Top Ways Our Healthcare System seems Evil

America is Snake Bit“A Lot Of People In This Industry Are Just Evil”
(Jeff Kushner, founder Of Oscar Health)

That provocative quote from Josh Kushner at the 4th annual Clinton Health Matters Initiative, was aimed at the healthcare industry and reported by Forbes contributor Dan Munro. Josh was one of four panelists in a 90‒minute opening Plenary Session moderated by Former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton opened by lamenting that technology adoption in healthcare can take as long as 17 years and sarcastically said, “By all means let’s wait 17 years and let people die in the meanwhile.” He then asked Josh to begin a discussion of the issue. But what’s behind his claim of excessive greed or evil? I can’t speak for Josh directly, but here are the top 10 ways our healthcare system seems evil.

Excessive greed (evil?) is natural for an industry that:

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Precision Medicine vs Prevention & Wellness

Health iconsPresident Obama and the National Institutes of Health have announced a Precision Medicine Initiative that complements other programs for Prevention and Wellness. That’s important because too many diseases don’t have a proven means of prevention or effective treatments.

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How to Create a Safe and Stylish Home

How to Create a Safe and Stylish Home

With age comes wisdom, and thankfully, retirement. As you move from the hectic life of work and obligations to a home-centric life of leisure, you may need to take a look at the details of your home, particularly safety. Look to create a safer haven for you to age in, but don’t forget about style. There are several interior design tricks you can add to make sure you are protected without feeling like you’re restricted. Here are just a few areas to think about:  Read More …

Concussion Awareness

FallBy Thomas Barnet, Rehab Tech at Waccamaw Community Hospital

Concussion Awareness.
What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is usually caused by a sudden and/or forceful blow to the head or surrounding area. Concussions range in severity and are often described by their most blatant acute (short-term) symptom, unconsciousness. While athletes may be more prone to concussions, specifically those in contact sports, anybody can get one, including in “non-contact sports” such as baseball and soccerConcussions are also often seen in vehicular accidents, explosions in combat (military), or simple falls.

Symptoms generally associated with concussions include: Read More …

Find PURPOSE to Prevent Empty-Nest Boredom

Find PURPOSE to prevent Empty Nest BoredomThe kids are grown and out of the house, leaving you with more time on your hands than you’ve had in decades. While that feeling of freedom can be gratifying at first, after a while, it can also start to feel a little boring, especially if you’ve also retired. In fact, launching your children out into the world is considered to be one of the most difficult life transitions to face.

If your life has gotten rather mundane as of late, instead of sinking further into the doldrums, consider taking part in one or more of these activities that are sure to prevent empty-nest boredom, soothe your soul, and boost your happiness levels. Comment below to let us know about your favorite activity, even if it’s not on this list. Read More …

Digital Sensors, Activity Trackers & Quantified Self

FUTURE OF YOU is a 27-min video by KQED and QuestScience about digital sensors, activity trackers and the Quantified Self movement. From wearable activity trackers to personal genetics, it explores the new digital health revolution that is transforming the field of health care and scientific research, and is radically changing how we take care of ourselves and manage our health information.

What is Functional Medicine?

3-legged stoolI first encountered the term Functional Medicine a few years ago during a lecture by Dr. Lane Sebring at a World Future Society dinner. In keeping with the focus of this organization, he titled his talk The Future of Medicine is … Not Medicine, which links to my notes and a video of the 71-min lecture. Dr. Sebring looked to anthropology to understand why, even with modern medicine, many of our diseases today didn’t even exist about a century ago when Heart Disease was almost unknown and Cancer was rare, not even making the top 10 as a cause of death.

The more he looked into the cause of illness, the more he became disillusioned and frustrated with modern healthcare and the traditional practice of providing “sick care” and just another pill in a “disease management” system that profits from illness. To focus his practice on health & wellness, he became an expert in Functional Medicine, which he describes as a form of evolutionary, integrative, holistic, or alternative medicine. Read More …

Why doctors are so afraid of apples

Old Rotten AppleAs implied in An Apple a Day… the fruit and the smartphone can both keep doctors away, and that has many of them terrified for good reason.

Those at the top of the healthcare mountain especially fear the Healthcare MiniTrends, because they know 429 of the original Fortune 500 companies (1955) are no longer in business today. And they’re looking down at a new class of hungry competitors who are already exploiting these minitrends.

