Pulse: Healthcare


An Unbearable Burden: Paying for Commercial Health Insurance

The Healthcare Affordability Index shows how the rising costs of healthcare insurance, both for companies and employees, stagnate wages.

Getting Precise about Precision Medicine: Balancing Hope, Potential and Cost

Co-wrote with Dr. Harold Picken, Huron Consulting.

Definitions of precision medicine are anything but precise. For seriously ill patients and their families, precision medicine therapies provide a hope when all else has failed. They’re willing to risk long odds for the chance to improve or extend life, but they want health insurers to cover the costs.

EconVue Spotlight

I know some people abhor social media.  The sector has certainly taken a beating lately in the markets, but I really love Twitter. It gives me the ability to hear the (curated) voices of people I know, don’t know, and in some cases hope I never know, but who make me think.  I follow the newspapers and journals I used to have to login to separately, read other media from all around the world I didn’t even know existed, and get into impromptu conversations with real experts. 

Brand-Heavy and Asset-Light: Moving Beyond the Acute-Care Mindset

For health systems, the day of reckoning is near. A recent Morgan Stanley report states that over 1,000 of the nation’s 5,000+ hospitals are currently weak or at risk of closing. (1) This is the beginning of a larger wave.

The pressure is top down and bottom up. Payers are unwilling to continue unadulterated fee-for-service (FFS) payment formularies. Consumers increasingly expect convenience, lower costs, better outcomes and improved customer experience.

Amplifying Transformation: Addressing Medicare Advantage's Disadvantages

The U.S. healthcare system will not change the way it delivers care until it changes the way it pays for care. Perverse incentives riddle fee-for-service payment (FFS) and lead to overtreatment, fragmented delivery and runaway medical inflation. Incremental attempts to reform care delivery through value-based payment reform and provider education (e.g. the “Choosing Wisely” initiative) have not changed practice patterns in meaningful ways.

Markets are Spooked - but will the Fed give us a Merry Christmas?

As everyone knows, October has been a terrible month for equity markets. Some market participants feel that this did not just coincide with higher interest rates, but was caused by flawed Fed monetary policy and comments on overshooting. Like the humming chorus in Madama Butterfly, there has been a steady rise in the number of voices supporting a Fed pause in December. These include members of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee itself, such as Neel Kashkari, and leading economists such as Jason Furman. 

No Time to Waste: Revolutionizing Healthcare Data Collection, Curation & Application

Healthcare data wants to be free, but it is oppressed. Entrenched oligarchs trap information within closed, centralized systems that prioritize revenue collection, misuse resources and tolerate medical error. Data gasps for breath as it fights to break into curated systems that produce insight.
 

Autism Therapy Shines Bright: Innovative Therapies, More Reimbursement, Sector Poised for Growth

Co-authored with Todd Rudsenske & Daniel A. Gofman*.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the nation’s fastest-growing developmental disorder, one that touches each child and family in unique and complicated ways. A lifelong condition, ASD requires individualized treatments that are now increasingly available in communities across the United States.

Geeking-Up Healthcare: Consumer Giant Best Buy Makes a Big Move

Healthcare has experienced a parade of surprising megamergers and acquisitions during the last year. At first glance, Best Buy’s August acquisition of GreatCall may be the most startling. At a deeper level, however, Best Buy’s movement into healthcare reflects a nuanced understanding of consumerism, retail market dynamics and America’s need for more connected, holistic care services.
 

Against the Wind: Hospitals Challenge CMS's Pro-Market Payment Reforms

Over the past month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several pro-market policies that will enhance pricing transparency, stimulate competition (and fair prices) for routine procedures and eliminate burdensome reporting requirements.

Hospitals welcome the regulatory relief but generally oppose measures that improve pricing parity and transparency. They are on the wrong side of history.

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