Making Sound Decisions in Health

In past blogs, I have frequently discussed the need for the consumer to be a more active participant in the health ecosystem. I passionately believe the citizen/consumer has to be accountable for their many personal health decisions – such as lifestyle, smoking, nutrition, activity levels and the like. It is simply not right or fair…

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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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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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The Six Billion Pound Challenge -- How a Focus on Driving Outcomes can Improve Health Faster and Better than Legislation

I commend the administration for shining the light on the need to improve health in America!  While I want to be optimistic about change, I’m skeptical about how much real improvement we will really see under the guise of healthcare reform.  Like I’ve noted before, the national conversation we are having — which bill will…

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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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Empowering Consumers

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was:   In the Baucus bill, insurers would pay a tax on the value above $8,000 for an individual policy and $21,000 for a family plan. What do you think of Sen. Baucus’ proposal to impose a 35 percent tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans?…

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In the Health Reform Recipe, the Missing Ingredient Is the Consumer

So this week’s question from the Washington Post RX Blog was: What’s Your Take On Obama’s Speech?  What did you think of President Barack Obama’s Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress? Was it effective? Did it “move the needle?” My response is below.   I applaud the administration for shining a bright…

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