Health Business Blog

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

Preparing for value based payments. Podcast interview with MediQuire CEO Emily Chen

MediQuire CEO Emily Chen

Despite all the noise and dysfunction on healthcare in Washington, DC, the move toward value based payments is continuing apace. But providers and payers continue to straddle the fee-for-service and value-based worlds, slowing and complicating the transition.

MediQuire helps providers and payers measure, improve and get financial reward for improvements in performance and patient outcomes. In this podcast interview, CEO Emily Chen and I discuss:

  • The current state of affairs in value-based payment
  • How the value-based movement has changed (or not) since the new administration arrived in office
  • The key capabilities needed for success
  • How MediQuire helps
  • What the future holds

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

Massachusetts healthcare turmoil: I’m quoted in the Boston Globe, Herald and CEO Magazine

I’m always happy to speak with the press to provide my take on healthcare business and policy. In the last few days I’ve been quoted in a few outlets:

Today’s Boston Globe: In a sudden departure, Harvard Pilgrim CEO resigns amid questions about his behavior

Harvard Pilgrim and Partners each said Tuesday that Schultz’s resignation does not affect their discussions about a possible merger.

But David E. Williams, a Boston health care consultant, predicted the leadership change at Harvard Pilgrim would slow any other major moves by the insurer.

“I think it reduces the chance that a deal will happen, especially in the near term,” Williams said. “The Harvard Pilgrim board can’t deal with two major things at once. Partners will want to wait and see if something else shakes out at Harvard Pilgrim.”

Today’s Boston Herald: Harvard Pilgrim CEO resigns over ‘behavior’

Neither Schultz nor a company spokeswoman would comment on the nature of his behavior, or whether he is receiving any severance payments.

“I think the board is likely to be sensitive to that topic here,” said David Williams, president of Health Business Group. “Any expense is going to be borne in some ways by the customer.”

Yesterday’s Boston Globe: Beth Israel and Lahey say they want to learn from missteps in earlier merger

Beth Israel Deaconess and Lahey do seem to have much in common. Both have flagship medical centers and a network of community hospitals. Both are considered high-quality, and they have lower costs compared with the region’s largest hospital network, Partners HealthCare. On their own, both have struggled to compete with Partners, which includes the renowned Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.

“There’s a decent amount of compatibility and similarity,” said David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group, a Boston consulting firm. “BI and Lahey spent a lot of time getting to know one another and making sure that this is a good fit.”

The current edition of Chief Executive: Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush resigns: Avoiding a similar fate

In both cases, Sonnenfeld says the boards didn’t have the fortitude to stand up to the attacks. David E. Williams, president, Health Business Group in Boston, similarly seen this scenario play out before where a founding CEO is ousted by investors.

“It actually usually happens at an earlier stage than what you’re seeing here. What’s so noticeable here is that [the CEO] has been involved with the company for a long time and is a large publicly-traded company,” Williams says.


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

 

 

#CareTalk: The Pharma Pricing Problem

In the latest episode of #CareTalk, CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll and I discuss why drug prices are so high in the US and what should be done about it. We also touch on the nomination of a new VA Secretary, big data (worthy of the hype?), and healthcare mergers like the recently proposed tie up between Harvard Pilgrim and Partners.

Don’t miss the lightning round to hear about food stamps, restaurant calorie counts, Medicaid lifetime caps, and John’s personal health goal for the summer. You’ll also hear about Melania Trump’s Be Best campaign and get to see me model my Be Best Vest.

Amazon in healthcare: my HFMA keynote

Alexa: What can we expect from Amazon in healthcare? That was the title of my keynote address at last week’s Massachusetts/Rhode Island Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) managed care conference.

My basic message was that while other tech companies have stumbled in healthcare or at best made a bunch of money without really impacting the overall system, Amazon has the potential to do a lot more. It is still unlikely to transform the system, but it has the best shot.

In particular, Amazon has the potential to help shift healthcare to the home, and to surround patients with the full complement of lifestyle products and services to address social determinants of health and wellness. Amazon Prime, Echo, Dash and Key give Amazon unparalleled access to the home and make the company the default for any purchase.

Amazon Web Services is also a strategic asset as healthcare moves to the cloud; new devices like the Echo Look (introduced as a fashion assistant) have real potential in healthcare, too.

The company’s very long term outlook (which I illustrated with a reference to Jeff Bezos’ 10,000 year clock) and the fact that everyone is willing to provide Amazon with free advice, are also differentiators.

I shared my perspective on the Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JP Morgan cooperative venture as well, leaning on the thoughts I posted in Amazon: Force the healthcare system to become patient-centric.

If you’re looking for a conference speaker to hold forth on Amazon’s potential in healthcare –or another health business topic– please feel free to contact me.

Photo credit: HFMA

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