price for overreliance on luck. And, for the truly gifted, you can win with a bad hand. (That was not me.)
Over the past several months, I’ve attended a number of HFMA conferences, hearing some great presentations. At the Mid America Summer Institute in Minneapolis, I reflected on lessons from poker and the future of our industry. The cartoon below summarizes my thoughts. As an industry, we need to recognize that new entrants are flocking to the table in the race to collect on the gross domestic product dedicated to healthcare. They won’t all have four aces, but that won’t stop them. The drive for wealth accumulation is too strong.
To thrive in this environment, our approach, strategies and focus must all transform. First and foremost, we need to understand our customers at a deeper, data-informed level. Second, our strategies must reflect that knowledge and engage in a manner that reduces friction in access, increases transparency and provides convenience.
Finally, we must realize these new entrants are not interested in providing 24/7 care to all those in need. They’re not focused on trauma- or end-of-life care or our most vulnerable populations. Our country needs us to get this right. We must lead to improve chronic care management, address the social determinants of health and close the rapidly growing gap in health equity. Ignite the Spark!