President Barack Obama's 2016 budget was formally released on Monday, February 2 and it details a number of proposals with implications for the healthcare marketplace, including providers, researchers and those companies that offer technologies and services to better support both. Most notably, recently announced initiatives to pursue precision medicine and combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria as well as a strong push around access-to-care initiatives.
As Obama described, the administration will launch a $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative "that brings America closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes and gives all of us access, potentially, to the personalized information that we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier." The president first introduced this initiative during his State of the Union address back on January 20th.
The newly revealed 2016 budget states that the administration will: "begin the establishment of a voluntary national research group of a million or more Americans; expand research to define cancer subtypes and identify new therapeutic targets; modernize the regulatory framework for DNA-sequence-based diagnostic tests; and enhance interfaces for electronic health records and patient-generated data in assessment of individual health and population-level trends."
The budget proposal also details the administration's $1.2 billion plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, highlighting its goal to cut the Clostridium difficile infections in half and reduce Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections by 60 percent by 2020.
In the access-to-care realm, Obama's budget requests funding for the following initiatives:
- $4.2 billion in 2016 for federally run Health Centers--which serve populations with limited access to healthcare--to support services for an estimated 28.6 million patients
- $810 million in 2016 and $2.1 billion from 2017-2020 to the National Health Services Corps to place and maintain 15,000 healthcare providers in underserved areas
- $5.25 billion over 10 years to support 13,000 new medical school graduate residents through an education program that provides incentives for high-quality physician training
Obviously, there are many factors that control the destiny of these initiatives, the largest of which is the new Republican majority’s appetite and willingness to support some or all of the proposals. But, let’s put politics aside for a minute. From an objective healthcare perspective, the proposed budget initiatives mentioned above speak to the larger trend within the healthcare market to increase the quality of care, reduce costs, and improve population health. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, the direction outlined in the budget further validates the significant move towards personalized medicine, something that many in the private sector have been driving for several years now and which gives providers a real shot at addressing the nation’s (and the world’s) most debilitating diseases.
At PAN we see a tremendous opportunity for those companies that play a significant role in developing treatments and therapies in the quest for truly personalized medicine, as well as those companies developing innovative new technologies and services that help providers to better access and utilize data that allows for more informed decisions at the point of care. In today’s communications landscape companies can utilize earned, owned and shared media, including traditional, online, social, and creative channels to rise above the din and make an impression with key stakeholders.
One of the best ways to accomplish this, especially in the ever-evolving healthcare market where expert voices are needed, is through a focused and aggressive thought leadership campaign that creates a persona for the company and its spokespeople and positions both as valued and credible resources. Are you doing truly innovative things in healthcare but have yet to let the market know? Are you looking to establish your company as a leader in your space, rise above the noise and clamor and generate impactful awareness that helps support the sales engine? PAN has 20 years helping companies and chief marketers who were once in your shoes…but are now sitting above the fray. Want to join them? Give us a call and let’s talk.