Happy 4th birthday to the Health Business Blog

The Health Business Blog is four years old with over 2000 posts. Continuing a tradition I established with birthdays one, two, and three, I’ve picked out a favorite post from each month.

March 2008: Biting the hand that feeds you, sutures you, fills your prescription…

Immigrants are key to the US economy, especially in health care. Quite a bit of the anti-immigration fervor has focused on how immigrants (legal and illegal) put a strain on the health care system. I’m sympathetic to specific communities where this occurs, but overall immigrants provide a lot more to the US health care system than they receive.

April 2008: Chastising Aimee

An insurer-owned website provides information for doctors and patients about the amount of radiation associated with various scans. I like the site because it raises awareness about radiation exposure and provides alternative recommendations patients can discuss with their physicians. Some radiologists are unhappy about it, though, and I respond to their critique.

May 2008: Grand Rounds 4:34 at the Health Business Blog

I hosted Grand Rounds for the fourth or fifth time (depending on how you count). iPhluoroscope and Liquitor were my favorites, not that Doc Gurley will be impressed.

June 2008:  Entrepreneurs to the rescue of the US health care system

Entrepreneurs and private industry more generally are underappreciated assets in the health care reform debate. Some entrepreneurs are already helping the US turn the corner on the key dimensions of quality, cost, access and patient safety. We should encourage politicians to create the conditions under which such entrepreneurs can thrive.

July 2008: Another double digit premium increase. Wal-Mart, can you help me?

Year after year my consulting firm’s health insurance premium rises by more than 10 percent. I hope Wal-Mart can be part of the solution to this problem.

August 2008: Are prescription drugs going the way of Napster, YouTube and iTunes?

The distribution of prescription pharmaceuticals is beginning to take on some of the characteristics of online videos and music. We can predict the evolution of the Rx market by studying these consumer phenomena.

September 2008: Teach a man to fish… and you kill off the next generation of women

In Kenya, female fishmongers develop sexual relationships with fishermen and middlemen in exchange for fish. But with fish scarce, the men are demanding a higher “price” –demanding sex with the fishmongers’ younger relatives. The result: rampant HIV.

October 2008: Podcast interview with Dr. Daniel Roubein, CEO of Telerays (transcript)

Telerays provides a platform for hospitals and imaging centers to connect with radiologists. Radiologists bid on the interpretation needs of customers (e.g., 100 CT scans), Telerays handles the logistics and takes a commission. I interviewed the CEO.

November 2008: Depression 2009: What won’t it look like?

The Boston Globe laid out what it thought a modern day Depression would look like. I took issue with the assertion that demand for health care would increase. I expect demand to decline.

December 2008: Generic biologics –or Me Too Drugs 2.0?

Big pharma companies are entering the market for “generic biologics.” I argue that this market will be more like the traditional “me-too” big pharma blockbuster model than like the generics pharmaceuticals market. Policymakers should regulate the price of off-patent biologics rather than allowing the me-too market to develop.

January 2009: Patient without a name. Waitlist without a number

Free-market purists like to talk about waiting lists for care in countries with socialized medicine. Yet we have waiting lists right here in Boston. I got called an “incompetent commie” for writing this one, which was a first for me!

February 2009: “CEO on the street” reactions to the Transforming Healthcare 2009 Summit

After the recent Transforming Healthcare 2009 Summit I wandered the floor looking for reactions of health care CEOs in the audience. I caught up with six of them and recorded their quick thoughts.

Esteemed reader, thank you for your continued indulgence!

March 9, 2009

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