Matthew Holt

Matthew Holt
Matthew Holt is the founder and publisher of The Health Care Blog and still writes regularly for the site. He is also the co-founder of the Health 2.0 Conference, as well as a Founding Principal of the associated consulting firm Health 2.0 Advisors.

THCB CEO denies improper relationships, payoffs


The Health Care Blog’s Founder & CEO Matthew Holt today announced a policy of absolute transparency concerning the rash of “inappropriate relationships” apparently infecting the health care blogging community. Holt released this statement:

I can categorically deny the truth of any rumors suggesting that anything inappropriate has been going on in the relationships between myself and any THCB staff members. While anonymous contributors may have uploaded perhaps unseemly photographic evidence to Facebook of such a relationship, I’m here to stamp out any rumors that the employee concerned was getting more than special treatment in other areas. I’d also like to state for the record that he is still on the THCB staff, and also that any treats he receives around the neighborhood are direct gifts from the giftees concerned over which I have no influence, and I am not paying off Maria at the Java House for her bacon treats.

Matthew Charley

Reached while sneaking off early on a Friday to coach Little League, THCB Managing Editor John Irvine was said to be quote “Extremely relieved” that Holt was not having any inappropriate relationships with staff members, as “there aren’t any other staff other than me!” and he “didn’t think I’d enjoy it very much."

Upon being informed that apparently other inappropriate relationships have led to large pay-offs and bonuses, Irvine changed his tune somewhat and started inquiring exactly what level of inappropriateness he’d have to put up with, and how big the bonuses were.

An Interview with Matthew Holt


"Here is a treat for regular readers of THCB and, certainly, for everyone who has come to know Matthew. Below, the erudite retired Pathologist, fierce physician advocate, health care chronicler and interviewer, and lover of bad puns, Dick Reece, interviews Matthew, Founder of The Health Care Blog and, with his partner Indu Subaiya, Co-Founder of the Health 2.0 conferences.

As you’ll see below, their exchange is breezy and casual but concise, Dick probing for Matthew’s formative academic influences and Matthew playing it pretty straight, resisting his always present wise-acre gene. It’s actually quite nicely handled on both sides.

Matthew is a person of encyclopedic technical range, with a boundless appetite for information of all types and an irresistible flair for the hilarious. He has a refined sensibility for how things do and might work in the world, and a commitment to avoid the easy path in favor of trying to do things that will positively matter. He is, simply, a shining star. Enjoy."- Brian Klepper

A few socialist musings for Monday


I just watched the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and the word is that state sponsorship of little known or cared about sports like swimming, gymnastics and cycling gets more medals and so should be encouraged. Bob Costas told me that China spent $40 billion on the games, even if London is going to spend less than half that. So it got me thinking about socialism.

Kevin Pho, blogger of KevinMD fame, and usually reliably anti-government in his views, asks for more socialism, at least directed in the direction of him and his fellow MDs. In this USA Today op-ed he suggests rightly that cutting doctors fees in itself saves little in health costs..

Which mob should we care about?


The one on the left one protesting against the extension of health care to the uninsured at Sen Arlen Specter’s townhall meeting? Or the one on the right–some of the 1500 un and underinsured queuing for 2 days for care in inner-city Los Angeles (both photos from NY Times)

Waiting Townhall

Suzanne Delbanco on the new Catalyst for Payment Reform


Catalyst for Payment Reform is a new organization set up by several large employers. The organization’s goal is to pay for health care differently, and make sure that those employers run ahead of any Medicare payment reform coming down the track. Suzanne Delbanco, formerly of Leapfrrog, is now the first Executive Director and Founder of the new organization. Last week I interviewed her about what the organization is going to do, what employers care about, and (despite decades of employers being simple price takers in health care) why this time it’s going to be different.

Keep watching to the very end to see the great view from Suzanne’s office!

Launch! Healogica–Clinical Trials Recrutiment service


Healogica was one of the companies that presented at Launch! at the Health 2.0 Meets Ix conference in Boston in April. I felt that the quality of the Launch! companies as so strong that they all deserved to be featured to more than the 200 people in the room who saw it.  So on the spur of the moment I offered all of them a spot on THCB to get them a little more visibility. And now there’s a flood of three minute videos headed our way.

First up is an innovative clinical trial recruitment service called Healogica. And yes it’s new (which is the point of Launch). Watch the short video below to get an idea and investigate further over at Healogica

Engage with Grace at Thanksgiving


Since 2008 THCB has featured Engage with Grace at Thanksgving. We invite everyone to post this to their blog or Facebook page, and to link here with their status update. You can download a “blog ready” html version of this piece in .txt format to drop into your blog software by right-clicking and choosing”save link as” here. This post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team.

For three years running now bloggers have participated in what we’ve called a “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at making sure all of us understand, communicate, and have honored our end-of-life wishes.

The rally is timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these unbelievably important conversations – our closest friends and family.

At the heart of Engage with Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation about end-of-life started. We’ve included them at the end of this post. They’re not easy questions, but they are important.

The first one’s always free….but will you buy a kid a bike?


Many times because I’m an independent consultant, blogger or general self-appointed health care know-it-all people want to talk to me. And I’m always happy to talk. Sometimes these conversations turn into business for me or THCB or Health 2.0, but sometimes they don’t. What I tell anyone who wants my time is that the "first one is always free."


Meanwhile, as part of her return from a back injury my wife Amanda has bought a bike and is training for a triathlon later this Fall. It’s also renewal time for our favorite cause the Saigon Childrens Charity. Much of its resources are spent buying rice for poor families so that they don’t need to send kids out to work, and so the kid can go to school instead. With the price of rice doubling this year, things are getting tougher for the charity and the kids.

Merry Christmas & Happy Hols


Thanks for reading THCB this year. Thanks to to all the authors who we’ve featured and thanks to John and Sarah for keeping the train on the tracks. And thanks to all who commented and made THCB a great place for educated debate about health care issues.

We’ll be posting a little over the next week with some forecasts for 2009–-which is shaping up to be an interesting year in health policy at least. And there’ll be a new look for THCB early in 2009 too.

But for now enjoy the holiday!

I’m in Tahoe where there was 2 foot of powder last night, which I’ll be heading out to enjoy on my snowboard soon!

What’s wrong with this picture?


Picture 3

And the answer is not the quality of the model!  In the comments please!