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Healthcare Utility Initiative

Nurturing a new way to do business in healthcare for the benefit of all

Our mission

To improve access to affordable healthcare for everyone by developing, refining and supporting new, disruptive not-for-profit business models.

The challenge

Healthcare has an incredibly effective innovation engine. Its technological advances have been instrumental at increasing life expectancy by two to three months every year over the past century. However, in contrast to other industries, these technological advances have not yielded massive cost reductions that enable access for all. Quite the contrary, healthcare is becoming ever more expensive and exclusive. Technical innovation is rapid but service innovation remains slow and institutional barriers and market failures abound.

While the sharp end of the innovation plough produces fertile soil we are, as a society, not able to reap the full benefits for all because we lack effective businesses that operate in the furrow of the plough. These businesses take known innovations and integrate them into novel service models to ensure that these innovations reach society as a whole at affordable cost.

A joint global strategic initiative between Cambridge Judge Business School and SSM Health.

SSM Health.

The vision – healthcare utilities

Utilities, like water and electricity companies, do not offer a tailored service to a chosen market segment but instead deliver a high-quality product or service to all customers at equal and low cost. Our vision is to develop rapidly scalable not-for-profit business models for service innovation in healthcare, based on the concept of a healthcare utility. These business models radically change the way we deliver healthcare and boost competition in a societally beneficial way, without limiting access or increasing costs.

A healthcare utility is a self-sustaining non-stock corporation with a social mission, formed by healthcare institutions to commoditise essential products and services and provide them at the lowest sustainable cost, using a focused, transparent and scalable business model.

Read "The Health Care Utility Model: A Novel Approach to Doing Business"

Read "Disruptive Collaboration: A Thesis for Pro-Competitive Collaboration in Health Care”

Read "What Is the Health Care Utility Model, and How Can It Transform Health Care? A Q&A With SSM Health's Lead Futurist Carter Dredge”

Carter Dredge on Leadership in Healthcare and the Healthcare Utility concept at the BKD 2021 Health Leader Summit

Read "How Venture Philanthropy Can Disrupt Health Care: Lessons from Civica Rx”

Case studies

  • CivicaRx is a disruptor in the US generic medicines market. Its focused mission is to make generic medicines accessible and affordable to everyone.
  • CivicaScript is a subsidiary of CivicaRx, focused on bringing lower-cost generic medicines to millions of people across US.
  • Graphite Health is a not-for-profit company with a mission to establish a trusted digital ecosystem composed of an interoperable data platform and application marketplace that will drive the digital advancement of healthcare for patients. An Introduction to Graphite Health

Initiative leads

Carter Dredge

Lead Futurist, SSM Health, St. Louis, USA

Stefan Scholtes

Dennis Gillings Professor of Health Management

PhD (Karlsruhe University)

Contact us

For more information, contact Patrick Kampert.

[email protected]