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…)

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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…)

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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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Sexism in Science: Bias Beyond the Lab

Phyllis Greenberger


Sexism has been endemic in many aspects of scientific research; a full historical review would be as lengthy as it would be disheartening. But it’s important to recognize a consistent tradition of sex-based inequality in medical research. It has long been assumed that conclusions can be applied generally to both men and women, without taking into account the need to design studies that focus specifically on the biological and physical differences between the sexes. There have been myriad reasons for this lack of female inclusion. Science was heavily focused on studying the “norm,” and the “norm” as pertaining to scientific research was a roughly 155-pound man. Moreover, it was believed that the only difference between men and women were their respective sex organs. Furthermore, concerns regarding testing on pregnant women, or potentially-pregnant women, and the harm that could happen to fetuses discouraged researchers from including women of child-bearing age, and sometimes women as a whole due to their changing hormone cycles. (more…)

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Why Do Women Matter in the Unfolding of Precision Care for Kids?

Patrice Milos

It’s great to be posting once again for Disruptive Women in Health Care and to be writing about Precision Care, a concept in which patient care is tailored to each individual’s unique characteristics.  I’ve taken a five year break and it’s amazing to look back at my prior posts.  In 2010, I wrote…”the promise of the $1,000 genome is over the horizon. …Yet while this addresses technological innovation, does it deliver impact on health care?”  Now in 2015, both the $1,000 genome is here (at least the sequencing portion) and the work ongoing at my company, Claritas Genomics delivers genome knowledge that makes a difference for guiding precision care for children.  Today, with the work we do, I can clearly answer – “Yes, we deliver impact on health care.”

Let’s set the context for you. Today, there are more than 25M people in the United States who have a rare disorder. Amazing fact isn’t it?  Rare doesn’t look so rare anymore.  The striking fact is that the majority of these are children. (more…)

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November Man of the Month: Pablo Graiver

Pablo Graiver

Photo credit: Edu Ferrer

Pablo is the CEO and co-founder of TrialReach, a health tech startup focused on matching patients to clinical trials.

You’ve spent your career in the startup world, and seem to be committed to life as an entrepreneur. What does that say about you?

To want to start from the ground up and create something new, you have to be a little bit fearless. More importantly, you need to have an incredible amount of resilience. Anybody can have an idea but it takes resilience to drive that idea into something that can grow and to navigate all sorts of complications.

You started TrialReach after helping to get Kayak off the ground in Europe. Do you find a lot of similarities between travel searching and trial searching? (more…)

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The Gender Breakdown on Research & Health

mwheadshotcolor2012When it comes to health and wellness, more than half of Americans, men and women alike, say that their family’s health has been improved by medical research, (55% men; 51% women).  Gender differences arise when respondents are asked if disease has affected them personally, or those they love. Remarkably, 40% of men, as opposed to only 25% of women, say neither they nor any one in their extended families or among their close friends suffer from any of a long list of diseases and disabilities. Even controlling for age of respondents, underlying lack of personal experience helps explain other findings in a recent public opinion poll of the U.S. adult population commissioned by Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy and public education alliance dedicated to making research to improve health a higher national priority.

Female respondents, significantly more than male respondents, say health issues and health care costs are highest among the concerns facing this country. (more…)

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Re-Imagining the Life Sciences & Research: A New Disruptive Women in Health Care Series

Robin Strongin

When I think of the value of the Precision Medicine Initiative that President Obama announced earlier this year, the money involved isn’t the first thing that comes to mind (although over $200 million in proposed dollars to entities like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute are worth cheering).  Actually, the focus on precision medicine provides a tremendous opportunity to take a step back and consider the future of research, medicine and the life sciences.

That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing over the next several days here in the Disruptive Women in Health Care space.   Experts from a variety of health related sectors and with diverse perspectives are going to be sharing their views on “Re-Imagining the Life Sciences and Research.”  We need discussions like this because, while the potential in this field is truly breathtaking and difficult to fully comprehend, there are critical unanswered questions. (more…)

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Diabetes – Who’s in Control?

Terri Prof Headshot 0412What if you had no control over what you ate, when you ate, how much energy you had, or what you weigh? What if, on top of this, you had to test your blood 6 times a day and give yourself injections, carrying around your supplies constantly so you would be ready no matter what else was going on in your life? Now, throw in that you are 15 and just want to be normal, like everyone else, eating pizza when you feel like it and going wherever you wanted?

