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THCB Reader -- July 17, 2021


THCB Reader

July 12 · Issue #124 · View online

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

This week on THCB Reader, This week on THCB Reader, Steven Zecola discusses the state of Parkinson’s research, Kim Bellard draws an analogy between elevator operators and health tech, and Mike Magee presents a Hamiltonian view of post-COVID America. 
Now for some interviews, Jess DaMassa on WTF Health chats with CEO Michelle Davey of stealthy telehealth startup Wheel following their $50M Series B. Meanwhile, on Thursday’s episode of THCB Gang, I was joined by regulars, regulars futurist Jeff Goldsmith; policy expert consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); Suntra Modern Recovery CEO JL Neptune (@JeanLucNeptune); and medical historian Mike Magee (@drmikemagee). 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.

Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care? is the conference bringing together the CEOs of the next generation of virtual & real-life care delivery, and all the permutations thereof. Today we add to last week’s fantastic list of speakers with another 14 great speakers, including the CEO of a company that has just SPACed onto the public market (Sharecare), and the CEO of one that is about to (Babylon Health)! You can register here or learn how to sponsor. This week’s new additions are: Sami Inkinen, CEO, Virta Health; Julia Hu, CEO, Lark; Ali Parsa, CEO, Babylon Health; Blake McKinney, CMO, CirrusMD; Michelle Davey, CEO, Wheel; Stephanie Tilenius, CEO, Vida Health; Jeff Arnold, CEO, Sharecare; Jeff Ruby, CEO, Newtopia; Niko Skievaski, President, Redox; Iyah Romm, CEO, Cityblock; Rushika Fernadopulle, CEO, Iora Health; Andy Coravos, CEO Human First; Deena Shakir, Partner, Lux Capital AND Pauline Lapin, Director, Seamless Care Models Group, CMMI
Please visit our website What’s Next For Health Care to see previously announced speakers including Glen Tullman, Jonathan Bush, Julie Yoo & 30+ more!
In this week’s health care tidbits, “Glazed eyes and headaches from banging my head against walls of numbers” is the result for Kaiser Health News’ Bernard Wolfson of trying to figure out the cost for a number of common procedures at one Sutter and one Kaiser facility in N. California. Remember that the Trump Administration imposed the obligation of publishing their prices onto American hospitals, despite their trade association’s vehement objections. It turns out that not only did many try to hide those prices from Google’s search engine but that even if you did get to the data, it’s impossible to make sense of it.
The underlying point is that even though 30+ years of history shows that prices at American hospitals are a big part of the missive difference in overall health care costs between here and other countries, using procedures and services as a unit of accounting measure doesn’t help much. What we need to get to is a fixed uniform monthly cost per head across the whole population. How we get there is the trick– and one that the “make prices transparent” lobby is not helping us get 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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July 15, Steven Zecola
If asked, the leaders of the research organizations working on Parkinson’s disease would say that they have made tremendous progress and are optimistic on finding a cure for the disease. In truth, this viewpoint understates the magnitude of the challenge and results in insufficient resources being devoted to PD. The time is ripe to get everybody on the same page when it comes to the objectives, resources, and timelines for PD research.
July 13, Kim Bellard
Now, it’s not likely that many people think about elevator operators very often, if ever. But when Kim thinks of elevator operators, he thinks of health care. For most of the time we’ve had medicine, we’ve relied on experts, such as physicians, to guide us in our health. The thought that a layman could manage their own health was simply an outrageous thought. It’s no longer such an outrageous thought. 
July 12, Mike Magee
Alexander Hamilton said, “In countries where there is great private wealth much may be effected by the voluntary contributions of patriotic individuals, but in a community situated like that of the United States, the public purse must supply the deficiency of private resource. In what can it be so useful as in prompting and improving the efforts of industry?” In this article, Mike takes a Hamiltonian view of America. Americans have had a year and a half to reflect and think about work and life, priorities and the future. Is this the America we want?
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
One Drop is reimagining chronic condition care. Learn more at
Meet Wheel: The Mysterious, White-Label Telehealth Startup Bolstering ‘Next-Gen’ Virtual Care
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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