Posts Tagged ‘public policy’
Doctors are just as frustrated with our fee-for-service “sick care” system as patients are. Following on the heels of a related article from a few days ago by Dr. Stephen Schimpff, today’s post introduces an NPR article featuring an in-depth interview with cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar, MD, who wrote the book, Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician. It begins…
“As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary. It was ‘made very clear from the beginning’ that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business.”
Read the rest at NPR or listen to the full interview.
“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! (I suggest attending MiniTrends 2014 (Sept. 26) to learn how to find even more.)
“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  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.
As incredibly innovative and efficient as telehealth is at providing greater access to care for consumers, lowering healthcare costs for both patients and healthcare systems, and improving outcomes, barriers have always existed that hinder the widespread adoption of telehealth. Yet recently, issues such as state requirement hurdles, reimbursement limitations, and a general resistance from physicians to learn and integrate new technologies into their care routines are quickly evaporating in the wake of the overwhelming proof of telemedicine’s many benefits. Read the rest of this entry »
Managing 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.
Shared with permission from MEDCITY News, by Dan Verel, 7/25/2015
While much attention has been heaped on the public health insurance exchanges over the year, private health insurance exchanges “are experiencing hyper-growth” and enrollment could exceed that of public exchanges by 2017, “if not sooner,” according to Accenture. Read the rest of this entry »
Failing the Third Machine Age: When Robots Come for Grandma is a long and thought-provoking article by Zeynep Tufekci that builds a case against “caregiver robots,” arguing that they are both inhumane and economically destructive.
She got me thinking, and I hope this has the same effect on you. I would have liked to add my own perspectives with links to related articles here at Modern Health Talk. I’d start with Will Robots Take Over in Health Care? Unfortunately there was no space to add comments.
I hope you’ll share your own thoughts in the space I give below. Read the rest of this entry »
By Wayne Caswell
As a retired IBM technologist, health consumer advocate, and amateur futurist, I’ve often written about The Future of Healthcare and highly recommend this report by the Institute for Alternative Futures.
Public Health 2030: A Scenario Exploration is supported by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation and presents alternative futures to help shape decision-making and public investments in a preferred version of the future while avoiding things that would lead to a less desirable version. Read the rest of this entry »
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 the rest of this entry »
“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 the rest of this entry »