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THCB Reader - Issue #42

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THCB Reader

February 20 · Issue #42 · 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: I argue that health care costs continue to rise because the speed at which providers, pharma, et al. are increasing prices exceeds reduction in volume that’s being seen in the use of most health services; Dan Linton adds another piece to The Health Data Goldilocks Dilemma, explaining that compliance with HIPPA and CCPA is critical but as health care embraces big tech, the industry must embrace real data privacy principles as core operating commitments; and Talal Hilal, discusses USMLE Step 1 changing its scoring to pass/fail and how that may be a blessing in disguise for many IMGs. On Episode 109 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I discuss Flywire acquiring Simplee, Headspace raising $93M, Outset Medical raising $125M, and Iora health raising $126M. Jess, on the WTF Health Show, speaks with Joe DeVivo, InTouch Health’s CEO, about Teledoc acquiring InTouch Health and how it further advances virtual care for the health tech industry. Enjoy! – Matthew Holt

Feb 20, Matthew Holt 
The last few months have been dominated by the issue of costs in health care, particularly the costs paid by consumers who thought they had coverage. But it turns out that “surprise billing” isn’t that much of a surprise. The data is clear. Health care costs overall are going up because the speed at which providers, pharma et al. are increasing prices exceeds the reduction in volume that’s being seen in the use of most health services. The lesson of previous decades has been that health care companies can push the line as far as they like, even to beyond what looks like outright fraud, and nothing much will change.

Feb 18, Dan Linton 
Next on The Health Data Goldilocks Dilemma, Dan explains that compliance with HIPAA and the CCPA is obviously critical, but this is only the first step. As healthcare begins to embrace big tech and the incredible promise those partnerships can bring, the medical industry must think far beyond legal compliance and embrace real data privacy principles as core operating commitments and key competitive differentiators. The healthcare industry has the opportunity right now to build upon its history of patient trust, but that opportunity won’t be realized by simply maintaining the status quo.

Feb 14, Talal Hilal
On February 12, it was announced that USMLE Step 1 scoring will be changed to pass/fail. Talal, an international medical graduate (IMG) himself, argues that this change may be a blessing in disguise for IMGs. Sure, those who score 2 SDs above the mean on their Step 1 will be at a disadvantage, but that will be the case for all applicants. A pass/fail test means that the panic-inducing hurdle causing IMGs to take 1-3 years after graduating from medical school just to study for Step 1 will be removed. IMGs can focus on the Step 2 CK (which is more relevant anyway) and maybe spend time reading Tolstoy instead of memorizing the names of the rotator cuff muscles and their insertion site on the humeral head.
Livongo is working to #SilenceNoisyHealthcare. Visit livongo.com for more details.
Livongo is working to #SilenceNoisyHealthcare. Visit livongo.com for more details.
Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 109 | Flywire & Simplee, Headspace, and Iora Health
Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 109 | Flywire & Simplee, Headspace, and Iora Health
Behind the Big Deal: Teladoc Health’s Acquisition of InTouch Health | Joe DeVivo, InTouch Health
Behind the Big Deal: Teladoc Health's Acquisition of InTouch Health | Joe DeVivo, InTouch Health
The Health Data Goldilocks Dilemma: Sharing? Privacy? Both? - The Health Care Blog
We hope you enjoyed the pieces and videos we had for you today. As always, if you have a piece you would like us to consider, please email zoya@thehealthcareblog.com and if you are looking to reach 20K of the smartest people in health care on this newsletter, or 80-100K each month on the site, please think of sending some of your marketing $$$ our way! Here’s our prospectus.

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