Joe Flower | Visionary Healthcare Futurist

Joe Flower

Visionary Healthcare Futurist

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San Francisco, CA, United States

Joe Flower

Update: All Hands On Deck! "Because healthcare is on fire," Flower tells us, "with the biggest national conversation ever about how to fix it, but with little of real information about how healthcare actually works, why it is so insanely expensive, what we can do about that--and what the healthcare industry will have to do to adapt to these drastic possibilities. I want to help. Over these coming months, I want to get out there a lot in videos and articles and behind the podium to influence the conversation as much as possible."
Joe Flower thinks differently and has always maintained his independence as an analyst and visionary of healthcare. He recognized long ago that healthcare could not possibly make sense until seen as a system-as-a-whole. He has devoted his long career to understanding the dynamics of this complex adaptive system, observing the multi-level interactions of deep, underlying trends in technology, demographics, and economics that have driven the evolution (or devolution) of the healthcare that we know today. Flower has interviewed many in and outside of healthcare who have driven conceptual and technological innovation, and has learned from their mistakes. It's all brought him to a vision of a future healthcare that is far better, far more available, and far less expensive than today's, a future that is achievable and, in some places, is being achieved.Flower is the author of thousands of articles, millions of words, and a string of books over the last 40 years on healthcare, currently a contributing editor at and His most recent two books explore the practical possibility of a better healthcare system that costs half as much, and the trends and tools that may be getting us there: Healthcare Beyond Reform (2012) and How To Get What We Pay For: A Handbook for Healthcare Revolutionaries (2015).Flower's hundreds of speaking and consulting clients have included a wide array of organizations from the U.N.'s World Health Organization, the U.S. Defense Department, and the Centers for Disease Control, to governments around the world, most U.S. state and Canadian provincial hospital associations, many Fortune 500 companies, the giants of the health insurance industry, major medical systems such as Kaiser, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins, to small community hospitals and associations of free clinics.When he's not traveling or at the computer keyboard, he plays guitar, hosts the Writer's Conference on The Well, or reads history and economics until his eyes cross.

Joe Flower
Featured Videos

Current: Healthcare Futurist

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Joe Flower
Featured Keynote Programs

The Big National Conversation About Healthcare
What's Missing?

Healthcare is the biggest topic ever, #1 on voter's minds, everyone has a plan. It's a failed system, how do we change it, make it cheaper, make it work for everyone?

The problem? Healthcare is not only insanely expensive, it's insanely complex—so it's easy to mask what makes it so expensive and what we can do about it. In any system, over-priced healthcare will be restricted, rationed, out of reach for many.

If we're going to change healthcare, we have to know how it really works. We certainly don't get deep insight or complex awareness from the media opinion spouters and policy posers on our screens, or in the candidates' various plans and pronouncements.

So let me explain. Seriously, this has been my entire career for 40 years: understanding the arcane, one-of-a-kind economics and politics of healthcare as a system, and conveying that knowledge in terms that anyone can understand.

In one session I will break down the complexities: the feedback loops, the hidden incentives, the political maneuverings, and the vast changes and opportunities coming. Your audience will get it in ways they never did before.

Healthcare Apocalypse? Looking Five Years Ahead

The political arena is aroar with multiple drastic plans to change healthcare dramatically—at the very moment that the vast system is both consolidating and deconstructing, facing new disruptive entrants, shifting from insured fee-for-service to alternatives, and being transformed by new technologies.

It's complicated and it's scary. What will happen to your organization and your career? What should we do now when we don't know what's happening? Five years out, is it smoking wreckage to the horizon?

We can do better at seeing our way forward. I'll break down the big trends happening now, then cross them with four political scenarios: three different possibilities of big reform, plus the less-discussed but definite path that the current administration is already taking in its attempts to bring the cost of healthcare down.

In one intense session of sober, realistic futurism, you will get a better sense of what healthcare might look like in five years, what your organization's role in it could be, and what paths you personally should be considering right now.

Healthcare 2029
The Big Reveal

Drawing from a Table of Elements in Healthcare

Beyond the fog, haze, and chaos of the debates of 2019 something is forming, an ecology of futures that grow from the interaction of new technologies, new pathways of care, and new economics. Flower calls these The Table of Elements of Healthcare. These deep disruptive trends will mix and re-combine to shape healthcare in ways that are more powerful and fundamental than today’s political shifts.

Picture: Blockchain and artificial intelligence meet reference pricing, personal medicine and population health. And there are others, some you may be innovating with, others you may not have considered: new patient-centered tech, DIY healthcare and the quantified self, mobile tech linked up into 24/7 distributed care, medical automation and Big Data analytics, population health management, and seamless coordination, among others. What will it look like when various elements – the new systems and new tech – recombine and actually work? What will the Next Healthcare look like, day to day, for clinicians, healthcare leaders, patients, parents, employers? In this talk, you’ll take the imaginative journey and learn a framework for choosing the elements that will get you where you want to go.

Take a sneak peek with Joe Flower, hopeful and bracing; subtle and dazzling; and visionary, yet deeply practical.

Joe Flower
Featured Books

How to Get What We Pay Forby Joe Flower

How to Get What We Pay For

by Joe Flower
Healthcare Beyond Reformby Joe Flower

Healthcare Beyond Reform

by Joe Flower

Joe Flower
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Joe Flower

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