Aug 26, Ken Terry
In January 2015, then Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced lofty goals for the government’s value-based payment program. By the end of 2016, 85% of all payments in the traditional Medicare program would be tied to quality or value, and 90% would be value-based by the end of 2018. How have we stacked up to that goal, and what’s still standing in the way? Although such a sentiment would never be voiced in public or at a hospital board meeting, Ken says, hospitals’ financial decisions tend to be based on how a particular course of action affects their throughput and occupancy rate. Are value-based arrangements enough to fill beds?
Aug 25, Kim Bellard
We’re facing hard times with COVID-19, but some companies like Amazon, Target, Zoom and Netflix are thriving. In health care, everyone seems to agree that the big winner has been telehealth. Industry leaders TelaDoc and Livongo merged, while rival Amwell got a $100 million investment from Google. No one is quite sure how much of the flexibilities introduced during the pandemic will persist once it recedes, but no one wants to miss out on what McKinsey predicts could be a $250b opportunity. But what about the losers? If a sick care system – which, let’s face it, is what we have — doesn’t do well when lots of people are sick, what are we doing?
Aug 27, Hans Duvefelt
The Fed tried to impose some minimum standards for what EMRs should be able to do and for what practices needed to use them for. The collection of requirements was called Meaningful Use, and by many of us nicknamed “Meaningless Use”. Well-meaning bureaucrats with little understanding of medical practice wildly overestimated what software vendors, many of them startups, could deliver to such a well established sector as health care. Hans presents a list of Meaningful U’s for medical providers to consider instead: Unbiased, Unflappable, Understanding, and Unhurried.