Saul Marquez’s weekly Outcomes Rocket podcast features interviews with healthcare leaders sharing lessons on best practices to improve outcomes and business success. I’m featured in the latest edition, discussing hot topics, how to tackle costs, value based care, and suggested areas of focus for 2018.
“Beware the Ides of March” –Soothsayer to Julius Caesar “Fear not the Ideas of March” –Health Business Blog to the wonkosphere
Your friendly neighborhood drug dealer
Count on Drug Channels to make sense of even the most convoluted pharmacy business models –and convoluted they are. This time the topic is the emerging trend of point-of-sale (POS) rebates. Did you know that many pharmacy benefit plans act like reverse insurance, with the sickest members subsidizing the healthiest? POS rebates start to right this wrong and bring forth uncomfortable questions such as: Where have the rebates been going until now?
Managed Care Matters shares its perspective that the Administration’s efforts to undermine the ACA have yielded bitter fruit on the marketplaces. Some premiums are up by 30% and meanwhile Congress is doing little or nothing.
Two years ago you couldn’t read the news without hearing about the disastrous premium increases due to “Obamacare,” but the media is silent now.
So what’s going on? Our blogger has a theory: The media is being manipulated and chasing bright, shiny objects.
Skimpy is as skimpy does
InsureBlog likes CMS’s proposal to restore the maximum policy length of short-term medical plans to 12 months from three. That’s even though some news outlets call the plans “skimpy” and some healthcare policy analysts consider such plans to be leeches on Obamacare, because they may siphon the healthiest people out of the marketplace risk pool and drive up premiums.
Location location location
When my son was a toddler, we trained him to say “location location location” when asked, ‘what are the three most important things about real estate?’ I still remember him driving a realtor crazy when one tried to pitch us on a house we didn’t like.
Now, Workers Comp Insider has decided that location is destiny in healthcare, too, declaring ‘It’s the Zip Code Stupid.’ Insider cites a recent JAMA Internal Medicine study that shows geography is “the biggest X-Factor in today’s American Hellzapoppin version of healthcare.”
Location: Wonk zone
The Hospital Leader (not to be confused with the Dear Leader) helpfully explains that “We need creative solutions” really means “the problem we are trying to solve has no answer.” Case study: Hospitals, hospice and SNFs – The big deceit.
A pending bill seeks to establish a state-based individual mandate in New Jersey. But a provision targeting employees of small businesses could inhibit Association Health Plans from selling insurance that does not comply with small group rules. Xpostfactoid explains.
Who knew? Health Care Renewal informs us that the ostensibly libertarian Washington Legal Foundation has become a front for healthcare corporate leaders –and leaders from other fields— to operate with impunity. The foundation’s campaign to abolish the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine failed, but the damage was done. (Hat tip to Health Care Renewal for anticipating today’s theme by including “methinks” in its cover note.)
My main job is president of Health Business Group, a boutique healthcare strategy consulting firm I founded in 2003. As a sideline, I write the Health Business Blog, where I provide a behind the scenes look at the business of healthcare, featuring my spin on healthcare topics in the news, interviews with entrepreneurs and policy prescriptions.
The blog is turning 13 years old today! Continuing a tradition I established with birthdays one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve, I have picked out a favorite post from each month. Thanks for continuing to read the blog!
I spoke with iCardiac’s CEO about electronic clinical outcome assessment (eCOA) platforms that collect data from patients, clinicians and caregivers to make clinical trials more efficient and accurate.
I served on the board of iCardiac for several years. Later in 2017 I helped arrange the company’s sale to ERT.
One of the advantages of having such an old blog is that it gives me the chance to go back to posts from years earlier when an old topic is revived. In this case, the USPSTF did what I suggested on PSA screening –of course I probably wasn’t the one who made it happen!
As a scrappy, lower cost –and private equity owned– community based system, Steward isn’t popular with the big, academic health systems in Massachusetts. Those systems may actually breathe a sigh of relief to see Steward turn its sights out of state.
I have been predicting for a while that if Republicans actually manage to poison Obamacare they will come to regret it, since it may hasten the rise of a single payer –truly socialist– system. It won’t happen right away but we’re moving in that direction.
As an economics graduate, MBA, and entrepreneur I’m a fan of the free market system. The invisible hand is a beautiful thing, and it’s certainly been good for me. A healthcare management consultant and board member, I make my living from the business of health.
But look closely at some free-market elements of US healthcare –like the cost containment industry for out-of-network payments– and you’ll be hard pressed to defend them.
October was a bad month for me, since I got hit by a car while crossing the street as a pedestrian. I won’t call it a silver lining, but my injuries did bring me into direct contact with various elements of the healthcare system. Amazon let me down on delivery of an OTC painkiller. I wouldn’t trust them (yet) with a prescription.
SilkRoad Technology co-founder Brian Platz has turned his attention to blockchain, with Fluree, a new Public Benefit Corporation that has introduced a scalable blockchain database for decentralized applications. Fluree is not healthcare specific, but there is a lot of potential for blockchain.
Many of the stories about CVS’s proposed acquisition of Aetna suggest that the deal is a bold move to expand CVS’s retail clinic business. This seems like silly reasoning. I explore a more plausible and cynical rationale.
Amazon is teaming up with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to create a new healthcare business to serve the companies’ employees. But all we hear about is Amazon’s role, while the other two are barely mentioned. Are they just along for the ride?
In this episode of #CareTalk, my monthly videocast with CareCentrix CEO John Driscoll, we tackle this question along with other meaty topics including big data, the CDC, Apple and Medicaid.