Failing Academic Healthcare Systems: Are Mergers the Answer?

Challenges at many academic medical centers aren’t news.  At a time of declining reimbursement and patient migration to lower cost community alternatives, many academic systems are trying to figure out how to position themselves. In light of these challenges, I read with great interest news of a recent deal between Banner Health (a large and well-run not for ...

Reusable Rockets and Orbiting Nano-Satellites: A Lesson for US Healthcare?

A spectacular story about scientific disruption comes to us from last week’s Economist magazine. The authors write that, over the past few months, a hundred tiny satellites have been launched in orbit at a fraction of the cost of a traditional satellite.  Called nano-satellites, these 4-inch cubes are cheap, often constructed in simple workrooms with off-the-shelf ...

Squeeze the Consumer or Squeeze the Prescriber? Conflicting Ideologies and the Rise of High Deductible Health Plans

If you were designing a program to lower healthcare costs, would you direct your efforts at the medical consumer, or the medical prescriber?  Do you create a system where an informed and empowered consumer drives the market, or one which regulates providers and holds them accountable for the services they deliver? The answer, I think, would depend on ...

Another Domino Starting to Fall- The Narrowing of Physician Networks

In previous posts, I’ve discussed the inevitable squeeze that high cost/ low quality physicians will feel from payers as the system becomes more discriminating about paying more “reasonable” rates and only for performance. There now seems to be evidence that we are seeing the largest health insurers get tough by trimming their networks of the physician value ...

Unbundled Healthcare… Does the future promise a few “star” clinicians and a skinny delivery platform?

Recently there has been a lot of recent commentary on how online university courses are disrupting traditional universities. Besides offering convenience to students, online offerings are cost-effective because they “unbundle” education— removing all of the overhead typically associated with providing a college education. Gone are the ivy covered walls, support workers and large libraries of ...

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