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THCB Reader -- April 17, 2021


THCB Reader

April 17 · Issue #109 · View online

Everything you always wanted to know about the health care system. But were afraid to ask.

The A/B test has spoken. More of you opened on Saturday than Friday, so today’s the day. I don’t want to compete with Kevin O'Leary and Nikil Krishnan on Sunday though!
This week on THCB Reader, Matthew Dale says that smart platforms are the path forward for enabling price transparency, Kim Bellard wonders why we struggle to do simple better, and Sach Jain thinks the private sector needs to step up in making value-based care a reality. 
We have two episodes of Health in 2 Point 00 this week, including a lightning round of IPO rumors, and the best 15 seconds ever from Jess DaMassa on what exactly a new digital health company does (at 5.11 in the 4/15 edition, episode 199). 
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s episode of THCB Gang, we celebrated 50 episodes! We had a special guest. Robert Pearl, (@RobertPearlMD) former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, noted commentator, and author. He joined me along with regular gang members policy expert consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1), policy & tech expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), and Suntra Modern Recovery CEO JL Neptune (@JeanLucNeptune). Click here to see it.
And of course to listen any time you can subscribe to #THCBGang and #Healthin2Point00 podcasts with an easy click on Apple or Spotify.

In health care tidbits this week, as per two weeks ago we’re back talking about the VA. Republican House rep Dan Crenshaw – he of the black eye patch, SNL appearance, and bizzaro parachuting video before the Atlanta Senate Run-offs – had a detached retina in his good eye. He went into hospital in Texas to get it fixed and one of his former Democratic opponents Elisa Cardnell tweeted that she was hoping for his full recovery and mentioned that for Crenshaw it was “a wonderful thing to have quick access to affordable healthcare when you needed it”. Of course, the hospital he went to was his local VA. So I felt honor bound to point out that Elisa Cardnell was wrong. She meant that Crenshaw had “access to free socialized health care” which is kinda ironic as it’s exactly the kind of care he “doesn’t think other Americans should have access to.”
Follow me on Twitter @boltyboy and THCB at @thcbstaff for more similar insights/nonsense (and even the occasional sensible idea)! Enjoy! – Matthew Holt
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April 15, Matthew Dale
As of January 2021, price transparency is being mandated for hospitals. But what exactly does that mean for company healthcare plans, third-party administrators, healthcare sharing organizations, employers, and employees? Matthew breaks it down and discusses why platform technology is the way forward.
April 13, Kim Bellard
When it comes to trying to make improvements, people would rather add than subtract, as a new research study shows. That, in a nutshell, may help explain why our healthcare system is such a mess. We might ooh and ahh over a cool design, but what’s more awesome is design that takes away what you don’t really need.
April 12, Sach Jain
If we are going to repair our splintered health system and make value-based care a reality for Americans, we need to look beyond drafting laws. We can’t afford to waste time waiting for policymakers to negotiate rules that may be overturned when a party majority flips. Sach argues that it’s time the private sector steps up its game and breaks the mold.
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 199 | Olive acquires Empiric plus raises by Medable & Papa
#Healthin2Point00, Episode 198 | Microsoft buys Nuance & lots of IPO rumors
Hope you enjoyed the newsletter. As ever let me know if you have any comments or want to sponsor/advertise–this newsletter doesn’t write itself but about 17,000 people get it and 80-100K visit the blog every month!
Matthew Holt
Matthew Holt
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