Incomprehensible Fragmentation Killed Haven

What does it mean when Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan confront a problem that’s not only too big to tackle, but it may also be too big to fully understand?

In the last 24 hours, business journalists have been having a field day reporting on the demise of Haven — the collaborative healthcare venture created by three of the nation’s biggest names in supply-chain management and finance. They’re asking why it failed and offering plausible reasons.

CNN reports the founding companies continued their own projects separately, “obviating the need for a joint venture, to begin with,” which The Wall Street Journal reports, “led to different priorities.”


2021 is the Year for Health Transformation (No, Really)

Our health system has been pushed to adopt technologies and other advancements swiftly so that we can survive — and, hopefully, it’s been a forceful shove out of complacency.

Remember the musings of 2019 industry analysts last December, pondering which digital technologies and biomedical and life science advances would make their mark in 2020? Despite all the right indicators and common sense — and even a global pandemic that no one could have predicted — too many of these cost-reducing and life-saving ideas fell victim to the unmovable health-system status quo. It was too comfortable just keeping the time-worn system in place.

In retrospect, on the eve of the new decade, we had the luxury of dipping our toes into the waters of digital and biomedical innovation and daydreaming…


LEADERSHIP

Real Leadership is Built on Emboldened Empathy

Photo Credit: Courage — CreativeFire — iStock-153070738

For years, I’ve devoured books on leadership and business management. Ken Blanchard, Jim Collins, Stephen Covey, Peter Drucker, Jon Katzenbach, Kim Scott, Tom Peters, Sheryl Sandberg, Peter Senge, Sun Tzu, Fred Wiersema and many other business and strategy gurus became my literary mentors through the decades. Though the perspectives they imparted were valuable, my greatest teachers have always been my colleagues and clients.

Their questions, encouragement and pushback made me think and feel, and desire to be better. They firmly solidified my belief that empathetic leadership is what opens hearts and minds and inspires us to be greater together. …


Harnessing Communications Across Disciplines to Heal Our Environment

Photo Credit: Petmal — iStock Photo 1185610055

[Co-Authored by John Bianchi, vice president, FINN Partners, Health]

We’re confronted with a looming problem. The environment is in poor health. Everything the environment sustains — plants, animals, our communities, our businesses, our families, and ourselves — are now equally at risk of poor health. As we experience record heat waves, fires burning in the western U.S. for the last decade, polluted water, and a global pandemic driven in large part by environmental factors, that couldn’t be clearer.

And yet, galvanizing support for environmental and human health remains difficult. Environmental protection, politicized for the short-term gain of a few, remains…


A Conversation with Visionary Leader Dr. Yele Aluko

Photo Credit: EY — Yele Aluko, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, EY

Our world is at a watershed moment. Fractures in the public health system that have been present for decades have recently become apparent to us with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen public health statistics associated with fear of vaccination, health disparities, and racial inequities. …


A Conversation with Environmental Affairs Guru Bob Martineau

Bob Martineau, JD, environmental policy expert speaks with Gil Bashe, Medika Life (Photo Credit: DVL/Seigenthaler, Nashville)

Bob Martineau, JD, you have a remarkable career — all dedicated to environmental issues and health. You’ve been the Commissioner of Environment and Conservation in Tennessee Governor’s Bill Haslam’s administration; during that time, you also served as President of the Environmental Council of the States, the group that unites commissioners from environmental agencies for all 50 US states. You’ve led the environmental practice group at one of the Southeast’s leading law firms; you were an attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and you have even co-edited the Clean Air Act Handbook.

Now you have brought your ideas and expertise…


Five digital health ideas that will help to make the leap.

Now post-acute care centers follow patients at home using smart technologies to track health vitals and ensure recovery plans are on track to avoid hospital readmissions. [Photo Credit: ChooChin on Shutterstock]

Hospitals are in a serious bind. Caught between fulfilling their missions to fully treat patients and the need to deal with space considerations and a reimbursement system that dictates how long they can keep a patient under their roof, they’re experiencing “patient déjà vu,” with as many as a quarter of their discharged patients finding themselves back where they started — hospitalized.

Whom exactly does an approach with 25% readmission rates serve? It certainly doesn’t serve hospitals. More importantly, the people the system seeks to serve — patients — are put needlessly, in some cases dangerously, at risk. Medical care cannot end when discharged patients are wheeled out the front door into the abyss of do-it-yourself care, but too often, it does, and it is in the days and weeks following discharge when patients are medically most vulnerable.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks to control expenditures for care and placed readmissions in the bullseye to close the US$26bn…


Maintaining the Status Quo of Sick-Care Hits Companies Right in the Bottom Line

The average cost of insurance per employee for family coverage is approximately $20,576, with workers paying $6,013 on average toward the cost of their coverage. Is this sustainable? [istock Photo 122635457 by Aldarinho]

Have you put on your “COVID 19?” If you’re among the many millions of people trapped at home who have put on weight during the pandemic, it’s understandable. But the humorous phrase — derived from the familiar “Freshman 15” of weight gain to which first-year college students are prone — is a serious matter. Whether we add 15, 19 or 25 pounds, adding notches to belts comes with a price tag. In many cases, business owners are picking up that tab.

As economists have been pointing out for decades, this nation spends way too much on healthcare; $3.7 trillion annually…


Have a voice? Have a smartphone? That’s all that may be needed to screen vocal biomarkers, a non-invasive, democratic way to track disease symptoms

Photo Credit: RichVintage

Happy anniversary! (Not!)

As we head into the COVID-19 lockdown anniversary — a non-celebration marking one year separated from family, friends, and workplace community — one thing is clear. A full year into a pandemic that’s killed more than 500,000 Americans and put a pause on the world economy, we are still struggling with shortages of accurate, high-quality, cost-effective screen options. Yet this is perhaps the single biggest key to recovery.

Most of the easy ways we do spot testing — temperature checks or symptom questionnaires — offer a 50/50 chance of identifying someone as COVID-19 positive. Those are terrible odds. And from…


Medical Device Innovators Need Not Apply

Photo Credit: Christian Horz iStock — Getty Images

Right now, state and federal governments are throwing everything at COVID-19 with an urgency so great that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) that tear down long-standing obstacles to telehealth, digital health, diagnostics and innovative medications that may prove effective against the virus. Payers have been quick to follow, making these innovations — sometimes labeled “investigational” — available on their plans.

With the eyes of the world upon them, payers know that when beneficiaries’ health and corporate reputations are at risk, innovation is welcomed, and the “investigational” label is not a barrier to…

Gil Bashe

An ambassador for health communications as the essential bridge connecting healers and those seeking to be healed. Medika Life BeingWell author.

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