Remembering Dr. Pamela Davies & her work with premature babies: A personal tribute

ed greenDr. Pamela Davies may not be a household name, but she radically improved the life chances of premature babies.

I had direct experience of this – in fact it is largely due to her work that I’m even around to write this. My early weeks, more than 45 years ago, were spent at Hammersmith Hospital in London after my twin sister Jenny and I were born ten weeks premature – weighing in at 3lbs 5oz and 2lbs 12oz. The circumstances of our birth were anything but usual – the doctors discovered mum was carrying twins less than 24 hours earlier. Mum did have her suspicions. ‘What, do you have an elephant in there?’ my grandma had exclaimed the week before. Still, the doctors assured her there was just one very big baby. That is, until an X-ray confirmed otherwise (those were very different times!) Mum’s waters broke when she got home from the X-ray appointment. (more…)


130123_10177_phcm137.jpgWith the abundance of wearable activity trackers currently available, it has never been easier to track steps and other health indicators. Currently 21% of US online adults use wearable activity trackers (Forrester Research). The pace of innovation in devices and the relative affluence of many purchasers lead to frequent upgrades to new devices, and to abandonment. One study found that 1/3 of devices are no longer used after 6 months (Endeavour Partners). Given current sales, there are conservatively millions of devices sitting in drawers. With the cost of these devices out of the reach of many, was founded to give a second life to unused wearable activity trackers. (more…)

Telehealth under alternative payment models

Susan Philip

The post below originally ran on Milliman, Inc. on November 23.

Telehealth, as a modality of delivering healthcare services, is growing in terms of acceptance and adoption. There are a few key drivers for this dynamic: (1) consumer demand for convenient access to care; (2) availability of lower-cost telehealth technologies; (3) clinician comfort and willingness to provide certain services remotely; and (4) evolving payment models that seek to incentivize value and better population health.

Evolving payment models reflect the need to mitigate perverse incentives for the unnecessary healthcare utilization, waste, and inefficiencies that are inherent in a volume-based payment system, such as fee-for-service Medicare. Both private and public sector purchasers, such as Medicare, state Medicaid programs, and employers, are in the midst of testing and scaling alternative value-based models. Under these payment models, there are opportunities for telehealth adoption to the extent it encourages efficiencies in the system. Examples include: (more…)

Social Determinants Impact Health More Than Health Care

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

imageToday’s post first ran on Health Populi on November 9.

The factors of where people are born, live, work and age — social determinants — shape human health more than health care. Yet in the U.S. much more resource per capita is funneled into healthcare services than into social ones.

Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity was published by The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in November 2015, calling attention to the opportunity and wisdom of baking health into all public policy.

The social determinants of health (SDOH) include economic stability, the physical environment and neighborhood, education, food, community and social context, and the health care system, shown in the second exhibit. (more…)

The New Rules of Fight Club, as Written by Women

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe post below originally ran on Venture Valkyrie on November 18.

BB8PORT.jpge204a4df-b817-46ad-a795-355912fc5e70OriginalIf you have any doubt that women’s roles are becoming more important in the workplace, look no further than the upcoming new Star Wars film. In the film, the main robot character, BB-8, has been designed to be female, according to news reports…and not just female, but pivotal to the plot and strong in character.

I love this new twist on Star Wars, as it occurs to me that it is our national standard to default to assuming most things are male, especially robots and CEOs, unless they are pink and purple and frilly. But most of the strong, fierce and successful women I know are neither pink nor purple nor frilly but are far closer to BB-8: curvy perhaps, but strong in character and pivotal to the plot. More often than not, they dress in black like the ninjas they are.Female-Ninja-ninjas-34049725-600-451

I read this story about BB-8 while on my way home from a retreat with a group of very senior female healthcare leaders.  It’s an organized group who meet once a year to share thoughts, stories, encouragement and support. (more…)

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