Kimberly Young was that teenager. She, likes hundreds of thousands of other American teenagers, has type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed at the age of 4, she was never like other kids. She always felt that her diabetes controlled her life. She didn’t have the carefree lifestyle of a teenager. Kimberly had to grow up more quickly than her friends as the realization that what she ate, how active she was and how closely she monitored her blood glucose had long term impacts on her health. Having too much pizza wasn’t about just gaining the “freshman 10” (or 20!) when she was in college, it was about maintaining her vision and her circulation to prevent serious complications. She learned that, “There is no vacation from diabetes. You live with it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where you go or what you go.” (more…)

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Veteran’s Day DW Style: hand to heart, a salute and many thanks

Patricia Lee Stotter

You will see that I , once again, went to my place of truth. I cannot speak of my admiration, my love of these people–and balance it with my rage about how we do not serve them– in an essay or any reasoned, sensible written piece. To speak coherently about National Service or the many other things I believe might balance the unconscionable distribution of agony/care is not something I find I can do without rattling or drooling, BUT poetry comes to the rescue. My poem, about the military/veteran women I have grown to love and know, and another by my gifted pal, Paul Genega, that brings to mind the civilian posture in this crazy, violent time…it’s the best expression of my feelings on Armistice/Veterans Day. (more…)

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Get Excited: Igniting DIGNITY through DIGITAL Health Panel is TODAY at the mHealth Summit

mhealth summit 2015 poster3Igniting DIGNITY through DIGITAL Health – Connecting All People to Community
The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
Room: National Harbor 4-5
November 10, 2015
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

At 5:30pm we will move to POSE ULTRA LOUNGE to celebrate all Disruptive Women in Health Care with a networking reception. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Anne Wojcicki

Anne_Wojcicki_IMG_5679_A_2The success of the Human Genome Project, over a decade ago, created a foundation from which science and the practice of medicine could be revolutionized, enabling greater knowledge about human health and new insights into the origins and nature of complex diseases.  For genomic research to reach its full potential, however, requires the vision and energy of pioneers who can democratize the science and give it profound, everyday meaning for the population at large.

Anne Wojcicki, the founder and CEO of 23andMe, is one of those pioneers.  She is also a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016.

Wojcicki, who had spent years investing in innovative healthcare companies, saw the decoding of the human genome and realize it presented an opportunity to bring a new degree of empowerment to patients and healthcare consumers. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Elizabeth Taylor

ElizabethTaylor2By any professional standards, Elizabeth Taylor is an extraordinarily skilled attorney.  What makes her special – and a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016 – is that she uses her gifts to improve the health and well-being of millions in need.

Taylor is executive director of the National Health Law Program (NHeLP).  The NHeLP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the health rights of low-income and underserved individuals.  As the organization describes itself, “NHeLP defends the nation’s health care safety net for those most in need and those with the fewest resources. We fight to give at-risk populations a voice in federal policy making, promote the rights of consumers in emerging managed-care systems, and advocate for creative solutions that preserve the government’s responsibility as the provider of last resort.” (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Patricia Lee Stotter

pl-stotter2There are scores of female veterans who have served their country with valor, suffering physical and psychological disabilities in the course of fulfilling their duty.  The extraordinary challenges they face in transitioning back to civilian life should not go unrecognized.

Patricia Lee Stotter, a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016, has made certain that the strength and heroism of these women is made known to their fellow citizens.  She is one of the filmmakers who created the Emmy-award winning documentary, “Service:  When Women Come Marching Home.”  The film received stellar reviews, including four star praise from the New York Daily News, which wrote, “While the film doesn’t blink in showing the impact of service injuries, it also stresses the resilience of women veterans.” (more…)

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In Memorium: Cathy Polley

Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin
Cathy Polley

Cathy Polley

I was about three weeks into a new job in DC and my then boss told me she had a colleague of hers I had to meet. “She’s – you just have to meet her.” I followed my boss into a meeting some time later and there, for a brief moment, I met Cathy Polley for the first time. Cathy was bright, engaging, and her eloquent techniques for sharing hard data and evidence were only matched by her diplomatic grace that so few carry as a skill anymore.  I fast became a fan of her work and being.

Our paths continued to cross throughout my time in that position and throughout the last several years I’m lucky enough to say we have poked a few fires of disruption together, having fun while we were at it.

When we created the Disruptive Women to Watch series in 2013, I had Cathy in mind as we shaped criterion for the candidates (more…)

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