Category: Policy and politics

What’s next for healthcare as Dems take the Senate?

published date
January 6th, 2021 by

It’s a momentous week in Georgia, Washington and these United States. In this special episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst, Brian Rye and I discuss the health policy implications of the likely 50+1 Democratic Senate majority. Listen in as we discuss drug pricing, Medicare Advantage, and the public option.

The HealthBiz podcast is available on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and  many more services. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Doing so helps the podcast reach more listeners.

Check out the rough (AI generated) transcript.


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

2020 hindsight. How my COVID-19 predictions fared

published date
December 30th, 2020 by

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Goodbye 2020

In this year-end episode of the HealthBiz podcast, I revisit my COVID-19 predictions from April and interim report card from September. Then I take a brief glimpse at what lies ahead in 2021.

As a reminder, here’s what I said:

  1. Treatment, not testing will be key to reopening the economy
  2. Hybridization (virtual/in-person mix) will be the new reality
  3. Public health post-COVID-19 will be like security post-9/11
  4. The federal government will grow even more powerful relative to everything else
  5. Immigration is over

The HealthBiz podcast is available on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and  many more services. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Doing so helps the podcast reach more listeners.

Check out the rough (AI generated) transcript of the episode. Click on a word if you want to start the podcast from a particular spot.

Happy New Year!

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

Delay = Death. We must speed up COVID-19 vaccinations

published date
December 30th, 2020 by

Israel is proceeding nearly 10x as fast as the US on COVID-19 vaccination. We need to accelerate dramatically right now in order to save tens of thousands of lives over the next several weeks. Use all the supply we have now, don’t hold it back at the federal, state or hospital level! Go 24×7.

I’m quoted in the Boston Globe (Biden, public health critics slam slower-than-promised pace of US COVID-19 vaccination rollout. “This should be D-Day right now,” said one expert. But it’s not.)

“Speed is what matters,” said David Williams, president of Health Business Group, a Boston management consulting firm. “This should be D-Day right now. But what’s happening nationally is it’s just being done in a bureaucratic manner and it’s not being done with the urgency you’d do in a civil defense or war-time exercise.”

Williams cited Oxford University data showing Israel, with a population not much bigger than Massachusetts, already has administered 5.68 doses per 100 people compared to the US total of 0.64 per 100.

Let’s get going!


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

Why is Massachusetts failing at COVID-19 vaccination?

published date
December 28th, 2020 by

Israel (population 9M) has already vaccinated 200,000 people against COVID-19 with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and expects to be injecting over 100,000 per day shortly.

Massachusetts (population 7M)  has injected only 35,000 so far. Here, as in many other states, half the doses are being saved as boosters and not injected out of fear that a future supply glitch could delay dosing from a supposedly magical 21 or 28 day target time.

In Israel, senior residences had multiple stations manned by the local equivalent of the Red Cross, and military personnel with medical training are being used as well. Israel is prepared to ramp up to a 24/7 vaccination schedule if needed. They are treating it as an emergency, which it clearly is.

In Israel, the teams are equipped with epinephrine to handle the occasional severe reaction, which seems to be an issue with both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Meanwhile, what is the actual logistical plan in Massachusetts? It seems pretty vague. I’ve heard from friends at Boston teaching hospitals (and read in the press) that distribution is a mess. There is general talk of drugstores like CVS and Walgreens providing shots. Are they going to be ready with epi-pens or just call 911?

And what about the idea of giving one shot instead of two if supply is tight? We might get to herd immunity faster if we applied creative approaches such as this one.

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

Niall Brennan brings data to the healthcare party

published date
November 19th, 2020 by

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HCCI CEO, Niall Brennan

Niall Brennan isn’t one to pull punches. From his perch as CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute he uses data to call out the moral and ethical failures of the US healthcare system. Insulin pricing, air ambulances, surprise billing, the pandemic. Whatever the topic, Brennan brings his sharp wit and deep reservoir of healthcare knowledge.

Before HCCI, Brennan was Chief Data Officer for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a staffer at Brookings, MedPac, the Congressional Budget Office and the Urban Institute. So his is the perspective of someone who knows what he’s talking about.

For reading, Niall recommends Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe about the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Island and Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), an autobiography by Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy.

The HealthBiz podcast is available on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and  many more services. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Doing so helps the podcast reach more listeners.

Below is a rough (AI generated) transcript of the episode. Click on a word if you want to start the podcast from a particular spot.



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