Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can Health Plans Explain Why They Aren't Re-Empowering Primary Care

First published on THCB.

Sometimes a whisper is more powerful than a shout. Here's a cartoon from Modern Medicine that shows a Medical Home counseling session between a primary care physician (PCP), a specialist and the health plan. The PCP looks forlorn, while the specialist and the insurer have their backs turned, fuming. It is perfectly true.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Impending Hanging: Will Health 2.0 Be Compromised By The Economic Downturn?

First published on THCB.

Nothing focuses the mind like an impending hanging. -- Samuel Johnson

I've been preparing for tomorrow's 3rd Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, where I'll join my pals Matthew, Indu Subaiya, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn and Michael Millenson amid a Who's-Who cast of health industry luminaries. I spent part of Monday reviewing the attendee and sponsor lists, impressive indeed, testament to how seriously this topic is being taken throughout health care.

The meeting is sold out at 950 participants. It's worth remembering that, before the first Health 2.0 conference 13 months ago, Matthew, who with Indu took enormous professional and personal financial risk to pull this off, told me he'd be surprised if 75 people showed up. There were almost 500, many of them with genuine influence.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Health Care and the Broader Economic Crisis

First published on THCB.

I used to worry that the economic turmoil resulting from health care's relentless cost explosion would cascade into all other economic sectors. Now it appears that the credit crisis could push health care over the edge. The silver lining is that a sudden spike in the pressure on health care organizations could facilitate a transition to the meaningful reforms that are necessary to resolve the crisis.

Over at HealthLeaders, Dr. Richard Reece and I have an article, Will Primary Care Be Re-Empowered By An Ailing Economy?, arguing that the turmoil in the larger US economy – and particularly the tightening of credit – is going to significantly enhance the pressures on purchasers and industry players, and grease the wheels of meaningful change throughout health care.