Let’s look at just two of the trends: (1) the new focus on wellness, and (2) new smartphone uses. Read More …

101 MiniTrends in Health Care

Watch for Trends Ahead

This image is from MiniTrends, a book by John Vanston that I strongly endorse. I’ve known John for years and did consulting work for his company, Technology Futures. His book inspired the vision of Modern Health Talk, because it helped me see unfulfilled opportunity at the intersection of trends. (Click image to see book)

“What the Hell is happening to health care?”

“And is it an Opportunity or a Threat?”

Insights by Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk.

An awful lot has changed in just the last few years and even more will change in the near future, with the aim of reducing (or at least containing) our health care costs. What’s behind these MiniTrends, and what is their implication for providers, payers and consumers? That’s the $1.5 trillion question. Here I talk about many, many MiniTrends–surely you can find 101 of them if you look! 

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

That quote is important, because 429 of the original Fortune 500 companies [1955] are no longer in business today. That’s a scary thought for those sitting at the top of the healthcare mountain, because they know they must adapt to the megatrend of health reform and Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) or die. And they are looking down with fear at the hungry competitors who are already exploiting the many related minitrends, because for them these are times of great opportunity.

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Reframing the Question of Doctor Frustration

Frustrated DoctorBy Dr. Stephen Schimpff

Editor: I just love this doctor’s thinking and have published several of his articles here. I’m happy to feature another one from HealthWorksCollective.

There has been a lot of interest in the Daily Beast article written by Dr Daniela Drake, about very frustrated primary care physicians (PCP.) She quoted both Dr Kevin Pho and myself. Dr Drake noted that nine of 10 doctors would not recommend medicine to their children as a career and that 300 physicians commit suicide each year. “Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking.”  Dr Pho offered his own commentary here pointing out that “it is important to have the discussion on physician dissatisfaction….demoralized doctors are in no position to care for patients…To be sure many people with good intentions are working toward solving the healthcare crisis. But the answers they’ve come up with are driving up costs and driving out doctors.” Read More …

Stroke and Sleep – Related

Here’s a story from AARP about TV personality Mark McEwen’s experience suffering from a Stroke. It prompted me to share some advice on how to avoid a stroke or reduce its effects.

 

For over 15 years, Mark McEwen was the face and voice of CBS’ morning show, until a misdiagnosed stroke almost killed him. Watch the inspiring story of how stroke changed Mark’s life forever, and how he fought to take back his life again. For more information on how to prevent stroke and know the symptoms visit stroke.org.

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Convincing Mom to Exercise

 

Convincing Mom to Exdercise

Image credit: Healthways FIT

Since the day you were born, you’ve never won a debate with your mom. It didn’t work when you wanted that G.I. Joe. It didn’t work when you wanted to take a late night ride in Tommy Lombardo’s Corvette. And it didn’t work when you thought replacing your bedroom door with a bead curtain was a good idea.

But convincing mom to hit the gym is a fight you have to win. And here’s all the ammunition you’ll need to counter her arguments. Read More …

Change Your Lifestyle, Save Your Life

Change Ahead -- but old habits die hardBy Sandy Getzky

Eating unhealthy foods occasionally or forgetting a workout one day won’t do much harm, but turning these into regular habits can affect your health. Although it’s tough to follow healthy habits when you’re not used to them, learning how is crucial for your well-being. Unhealthy habits increase your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Here are some tips to help you form healthier lifestyle habits, which can reduce the risk of these dangers. Read More …

The Value of Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine - Treating you and your body far beyond the symptoms of a particular illness or perceived limitations of aging is the most logical approach to wellness.By Stephen C Schimpff, MD

Beginning with a deep understanding of medical science and years of training and experience, the primary care physician (PCP) needs to delve deeply into the patient’s personal, family and social setting in order to fully understand the context and causes of the patient’s illness. The PCP also needs to know when it is important or even critical to call upon others with specific knowledge, techniques or approaches that might be best suited for a particular patient. Sometimes this means calling in the cardiologist, the surgeon, the gastroenterologist or the psychiatrist. But it may also mean making good use of other modalities and practitioners such as chiropractic, social work, acupuncture, psychology, massage, nutritional therapy, exercise physiology [and sleep medicine]. Read More …

Managing My Costs of Care [ESSAY]

MedicaidDollarsManaging My Costs of Care is a well-written essay by Jay Warner.

