Health Business Blog

Health care business consultant and policy expert David E. Williams share his views

On-demand market research: Podcast with InCrowd co-founder Diane Hayes

InCrowd co-founder Diane Hayes

Diane Hayes is Co-founder and President of InCrowd, an on-demand market research company specializing in healthcare and life sciences.

In this podcast interview we covered:

  • (0:10) What does InCrowd offer? How does it differ from others?
  • (3:26) Who are the customers? Who do you work with at the client?
  • (5:05) How has market research changed in biopharmaceuticals?
  • (7:10) What are you seeing from respondents? How do you combat survey fatigue?
  • (9:47) What will change going forward? What impact will it have on inCrowd?
  • (12:00) You and your co-founder came out of life sciences. Is there anything differentiated or unique about how you set up the company?

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Getting a handle on health insurance data: Podcast with Vericred CEO Mike Levin

Mike Levin, Vericred Founder and CEO

A huge ecosystem of technology companies has sprung up with tools to shop for health insurance, search drug coverage, administer HR and benefit plans, make physician appointments and more. They all need accurate, accessible, and detailed data on topics such as health plan design and rates, provider network participation and drug formularies in order to succeed. It’s remarkably difficult and expensive to obtain and maintain the data, and this has created an opportunity for a specialized company —Vericred— to perform the function as a utility for the whole industry.

I’m excited by the opportunity and recently joined the board of Vericred to help guide the company’s growth. In this podcast, I interview founder and CEO Mike Levin about the market and how Vericred is addressing it.


  • (0:15) What are some of the key data challenges in the health insurance market?
  • (1:53) Why are these problems so tough? Don’t other industries have similar issues?
  • (6:23) So what’s the problem? With consumerization you have all these new players springing up and health plans just need to work with them, right?
  • (7:40) What are the typical approaches to addressing these problems? Are the problems being solved?
  • (9:16) You talk about “liberating” the data. Doesn’t that scare health plans?
  • (11:11) What does Vericred do to address these issues? Are you gaining traction?
  • (15:03) Who are your customers?
  • (17:10) Are there analogs in other industries or this is a unique beast for healthcare?
  • (18:13) What changed with the passage of Obamacare and emergence of the marketplaces? And what is the impact of recent actions to undermine Obamacare?
  • (20:23) How did you get involved with founding the company? How did it go from concept to implementation?
  • (22:44) What changes do you expect in 2018? How is the company evolving to keep pace?

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

#CareTalk: Good riddance to 2017

Let’s face it, 2017 was not a great year for healthcare policy. In this last edition of 2017, CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll and I look back on the worst of the worst and the best of the worst, and look forward with hope to 2018.


(0:21) What were the best and worst things to happen in healthcare policy this year?

(3:05) Who should be afraid of Amazon’s entrance into healthcare?

(5:15) Are the hospital mergers a good or bad thing? Do they matter?

(6:41) Is there hope for healthcare policy in 2018?

(9:01) Does the election of Doug Jones for the US senate have any broader implications in the US?

(9:43) Will the Apple watch impact healthcare or is it all hype?

(10:25) David and John discuss their healthcare hopes for 2018.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

CHIPping away at the social contract

And then there were none

Long before the arrival of the Obama Administration with its explicit goal of expanding health insurance coverage to everyone, the country had achieved consensus on the need to insure all children. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), first enacted in 1997, enables relatively low income families who don’t qualify for Medicaid to get low cost, high quality insurance for their kids.

Congress let funding for the program expire at the end of September. CMS and the states have been scrambling to shift other funds around to keep the program going. But time is now running out.

Alabama looks to be the first state that will have to close its CHIP program, according to Kaiser Health News. Seven thousand kids will be tossed off on January 1 (Happy New Year!) and tens of thousands more would exit a month later. Within a few months, all 9 million CHIP-covered kids across the US will be gone.

CHIP has had a dramatic effect in lower income states like Alabama, where the childhood uninsured rate dropped from 20 percent in 1997 to under 3 percent in 2015. Prior political fighting over CHIP funding back in 2004 led to long-lasting damage to the program, and we can expect the same or worse this time.

I cheered the election of Doug Jones in Alabama, and find it notable that his first pronouncement was a plea to Congress to fund CHIP even before he is seated. If everyone looked out for their constituents the way Doug does, this wouldn’t be an issue at all.