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THCB Reader - Issue #41

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THCB Reader

February 13 · Issue #41 · View online
Everything you always wanted to know about the health care system. But were afraid to ask.

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On today’s edition of the THCB Reader: Sanj Katyal discusses how band-aid solutions for fixing physician burnout will not address the underlying cause, but optimizing doctors’ ability to focus and perform meaningful work may reclaim the joy in their lives; Chris Jaeger comments on CMS’s Primary Care Initiative that features two models, Primary Care First and Direct Contraction, which address difficulties in paying and incentivizing primary care; and Kirk Nahra argues that health care data privacy is not getting enough attention in Congress because there is a false notion that much of it is already covered by HIPAA. On the WTF Health show, Jess speaks with Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services & founder of Town Hall Ventures, about how venture capitalists and health tech startups can help make health care more affordable for the 130M Americans that need it. Enjoy! – Matthew Holt

Feb 12, Sanj Katyal
If you are like most doctors, you are sick of hearing about burnout. There is a big debate on whether burnout is real, but in the end, no matter what name we give the problem, the real issue is that physicians are in fact suffering. Although well-intentioned, the majority of solutions are band-aids and do not address the underlying root cause: our increasing inability to pay attention to what matters in life. Optimizing our ability to focus, perform meaningful deep work, and be fully present along the way are the keys to reclaim joy and meaning in our personal and professional lives. It all starts with our attention. 

Feb 11, Chris Jaeger
In April 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Primary Cares Initiative, which is expected to reduce administrative burdens and improve patient care while decreasing health care costs. This voluntary initiative will test financial risk and payment arrangements for primary care physicians (PCPs) based on performance and efficiency, including five new payment models under two paths: Primary Care First (PCF) and Direct Contracting (DC). Learn more about how these models, slated to hit 20 states in 2020, seek to address the many difficulties in paying for, and incentivizing, valuable primary care within current payment models.

Feb 10, Kirk Nahra 
Congress is debating whether to enact a national privacy law. So far, healthcare data may not be getting enough attention in the debate, driven (in part) by the sense of many that healthcare privacy already has been addressed. But, from the beginning, HIPAA has had its gaps. While the healthcare industry, the patient community, and the broad variety of interested stakeholders all pay close attention to these privacy programs and the overall protection of patient data, this perspective is not obviously a part of the expanding national debate. This, unfortunately, is a mistake. 
Livongo is working to #SilenceNoisyHealthcare. Visit for more details.
Livongo is working to #SilenceNoisyHealthcare. Visit for more details.
Taking Healthcare Innovation Beyond the “Peloton Crowd” | Andy Slavitt, Town Hall Ventures
Taking Healthcare Innovation Beyond the "Peloton Crowd" | Andy Slavitt, Town Hall Ventures
The Health Care Blog The Health Care Blog
The Health Data Goldilocks Dilemma: Sharing? Privacy? Both? - The Health Care Blog
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