Home / Magazine / Watch / Jamie Heywood – What's more important in healthcare: cost or value?

Jamie Heywood – What's more important in healthcare: cost or value?

Jamie Heywood – What's more important in healthcare: cost or value?

Arc Fusion Dinner

Jamie Heywood launched with a photograph of his brother, Stephen, who died of ALS, and the extraordinary amount of money that was spent totreat him and keep him alive as long as possible. “Why would you want to spend less on health? Like, do we talk about wanting to spend less on entertainment?” Said Jamie. “Do we talk about wanting to spend less on cars or transportation or housing? It's a dumb, dumb question. What would be more important than health? Right? So the idea that we're talking about cost or the percentage is really stupid. It has nothing to do with what we spend... Stephen, in the work I did in my foundation and caring for him through his ALS, we probably spent $50 million trying to make him live longer. And I think we could have and should have spent more. I'm very critical of how we spent the money. Whether we got value from that.”

Jamie compared the cost versus value of a Lamborghini and a tractor which both cost $200,000. Which is important, and which delivers value? He then compared two drugs – one that costs $84,000 for a full course, and one that costs $54,000. The first one, he says, dramatically improves a patient’ s life; the second barely has an impact. He says that we need to ask the question: What is the right thing to do? And how do we measure this? ... Let's figure out how we generate value for every individual that receives care, at the time of care.”

Jamie Heywood

Jamie Heywood

PatientsLikeMe, United Health Care

Jamie is the co-founder and chairman of Patients-like-me. An MIT-trained mechanical engineer, Jamie entered the field of translational medicine when his 29 year old brother Stephen was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Described by CNNMoney as one of the 15 companies that will change the world, Jamie co-founded PatientsLikeMe to ensure patient outcomes become the primary driver of the medical care and discovery process.

Jamie is also the founder and past CEO of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world's first non-profit biotechnology company. During his tenure at ALS TDI, Jamie helped pioneer an open research model and industrialized therapeutic validation process that made ALS TDI the world's largest and most comprehensive ALS research program.

Jamie has founded or co-founded three other health care companies: AOBiome, Genetic Networks, and Love Steve, and is an active member of a community of innovators working to bring dramatic improvements to the way we discover, develop and deliver effective health.

Jamie and his brother were the subject of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jonathan Weiner's biography His Brother's Keeper and the documentary So Much So Fast.