Tag: Eric Schultz

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

June 13th, 2018 by

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.



Happy 9th birthday to the Health Business Blog!

March 28th, 2014 by
Happy 9th birthday to the Health Business Blog!
Happy 9th birthday to the Health Business Blog!

The Health Business Blog turns nine years old this month. Continuing a tradition I established with birthdays onetwothreefourfivesixseven and eight I have picked out a favorite post from each month. Thanks for continuing to read the blog!

March 2013: Don’t worry, Obamacare won’t kill 99 cent value meals

Initial estimates of the costs of the Affordable Care Act to small employers were severely overstated. A new analysis shows a typical Wendy’s will spend about $5000 per year extra, not $25,000 as had been feared.

April 2013: The still-early state of online doctor reviews

There are several websites where consumers can see and post ratings of physicians. But the sites contain incomplete and sometimes misleading information. Some doctors are upset and going as far as suing for libel. In this post, I review the state of the sites.

May 2013: Harvard Pilgrim CEO Eric Schultz discusses consumer engagement and transparency

HarvardPilgrim HealthCare is consistently ranked as best health plan in the US and was the first health plan to select transparency vendor Castlight Health to provide patient-specific price information. CEO Eric Schultz lets us in on what he’s up to next.

June 2013: Fox guarding henhouse? Radiologists want to “control” radiation debate

I don’t know how you feel, but I’m not confident that people who make a very good living from CT scans should be the ones to decide how much radiation is reasonable for patients to be exposed to.

July 2013: Health care deal sites –I’m quoted and I’m skeptical

Daily deal sites like Groupon are (or were) all the rage, so it’s no wonder that healthcare-specific sites have also popped up. These are interesting to talk about but have little real-life impact on the healthcare market. The Dallas based NPR station did a piece on one such site and quoted me. Later, the national Marketplace show picked up the story.

August 2013: When Progressive’s Flo follows your health

Progressive’s Flo sure is perky. The company has a Snapshot device that is mounted in policyholders’ cars to monitor how safe their driving is. It may seem far-fetched, but I expect the same philosophy to be carried over into healthcare eventually. Are you ready to have Flo monitor your eating, drinking, and sexual behaviors?

September 2013: How a tough manufacturing process for Advair might help GSK

GSK has struggled with the manufacturing of the Advair inhaler for 15 years. But its woes are turning out to be a blessing in disguise because manufacturing has created an effect barrier to entry for generic challengers.

October 2013: Patients should not be responsible for telling doctors to wash their hands

I’m all for good hand hygiene and for participatory medicine. But I really dislike the notion that patients have to be the ones to police the handwashing practices of doctors and nurses. I’ll do it if I have to, but it’s pathetic if the profession has to resort to this.

November 2013: Reference pricing and the role of the government

Reference pricing for medical procedures constrains costs by capping the amount an insurer will pay for a procedure and making the patient pay the extra amount. The Wall Street Journal would have us believe that the use of reference pricing is a great argument for free market approaches in healthcare. But if anything, it demonstrates the inadequacy of the private sector to take on cost control.

December 2013: Ali Velshi interviews me about the ObamaCare rollout

I was interviewed live on Real Money with Ali Velshi about what’s going wrong and right in the rollout of federal and state health insurance exchanges. He’s balder than I am.

January 2014: Marijuana is not gay marriage

It’s tempting to draw parallels between the legalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana and in fact, both are gaining ground rapidly. But there are serious differences. I predict we’ll look back on gay marriage and wonder why we took so long to legalize it, while we’ll look back on marijuana legalization and kick ourselves.

February 2014: Health Business blog to post interviews with all Massachusetts candidates for Governor

Massachusetts voters deserve a substantive, competitive campaign for Governor this year. I have decided to do my part to foster a productive debate by conducting one-on-one interviews with each of the nine candidates on health care issues. Most of the candidates are well known in the health care world but even those with non-health care backgrounds have studied the issues and have credible ideas.


Thanks again for another great year!

By healthcare consultant David E. Williams of the Health Business Group