Health Business Blog

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

BI Lahey to buy Joslin Diabetes. I’m quoted in the Boston Globe

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Goodbye independent Joslin

Diabetes is a costly illness that affects tens of millions of Americans. Joslin Diabetes Center is a world renowned specialist located in the heart of Boston’s Longwood Medical Center. It seems like it should be booming, but in fact diabetes treatment is not a great business and Joslin has not had strong financial performance.

Cancer, cardiology and orthopedics –with their invasive procedures– are much better for making money. But good diabetes care means coordinating lots of people to examine and guide the patient. That’s expensive to provide but not well reimbursed.

And standalone specialty hospitals, even prestigious ones, need strong connections to integrated health systems if they want patients.

So it’s no surprise that Beth Israel Lahey plans to acquire Joslin. As I told the Boston Globe (Beth Israel Lahey Health plans to acquire Joslin Diabetes Center), the deal makes clinical and financial sense and is unlikely to attract regulatory scrutiny.

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

ICER founder Dr. Steve Pearson explains COVID-19 remdesivir pricing model

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Dr. Steve Pearson

Drug pricing is the hottest topic in healthcare, and ICER founder Dr. Steve Pearson is the coolest person to discuss it with.

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Steve describes how the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) compiles and analyzes clinical evidence to estimate the fair value of treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses. ICER has been especially active during the pandemic, developing a pricing model for remdesivir and other COVID-19 therapies that’s being used in the United States and by health technology assessment agencies around the world.

For fun, he has been reading Paradise Lost by John Milton.

This is the second episode I’ve recorded on COVID-19 drug pricing. Check out the first one: Remdesivir powers activate! with Dr. Surya Singh.

The HealthBiz podcast is now on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and  many more services, making it easy to subscribe.

Below is a rough (AI-generated) transcript of the episode.



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

 

Jean Mixer: Podcast interview with Boston Children’s digital health maven

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Jean Mixer

Jean Mixer has been guiding Boston Children’s Hospital into the digital future for the past seven years, so she was more than prepared when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and suddenly everyone was forced to go remote. I first met Jean at Boston Consulting Group in the 1990s when she led growth strategy projects in healthcare, financial services and consumer goods. We stayed in touch and reunited five years ago when Health Business Group helped Jean put the Children’s digital strategy in place.

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Jean traces her journey from JP Morgan to BCG to her own consulting practice and then to Boston Children’s. She shares her experience as a director of public companies in biotech, medical devices, and banking. And she explains what she’d do if she had a time machine.

The HealthBiz podcast is now on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and  many more services, making it easy to subscribe.

You can check out the rough (AI-generated) transcript below.



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

Friends do business together: Podcast interview with Clerio Vision’s Totterman and Zapesochny

Mike Totterman and Alex Zapesochny grew up on the same street of immigrants in Rochester, NY. Two decades later they joined with Sasha Latypova to co-found iCardiac Technologies, a high-tech success story that helped pharmaceutical companies measure cardiac safety in clinical trials. Now, with Clerio Vision they’re plotting to revolutionize the world’s eyesight with innovative contact lenses and a noninvasive procedure to replace LASIK. I’ve been along for the ride, as an investor and board member in both companies.

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Alex and Mike talk about entrepreneurship, spinning technologies out of universities, making partnerships last, and what they do in their spare time. 

As I re-listened to the interview, I was struck by the wisdom they shared about how to turn a cool technology into a real business. It’s hard to do but there are some best practices to follow.

The HealthBiz podcast is now on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and  many more services, making it easy to subscribe.

Show notes:

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

Is ransomware unstoppable? No, it isn’t

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This is stoppable

Chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about cyberattacks and specifically ransomware in healthcare lately. Attackers take over systems and encrypt files, demanding payment in Bitcoin. They often get away with it.

Attacks like the recent ones on Universal Health Services and ERT that make the papers are just the tip of the iceberg. No one wants to report that something like this happened to them.

Until recently, I had assumed that such attacks were really hard to stop. Some are. But it turns out there are often many ways to thwart ransomware, and often hours or even days in which to do so.

I asked security experts at Gamayan to analyze the UHS attack and was amazed that they found at least 28 ways it could be stopped. Check out the UHS ransomware case study that breaks down the attack and potential response step by step.

If you want to learn how to prevent such attacks at your organization, contact me.

Here’s the timeline of the attack:

Day 1

16:37 Bazar Malware Executed (Remote IP)

16:48 Domain discovery commands

17:06 Registry discovery commands

17:28 More domain discovery and network checks to domain controllers

17:41 AdFind used to map active directory

Day 2

18:49 checks again for domain trusts and AdFind using Bazar (FTP exfiltration to remote IP)

20:12 First lateral movement attempt with WMIC (SMB transfer, Multiple payloads tried)

20:23 P64.exe Cobalt Strike beacon run on beachhead host (Remote IP)

21:04 Second P64.exe Cobalt Strike beacon dropped on beachhead host (New remote IP)

21:09 Next lateral movement attempt via a service and PowerShell (First Successful Lateral Movement)

21:10-22:06 Continual lateral movement using Cobalt Strike beacons via SMB across the environment

21:43 Windows Defender begins to be disabled using Powershell commands

21:45 First RYUK ransomware executable transferred to the backup system (Ryuk Executed)

21:50-22:10 RYUK ransomware deployed enterprise-wide (Transferred via SMB, executed RDP commands)

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