Posts Tagged ‘public policy’

Hyper Growth of Private Insurance Exchanges

Shared with permission from MEDCITY News, by Dan Verel, 7/25/2015

Accenture Figure 1

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 »

When Robots Come for Grandma

Failing the Third Machine Age: When Robots Come for GrandmaWhen 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 »

Public Health in 2030, alternative scenarios

Least Desirable ScenarioBy 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 »

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 the rest of this entry »

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 the rest of this entry »

“Fed Up” with the Food Industry

Katie Couric is Fed UpKatie Couric is fed up with the food industry, and you should be too.

In the two-minute video below, executive producers Katie Couric and Laurie David address the next great American health crisis with their eye-opening new documentary film, “Fed Up.”

Going against everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, this movie reveals a 30-year campaign by the food industry to mislead and confuse the American public. The result is America’s Obesity Epidemic, a Big problem.

What’s worse is that this epidemic was aided by the federal government and special interest lobbying, and the food lobby is now fighting back with misinformation to discredit the movie. But the evidence is clear, and I urge you to watch the 2-min clip below, and the full documentary in theaters near you.  Read the rest of this entry »

Get the Health Incentives Right

MotivationThis post is based on a comment I made when Pritpal Tamber called for “Creating a parallel system to health care” in MedCity News.

At least for consumers, Modern Health Talk ( can already be called the “Institute for New Health Thinking,” with over 100 articles on Legislative, Public Policy, and Health Reform topics written for consumers.

I personally think it all comes down to getting the INCENTIVES right, as I wrote two years ago when proposing a hybrid, public/private model of health care. The goal was to exploit the different incentives of public sector organizations that measure success in business terms such as profit, ROI, and payback period, with that of the public sector, which measures success quite differently and over much longer time periods.  Read the rest of this entry »

PRICELE$$ – Life Expectancy isn’t even in Top 50

Pricele$$ ThumbRanking countries by life expectancy, the United States isn’t even in the top 50. We even rank behind Guam. Why?

  • SLEEP — Could it be our high stress and deficient sleep? Sleep deprivation (sleeping less than 6 hours/night when we need 7-9) is associated with 2.5 times higher Diabetes risk, 62% increase in risk of Breast Cancer, 48% increased risk of Heart Disease, 27% higher Obesity risk, and even higher risk of developing early Alzheimer’s. Heck, it makes you 20% more likely to die in 20 years.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Health Care Should be a Team Sport”

Intel’s Eric Dishman is known as a leading medical tech specialist and has given TED talks before, but in this one he shares his very personal story to suggest some bold ideas for reinventing healthcare — by putting the patient at the center of a treatment team. When was in college, doctors told him he had 2 to 3 years to live. That was a long time ago, and one rectified diagnosis and a transplant later, Dishman is still here, thankfully for all of us. (Filmed at TED@Intel)

The Underestimated Caregiver Burden

The number of family caregivers is declining.By Henry Moss (original at American Society on Aging)

Caregiver burden is emotional and subjective. We try to measure it by looking at rates of depression and anxiety disorders in the caregiver population, and at the seriousness of these disorders. We know the highest rates of emotional burden and the deepest levels of depression are felt by caregivers who experience entrapment—a sense of powerlessness, aloneness and suffering associated with long periods of caregiving for the most difficult elders, especially those with dementia. We are aware of the many studies showing how excess stress and emotional burden can impact a caregiver’s health, finances and family life, creating even more anxiety and depression.

We already know that the 45- to 64-year-old population will grow only 1 percent between 2010 and 2030, while the age 80 and older baby boomer population increases by 79 percent. As the age 80 and older baby boomer cohort grows, the number of family caregivers available to assist them drops dramatically, from 7.5 in 2010 to 2.9 in 2050, a more than 50 percent decline. Alarm bells have been going off and researchers and advocates have been busy estimating the impact on the long-term-care system. Read the rest of this entry »

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