See You at HIMSS 2017

Robin Strongin

DW-HIMSS-Banner-2017-TWITTERHope to see you on Tuesday where we will be discussing NAVIGATING UNCERTAINTY: Disruptive Women Style.



Gaming the System

This post was originally published by  The Health Care Blog  on February 11. 

As physicians ready themselves for the future of medicine under onerous MACRA regulations, it seems appropriate to glance into the future and visualize the medical utopia anticipated by so many.  Value-based care, determined by statistical analysis, is going to replace fee for service.

Six months ago, I received my first set of statistics from a state Medicaid plan and was told my ER utilization numbers were on the higher end compared to most practices in the region.  This was perplexing as my patients tend to avoid ER visits at all costs and can be found milling about in my parking lot at 7am on Mondays with their sick children waiting for my office to open.

I requested more detailed reports on ER utilization and was given a 20 page list with codes that needed to be hand matched to patient names.  Being a committed and diligent physician, I spent a random Saturday evening matching up 420 names to individual 15-digit codes after putting my children to bed.  Of my top 20 utilizers, only 8 were actually patients.  The remaining 12 had been “on my panel list” during the reporting period but had never set foot in my office.  Of the top 100 utilizers, only 42 were patients.  In the interest of accuracy, I requested they re-run the numbers using my patients only.  Mr. IT informed me the inaccurate panel would make no difference.  He might have failed statistics in college but who is keeping track. (more…)

Heart Month: Disruptive Woman Dr. Bernadette Melnyk Shares Her Story

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN

This post was originally published by the Women’s Heart Alliance on February 10.

When people ask how I became interested in health and wellness, I have to tell them about the tragedy that forever changed my life.

My mom had a stroke right in front of me and died when I was home alone with her at age 15. She had a history of headaches and saw her family physician one week before she died. My mom was diagnosed with high blood pressure and given a prescription for a high blood pressure medication that my dad found in her purse after she died. As you can imagine, this traumatic event had a major impact and left me suffering from post-traumatic stress for a couple of years.

Quote Graphics on Bern Blog Post_ fb_igIt’s hard knowing that my mother’s death might have been prevented. She might have lived if she had known more about how high blood pressure was a major risk factor for stroke and got her prescription filled. I do not want other children to experience the loss of their moms early due to heart disease, which is in large part preventable with healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Heart disease and stroke now takes the life of one woman nearly every 80 seconds. That’s more than 400,000 women each year, who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends. Even though this silent killer contributes to more female deaths in America each year than all cancers combined, many people still think of heart disease as a “man’s disease.” That thinking can affect how quickly a woman, her family, or even her doctor takes her signs and symptoms seriously or diagnoses them correctly, and time is vital in treating heart attack, stroke, and other complications related to heart disease. Also, women’s symptoms can present differently than men’s, and not all health care providers are up to date with the latest evidence-based practice to know how to recognize symptoms of heart disease in women.

I urge everyone, especially health care providers, to be proactive in learning about how heart disease affects women and men differently, and ways to prevent it.


Health Care Worries Top Terrorism, By Far, In Americans’ Minds

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

This article was originally published in on February 8, 2017.


Health care is the top concern of American families, according to a Monmouth University Poll conducted in the week prior to Donald Trump’s Presidential inauguration.

Among U.S. consumers’ top ten worries, eight in ten directly point to financial concerns — with health care costs at the top of the worry-list for 25% of people. Health care financial worries led the second place concern, job security and unemployment, by a large margin (11 percentage points) In third place was “everyday bills,” the top concern for 12% of U.S. adults.

Immigration was the top worry for only 3% of U.S. adults; terrorism and national security represented 2% of the American public’s concerns.

In the 2015 Monmouth Poll, 15% said health care was their family’s main worry. Today, this issue is #1 for families across income categories and party affiliation. (more…)

Super Bowl 2017

Founder and CEO SageMy™Life.

Founder and CEO SageMy™Life.

Regardless of whether your team won, you’ve no doubt been delighted, entertained and inspired by the commercials that aired last night. There are too many I liked to pick a favorite, but in the spirit of this blogspace, I yield my time and give my vote to Audi.

It’s a beautiful statement, to which I’ll add this. May he never have to explain to her:

  • Why she must pay more for access to health care than the men around her;
  • Why she – and not her male relatives or work colleagues – will need to leave the workforce to be an unpaid family caregiver, suffering a loss of income and retirement benefits; and
  • Why she may suffer unnecessarily because a women’s health didn’t get the attention it deserved.

Perhaps there are things you’d add to this list.


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