Let Freedom Ring

Regina Holliday

The following post ran on May 3 on Regina Holliday’s Medical Advocacy Blog.

This winter was hard for me. Winter always is.  In my mind, I walk through yesteryears and live through the months I lost my husband Fred.

I had a bad cough in January and February just like I had in 2009.  My cough was pertussis this time, not a chest cold.  This time it was my ribs that broke from explosive coughs, instead from metastasis as Fred’s had.

This winter I felt I had to finish my memoir, so while coughed I wrote.  I tied together the story that I have been working on for five years.  This past week it became available on Amazon and it is called The Writing on the Wall.   I had wondered why I felt so frantic about quickly finishing my book on the importance of patient data access, but I have learned not to question such feelings.  I just act on them.

Then I went to HIMSS15 in Chicago.  Then I heard CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) was considering cutting a key measure that affected patients in Meaningful Use Stage 2.  Facilities and Providers complained that they were not able to ensure 5% of patients would view, download or transmit their data in the Meaningful Use Stage 2 reporting window.  Anyway, they assured CMS, patients did not want access anyway.  So CMS proposed gutting the legislation, removing the 5% requirement and replacing it with literally “1” patient. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

“I will not stop until we have the right to see our own information” – Part 2

The post below original ran May 21 on Ted Eytan’s blog.Ted was one of our very first Men of the Month. See his March 2009 Man of the Month post here.

This is the scene in which I encountered @ReginaHolliday yesterday

Regina Holliday Paint In 55551

That’s her with others, in front of the imposing low-rise brutalistic structure of the Hubert H Humphrey Building which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (@HHSgov). (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Jobs of the Future: Not Only for Robots

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post originally ran on Venture Valkyrie on June 14.

There is always talk, sometimes tongue-in-cheek but mostly sort of serious, that a lot of jobs will be replaced by robots or computers. Maybe that new iPhone I just bought will replace me by year end. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla thinks that the most doctors’ current functions will be replaced by algorithms; many believe that lots of white collar jobs, such as lawyers, accountants, and bankers will be replaced by machines with warmer personalities. Venture capitalists have already been “supplemented” with algorithms and, no doubt, there are plenty of people who would like to see us replaced by nearly anything metal—spatula, can opener–if they had their way. In Iron Man we see a world of robot-based soldiers going to war and in real life the echo of that is not so far off.

Army prototypes

So if those jobs are going away and machines run the world of money and more, where are the opportunities for our kids and those now looking for their next career? Well, the good news is that there will still be a need for people in the future (whew!), and service jobs of all kinds will be high demand. While there is not yet a big call for valets to care for our robot overlords, it does appear that demand for medical workers will continue to drive job growth for a long while to come and thus the healthcare system will be largely free from total robot takeover.

Of the nearly 3 million new jobs added in 2014, about 10% of them came from the healthcare sector. That’s a pretty big number and actually is a bit worrisome when one thinks about how closely our economic health as a nation is tied to growing healthcare labor costs. If we are too successful in our national quest to cut healthcare costs, we may find ourselves killing new job growth and tanking the economy. Irony is a bitch. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Bipartisan Policy Center Unveils “A Prevention Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care in America”

Tim_HeadshotAccording to Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, Director of the Preventive and Population Health Models Group of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, we’re all living one long episode of the Bachelor, at least, as the show relates to how we pay for medical care in the United States.

The premise of the Bachelor, he said, during a Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) panel discussion last Thursday, isn’t about cultivating durable, fruitful marriages, even though that would be a reasonable long-term endpoint of the show. Instead, the popular reality program thrives on dramatic narratives that attract as many weeknight viewers as possible. Similarly, within medical care, he said, we want to prevent acute or chronic medical conditions, like heart attacks. But the system also incentivizes volume, box checking and short-term wins, and loses focus on the endpoint.

This issue of payment as a barrier to integrating prevention into health care was one of many points of focus during the discussion, which examined a BPC Prevention Task Force’s report, “A Prevention Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care in America.” (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • June 1st, 2015 Building a Health App? Welcome to Our World
    By Glenna Crooks
  • IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

    Val Jones, MD

    The post below originally ran on the Better Health blog on May 5th.

    It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately, one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors and had the courage to tackle the problem head-on. Three years ago, Avik Som organized “Problem Day” at his medical school (Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO) and invited his professors to an unrestricted “open mic” venting session.

    Representatives from the departments of surgery, medicine, pediatrics and neurology attended. They described their frustrations and day-to-day struggles with the students for 3 hours straight. After decades of service to suffering patients, it was the first time that anyone had asked them to share their own stories. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    A Look at the Impact of IT in Nursing

    The infographic below was created by Adventist University of Health Sciences. It outlines how technology is being used to raise efficacy in nursing and health industries. As more hospitals implement IT nurses will be able to synchronize information between practices and pharmacies, transferring life-saving prescriptions and data in a matter of seconds. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

  • May 4th, 2015 Meet Dakota Fisher-Vance…she didn’t let cancer derail her
    By Glenna Crooks
  • HIMSS15: The Patient Takes Center Stage

    Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following was originally posted by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie.

    Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post called SXSW: Woodstock for Geeks, which became the opening chapter of Tech Tonics, the book I wrote with David Shaywitz. In this piece, I pointed out the marked differences between SXSW vs. HIMSS, both of which I had recently experienced.   I said that HIMSS was best described as “a festival of old-school techno weenies recognizable in the wild by their big company expense accounts and the blue and gray suits that barely cover their pocket protectors.” In contrast, I experienced SXSW as an event that “would blanche at the thought of being called a conference. SXSW is more of a happening.  Rather than suits (the costume is old jeans and rock and roll t-shirts), the primary thing that comes in blue is hair.” My conclusion of the 2012 piece was this:

    “In a perfect world, the ideal HIT gathering would be somewhere psychologically between HIMSS and SXSW:  fewer gray suits, less purple hair, more next generation technology, more business models that work.   If we could do a little cross breeding between species here, we just might make it work. Or we could accidentally end up with the Monster from Young Frankenstein.  Wait a minute, my God it’s brilliant! He might actually be perfect!  The Monster had both a gray suit AND a green head.  If he knows how to code, we have a winner.  Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” (more…)


    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Can Social Media & Healthcare Work Together?

    Does the privacy of health and openness of social media work?

    Social media has many uses, from the basics of being able to stay abreast of what your friends and colleagues are doing, to a way for companies to communicate with their customers.

    It is a way of sharing the big or small moments in your life, but it can be so much more than that.

    This is especially true in healthcare, where despite the clear confidentially restrictions put on how people can communicate, it is making a big difference – as will be discussed by Dennis Jolley, Chief Marketing Officer from Gillette Children’s Specialty, at the Digital Health Innovation Summit. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    The Affordable Care Act As New-Business Creator

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    The following post ran yesterday, March 19 on Health Populi.

    While there’s little evidence that the short-term impact of the Affordable Care Act has limited job growth or driven most employers to drop health insurance plans, the ACA has spawned a “cottage industry” of health companies since 2010, according to PwC.

    PwC-Cottage-Industry-due-to-ACA-300x226As the ACA turned five years of age, the PwC Health Research Institute led by Ceci Connolly identified at least 90 newcos addressing opportunities inspired by the ACA:

    • Supporting telehealth platforms between patients and providers, such as Vivre Health
    • Educating consumers, such as the transparency provider HealthSparq does
    • Streamlining operations to enhance efficiency, the business of Cureate among others
    • Connecting patients and physicians, like SmartPatients and Doximity do
    • Offering health and wellness benefits that complement health plans on the marketplaces, like the novel health plan Oscar does
    • Developing new payment and care delivery models, including Iora Health
    • Performing big data analytics, such as Human API does. (more…)


    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Annie Levy’s Latest Project: “Ask Me a Question”

    annie-square

    Annie Levy

    Disruptive Woman Annie Levy has been busy lately serving as Creative Director of the “Ask Me a Question” project. Annie is part of the MADE VISIBLE Foundation team which worked on this project. Through this video project the stories of five different people who were/are patients is told. The videos are designed to be an interactive teaching tool for students and physicians to learn firsthand about the patient experience. The ultimate goal…make patients more visible. What is even more exciting about the project is that two of the individuals interviewed are part of the Disruptive Women network. The first is Amy Berman one of Disruptive Women’s 2015 Women to Watch and the second is a Man of the Month, Matthew Zachary. You can view Amy and Matthew’s videos as well as the other patient’s videos here. This impressive and important project is worth viewing and sharing with colleagues and friends. Way to go Annie!

    To see an interview with Annie done by the Gold Foundation’s blog editor Perry Dinardo about this project click here. Medpage Today also ran an article on this fabulous series which you can read here.

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Launching Healthcare’s Most Essential Dialogue

    Mary R. Grealy

    On Monday, March 2, a remarkable event took place in Washington, DC.  In a city in which bickering and finger-pointing are practically cottage industries, the diverse interests of American healthcare – many of which often find themselves on opposing sides of issues – came together to begin finding common ground on challenges affecting health system value, innovation and sustainability.

    The stakes for this discussion couldn’t be higher.  Virtually every day, new health innovations are emerging from drawing boards and laboratories.  Advances in medicine, however, bring with them more questions.  How do we incentivize even greater progress to help extend and improve patient lives?  How do we make game-changing innovations affordable and accessible for patients and consumers?  And, how do we create a structure that achieves both high-quality healthcare and long-term economic sustainability?

    The Healthcare Leadership Council – a coalition of CEOs from all health sectors – created an initiative, the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI) for the very purpose of answering questions like these. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Digital health love – older people who use tech like health-tech, too

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    The following post ran on March 4th on Health Populi.

    As people take on self-service across all aspects of daily living, self-care in health is growing beyond the use of vitamins/minerals/supplements, over-the-counter meds, and trying out the blood-pressure cuff in the pharmacy waiting for a prescription to be filled. Today, health consumers the world over have begun to engage in self-care using digital technologies. And this isn’t just a phenomenon among people in the Millennial generationMost seniors who regularly use technology (e.g., using computers and mobile phones) are also active in digitally tracking their weight, for example, learned in a survey by Accenture.Seniors18

    Older people who use technology in daily living (say, for entertainment or financial management) are keen to use tech for health, too. Specifically, illustrated in the infographic, Accenture found that:

    • 2 in 3 older people want to use self-care technology to manage their health
    • 3 in 5 older people are willing to track vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure via a digital device (more…)


    Subscribe to our newsletter

  • March 2nd, 2015 Meet Melissa: An innovative, entrepreneurial woman-on-a-mission
    By Glenna Crooks