Category: Healthcare Costs

On Getting Burned by Population Health Thinking: (Why has a Decade of Intervention not Prevented More Deaths From Brain Aneurysms?)

In our house we take a lot of fizzy vitamin C to prevent colds in the winter. As doctors, my wife and I both know that science doesn’t support our decision… We take it anyway. We shouldn’t. After all, the well respected Cochrane group (which grades and distills multiple studies into a single “meta-analysis”) clearly ...

A (Lower Cost) Healthcare Industry to Deal With a (Higher Cost) Healthcare Industry

I was recently on the phone with a medical device company executive who was describing his company’s efforts to develop a non-invasive diagnostic device that could quantify the degree of cirrhosis in a patient with liver illness.  It’s technology that his firm sees as timely given the recent introduction of Solavdi and other Hepatitis C therapies: the device will be offered as a way ...

The Pendulum Swings Between Individualism vs. Collectivism in US Healthcare. What Does the Next Decade Hold?

Communities don’t think, don’t believe, don’t want, don’t have needs, don’t have interests and don’t make decisions. Only individuals have minds that generate desires and needs – and only individuals can make choices and decisions. Harry Browne- Libertarian Candidate for American President, 1996 and 2000 When I visit my European in-laws, some who work in ...

Why Value Generation Doesn’t Grow Your Risk-Bearing Medical Group: On Being Foiled by the Middleman

Imagine that you are an electronics manufacturer who has figured out how to build a superb stereo system at a far lower cost (20% less) than your competitors. Over time you’ve perfected the system, created a reputation for high quality and have a machine that sounds great.  Your manufacturing efficiencies position you to sell at ...

Spending Money to Save Money? Navigating Population Health “Hard-Dollar” Investments vs. Downstream “Unicorns and Rainbows” Medical Savings.

Most medical groups considering risk contracts usually understand that they’ll need to make significant investments in population health infrastructure for capitation to work out financially.  After all, capitation can only be profitable if the risk-bearing group has the ability to manage the use of expensive downstream healthcare services and minimize unneeded care. The problem is that the relationships between ...

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Segmenting Healthcare into “Luxury” and “Value” Brands… Thoughts On Not Getting Stuck in the Middle.

A few months ago, I wrote about how healthcare is poised to segment according to cost and service levels– and that we will likely begin to see healthcare brands emerge that appeal to price-conscious consumers looking for reliable, basic care. My suspicion was that US healthcare is now facing its “Southwest Airlines” moment, where nimble and lean competitors will soon undercut inefficient legacy ...

Global Capitation: The Three Less-Obvious Vulnerabilities for Health Systems Considering Global Payments

I receive a fair number of emails and Linkedin messages from healthcare executives who are interested in global risk contracts and are looking for a some advice from the provider side. Here’s what I usually tell them: Global risk can be a very good thing for both patient care and for margins– but it’s a ...