Managed Care

 

If the Slide Is Unreadable, Don't Ask Me To Read It

MANAGED CARE May 1997. © MediMedia USA
Editor's Memo

If the Slide Is Unreadable, Don't Ask Me To Read It

Timothy Kelley
MANAGED CARE May 1997. ©1997 Stezzi Communications

Timothy Kelley

They tell you you'll never forget high school and they promise glories for the "golden years," their very fulsomeness a hint that adolescence and old age can be two of life's most horrific chapters. But they don't tell you that in your mid-forties you will suddenly become unable to see any object that is either (a) very close to you or (b) very far from you, unless you constantly switch eyeglasses — and sometimes not even then.

Having reached this era and identified this debility, however, I made it a point at last month's National Managed Health Care Congress to sit brazenly in the front at each session I attended. That way, I figured, my eyes would be a safe, middling distance from the slides and I'd have a fair shot at deciphering them.

No way. Speaker after speaker, hurrying through complex materials, paused to apologize for absurdly crammed visuals with tiny type that would have been unreadable from the front row even if the projector operators had been acquainted with the concept of focus, which often they were not. In one case, even a cartoon slide — something evidently included for its very accessibility as a tension breaker — appeared to my admittedly imperfect eyes as an undifferentiated bluish haze.

"It's in your handouts," of course, is the ubiquitous excuse. But sometimes it isn't. And even when it is, how many of us, having taken four days off to attend a conference, can devote much further time to detailed study of the conference materials?

I don't mean to single out NMHCC for abuse. Actually, that meeting provided an impressive array of well-informed speakers with clear presentations. (One of them, Peter Kongstvedt, M.D., of Ernst & Young, was kind enough to sit down with me for a wide-ranging interview.) But it seems to me that managed care's complexity cries out for coherent explanation, and that while most speakers chosen for its various conferences explain that complexity well, the simple matter of clarity in visual aids apparently defeats many of them.

Meetings

4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014
HealthIMPACT Southeast Tampa, FL January 23, 2015