I recommend it, because this one example shows just how easy it “should” be to cut healthcare costs in half to get down to what the rest of the world pays — for better care and outcomes — and save $1.5 trillion/year. It all comes down to getting the incentives right, because with employer-provided health insurance, Jay had no incentive (or ability) to comparison shop. Now he does.

The healthcare landscape is changing as payers pressure providers for more price transparency and seek other ways to contain costs and maintain profitability now that they can no longer cherry-pick the healthiest customers or cut them off when care gets too expensive.

Other disruptive changes include remote sensor monitoring (telemedicine) that can follow trends and identify problems earlier, remote consultations (telehealth) that can replace in-person office visits, medical tourism when it’s less expensive and has better outcomes than local surgeries, and an overall shift away from the fee-for-service insurance model. That model once served as pre-paid medical care, but now payers are starting to view insurance as protection against catastrophic illness and injury with consumers paying for the small stuff out of pocket. With that trend comes two others: (1) increased competition and (2) an increased focus on overall health and wellness, including nutrition, exercise, and sleep as it’s pillars.

A side benefit of wellness, beyond dramatic reductions in health care costs, is improved safety and performance. Restorative sleep, for example, is associated with improved alertness, attention, creativity, decision-making, focus, learning ability, mood, reaction & recovery times, and working memory, all of which contribute to better grades at school, better productivity at work and in sports, and fewer motor vehicle accidents and deaths.

Going on a Cruise? How to Stay Healthy On Board

Going on a CruiseCruises are a great way to see the world, and if you haven’t gone on one yet, you probably know at least a few people who’ve come home raving about how wonderful it was. Cruises are also fertile ground for illnesses like the norovirus, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says causes more than 90 percent of cruise ship diarrhea outbreaks.

No one wants to get sick on vacation. Keep in mind that while incidents do happen, in general, they’re few and far between. The best way to reduce your risk of illness is to be prepared and take some common sense safety precautions. Read More …

How a Specialist Nurse can Help with Dementia

By Rohit Agarwal

Dementia is a series of mental illnesses, sadly most of which are seen as incurable. One of the most commonly found dementia case is Alzheimer’s, which comprises of about 75% of all dementia patients. Dementia has a direct effect on a person’s ability to think and reason. It also affects the patient’s short term memory and basic problem solving. It is thus important for nurses involved with the care of dementia patients to be well aware of the patient’s needs and should be able to handle all situations without making the patient feel the loss of control. Here are some tips for a Specialist Dementia Nurse while taking care of patients.

nurse

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/felbrycollege/

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Poverty in America — living below The Line

The Line is an important documentary that covers the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They have goals. They have children. They work hard. They are people like you and me. Across America, millions are struggling every day to make it above The Line.

As shown in the Stats below and the accompanying infographic, poverty is a drag on the economy that also affects the cost of healthcare, as I’ve written before in this blog. Read More …

Food versus Medicine [Infographic]

Food vs Medicine ThumbWhile mHealthTalk is mostly about tech solutions for home health care and aging-in-place, we recognize the role of these pillars of good health:

  1. Nutrition,
  2. Exercise, and
  3. Sleep.

That’s why we occasionally publish articles on those topics and why today we feature this infographic by a website that helps students find and compare nursing programs. After the infographic is a summary of key points for automated screen readers to aid people with visual disabilities. Read More …

Health Care Disruption

Health Care Disruption“Can We Disrupt Health Care Even More?” That was the question posed by Commonwealth Fund, which is looking for the next big breakthrough in health care. I responded with what is included in today’s post.

First, Get the Incentives Right

Beyond innovative Technologies and new Business Models, the biggest disruption to health care will come with new Incentives that cause changes in behavior among patients, payers, and providers.

The Affordable Care Act has already had a very large influence, but more meaningful disruption won’t come easy. That’s because of the corrupting power of big money in politics. With $3 trillion/year at stake, the medical industrial complex, representing entrenched incumbents with lots to lose, spends twice as much on lobbying as the military industrial complex. Read More …