Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rebuilding the Medical Home: What Walgreens Surely Sees

First published on THCB.
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In March 2007, Walgreens suddenly acquired the two largest worksite clinic firms. Combined with their convenience care clinics, this gave them more than 500 primary care sites nationally. They estimate that there are 7,600 employer campuses in America with 1,000 or more employees onsite. Is this the beginning of the true corporatization of primary care. And if corporations come to own primary care's referral base, can't they capture all of health care?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Loving Our Children

First published on THCB.
insideoutNew data clearly show that one in four American teens have at least one sexually transmitted disease. One in seven have more than one. A refusal to confront this news directly by changing the abstinence-only sex education policies of the last decade is tantamount to child abuse.
Among its many less-noticed accomplishments, this Administration has strangled funding for comprehensive sex education. Instead, it has thrown the immense weight of the US government behind abstinence-based education, an impractical ideological approach rooted in religious zealotry and a romantic notion of social mores that no longer exists for most young Americans. In 2005 and 2006, the Bush Administration spent $170 and $178 million, respectively, more than double the 2004 expenditure, much of it allocated to mostly conservative Christian organizations, to encourage children to refrain from sex without explaining the fundamentals of contraception and sexually-transmitted disease (STD). In 2004, a Minority Staff Special Investigations report prepared at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) found that more than 80 percent of federally funded abstinence programs contain false or misleading information about sex and reproductive health.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Myth of Health Care Consumerism


First published on

Contrary to the prevailing wisdom, most people surveyed say they absolutely won't use the Web to investigate a health condition and then change their behaviors accordingly. But they will do something their sister-in-law tells them. What does this mean for the future of consumerism?

Last weekend I heard several great presentations at a meeting convened by Jeff Goldsmith, but one contained a point I hadn't heard nailed down before. Kaveh Safavi MD JD, from Thomson Healthcare's Center for Healthcare Improvement, detailed the results of several large sample surveys on consumers' attitudes toward web-based health care information.