Do You Believe in Healthcare’s Moneyball Moment?

Abhinav Shashank
Tue 29 Nov 2016
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Do you know what is deeply attached and closest to all of us? What is that one thing that touches everyone and drives our sentiments? The more we care for anyone, the more we love someone, the more concerned we are about their health. Even if you come across news about someone from another side of the world losing the battle against health, it stirs up emotions. Healthcare is of paramount importance to anyone and no matter what, it should be affordable and equitable for everyone.

“Healthcare isn’t business as usual”

Just like in the movie Moneyball where Billy Beane asks his scouts what the problem is, we need to ask the same, what is the problem?  Today, the cost of healthcare is rising rapidly. So fast that affordability is becoming a question even for the government. We need some amendments, but we need to remember Healthcare isn’t business as usual!

We tend to approach the solution by making amends in the end goal. What if we tried in a new way? What if we make amends in the way we reach the end goal? We have got to think differently!

“Got to think differently”

Moneyball begins with Billy Beane asking for more money to make the team better, but his request was denied, yet he managed to lift the team with what he had!  Similarly, we don’t need more money to solve the problems in healthcare. Somewhere deep down, there must be thoughts, that if only we had more money we could make health care delivery much better, but we don’t. Approximately, $3 trillion are spent on health care annually in the US, which should be sufficient to help our cause.

“Do our best job”

There might be money constraints to address all the problems, but that shouldn’t stop us from giving our best. Value-focused organizations can improve the quality and reduce the cost of care without implementing extravagant procedures. Many organizations in the past have leveraged analytics to learn more about their past, best practices around and come up with an improved health care standards. I feel someone can, then anyone can!

“Asking the right questions”

What if we look at all of this differently? What if we try to approach the problems in the healthcare differently? What if instead of focusing more on curing, we focus more on preventing? Think of what all we can do in a reverse manner. For instance, what if we start medication procedures for a common disease like viral fever beforehand and prevent people from getting it? No need to cure something which has been prevented already!

“Finding value in what nobody else can see”

The possibility that random numbers can help in producing better results might seem odd. Just the way it did to scouts when decisions on players were being made on the basis of stats.

Healthcare is very different from Baseball.

In healthcare, acumen of learned clinicians clubbed with actionable insights could be major plus point and prove beneficial in the long run. Adapting technology and inculcating it to your practice for better medical procedures is not that common as much as it should be, the important thing is to leverage the best even if no one has been able to do.


In the movie, at one point Billy Beane had to remove a major player from roster and Peter Brand had his doubts. He knew that the system would work, but was skeptical of following it all the way. Billy asked him, “Do you believe in this or not?” Same way, it is imperative that we steer clear of doubts and believe in it to work.

I think it is very important for us to see what the best practices are and how could we bring innovation in it. I believe that it’s not just our jobs, but our role in a greater good which improves the health care standards. We might have hit a home run and not realizing it, just working effortlessly in oblivion. Billy Beane after seeing Jeremy hit home run shared his personal feeling about Baseball in question, “How can you not be romantic about Baseball?”

I feel everyone has set health care their priority; it’s just too close to everyone. The feeling of happiness of a newborn, the feeling of happiness in family members after a successful surgery, the feeling someone has when he finds that he is in good hands and he can have the chance of a normal life, and many other mixed emotions involved in health care.


“How can you not be emotional about health care?”


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Tags: Accountable Care, Healthcare
Abhinav Shashank
Do You Believe in Healthcare’s Moneyball Moment?

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