Look, there’s nothing wrong with the Triple Aim objectives. What’s wrong is that its most prominent advocates–some of the most influential health care experts in the country–have focused so heavily on that ideological approach to health care policy that they have absented themselves from the real battles over power, money, customer choice, and cost. They are losing ground every day. While they glance elsewhere, the Triple Aim is being turned on its head: The individual experience of care will degrade; the health of populations will decline; and the per capita costs of care for populations will rise.
Perhaps a better line to describe the current state of wellness programs would be “If you build it, and spend a lot of money to incentivize people to use it, they will come – but they probably won’t stay or change their behavior long-term.” Not as catchy, but certainly more accurate. Fortunately, a gradual shift is beginning to take place, in which we’re learning from the failures of big and broad and zeroing in on a more focused and effective approach to wellness.