Kenneth Frazier, Merck’s CEO, is not a newcomer to social justice. That is probably why he was ready to speak out first after Charlottesville and resign from the President’s American Manufacturing Council while Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric and others stayed quiet, perhaps afraid of the consequences of a POTUS Twitter storm.
When House Speaker Paul Ryan describes what he thinks should replace the Affordable Care Act, he says health care needs to be more patient centered. He is not espousing the long-held view among clinical professionals that patient-centered care ensures that patient preferences and values guide clinical decision-making à la the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) definition. Instead, Ryan defines patient-centered health care as a set of policy changes that will result in lower costs, more insurance coverage options, and greater control over where someone can receive health care.
In an era of rapidly escalating prices, the 340B drug discount program remains one of the few checks to keep medicine and medical care accessible to the underserved. Contrary to the recent column, "Payers Must Develop Strategies To Overcome 340B Hurdles," it is not being exploited by participating hospitals. If it were, where exactly is the money?
A few days ago, I went to the “Poke-stop” in my small town of Waconia, Minnesota, (population 11,490) to learn why I was losing my Pokémon “gym battles” and, more importantly, to survey the growing numbers of twentysomethings exploring my community’s parks and landmarks. I met a group of 15 Waconians for the first time, and they were excited about describing how Pokémon Go had increased their activity levels, their awareness of our community’s history, and their engagement with others.
With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 35 of us visited the Lincoln Cottage, a hilltop retreat overlooking D.C. where Lincoln found solace, but also connected more closely with people, during the Civil War. Our group was there to inaugurate a national dialogue on health equity. Later dubbed the “Lincoln Cottage Assembly,” we were welcomed by health futurist Jonathan Peck at the staircase Lincoln climbed every day to write about the most vexing issue of his time.
Our country is in crisis. We have an epidemic on our hands that crosses geographic boundaries, socio-economic status, gender, and many other categories. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug overdoses kill nearly 50,000 Americans each year. The media is certainly putting a microscope on it. Legislators are acting on it. Every stakeholder in the medical delivery chain is analyzing it–and I encourage physicians and other prescribers to take a look at their role in the problem.
Few examples highlight the differences between the analog and digital worlds as traditional taxi cabs vs. the ride-sharing company Uber.
In most cities, hailing a taxi means stepping out to the curb and then hoping a driver stops. You take whatever you get, then waste time paying by cash or credit card. It is just basic service, with no concern about you will ever use that taxi— or even that company—again.
Among the nearly 42,000 people thronging the halls of the HIMSS meeting in Las Vegas this week are relative handfuls of folks from the nation’s health insurance industry. Presumably drawn by the increasing role of health IT in payers managing their members’ health and health costs, several companies were particularly prominent on the registration roster.
Kaiser Permanente has more than 300 people on the ground in Vegas, and has a booth set up in the exhibit hall showing off its Virtual Visits telehealth project featuring a faux doctor beamed in from New York.