Going Beyond Insurance Reform

  This week’s question for the Washington Post Health Care Rx blog was:   Last week, President Obama admonished insurance company executives for excessive rate increases. He is taking aim at them again in his speech in Philadelphia right now. How much of our problem rests with insurance companies and how much is the result…

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Liberate the Data Part II – Perspectives from Eclipsys and Microsoft

It was just about a year ago at last year’s HIMSS that I posted about the need to “liberate the data” within health IT systems – separating data from applications and making it available for reuse in different contexts.  What I said then holds true now.  For health enterprises and consumers, health data is a…

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Health Care Reform is About Improving System Performance

I was asked to contribute to the sequel to the award-winning book, Paper Kills.  The New Edition (released just last week)  is called Paper Kills 2.0, How Health IT Can Help Save Your Life And Your Money.  In the Book, Newt Gingrich, Tom Daschle, and other national industry leaders explore the leading information technologies that…

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A Milestone on Many Levels: Publishing a Joint Op-Ed with Google

Over a year ago, a dialogue started about the rules surrounding ‘meaningful use’ – and with anything like this, there are always lots of voices, lots of opinions.  Given our history, we were in the ‘faction’ of folks focusing on ensuring that consumers were at the center of this discussion – and along with us…

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Health Reform — Fixing the Core Problem or Just Symptoms?

The health reform debate has passed another milestone, but the question I keep getting asked by friends and family is whether the proposed legislation will actually improve our health delivery system.  I want to be optimistic, but I’m skeptical that the kind of comprehensive change we need to truly reform the system will happen.   As…

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The right solution for the ‘population’ may be the wrong solution for the ‘individual’

This week’s question for the Washington Post Health Care Rx blog was:   What does the debate over mammography screening teach us about the challenges in moving to evidence-based medicine in a revamped health system?   The debate truly highlights how much work is yet to be done to build a health-delivery system that generates…

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Reflecting on the healthcare system while waiting at the hospital for a loved one

Often when we talk about healthcare reform, it can be a rather abstract discussion — you watch some tv show with ‘experts’ reflecting on some 20 page bill or hashing through the merits of a public insurance option.  Last week, however, all the intellectual and abstract ideas were brought into something very personal for me and…

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Three Simple Truths

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was: Recent polls show declining support for President Obama’s handling of the health-care issue. What should he do to get the effort back on track?   My response is below.   Today’s debate is mired in details about the wrong topics, chiefly public insurance options…

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Individuals and Personal Responsibility May Be the Tipping Point in Health Reform

The latest turn in the healthcare debate is the increasingly sensational coverage of town halls happening across the country.  While they’re described as rancorous and sometimes violent, I’m pleased to see my fellow Americans so passionate and involved in one of our country’s biggest long-term challenges.  For most of us, we think of health care…

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Lessons from Medicare and Medicaid

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was: Do you think that a government-sponsored health insurance option is needed to help control rising costs and “keep insurers honest,” as President Obama says?   My response is now live:  Lessons from Medicare and Medicaid. My main points: ·         How will another government-managed option…

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