Do we live in times of barbarism?
While I imagine many reading this would disagree that we live as a primitive culture based on our technological progress, I contend that how we operate as a community may be vastly improved in supporting the health and well-being of everyday citizens. Furthermore, I believe that one day we’ll look back on ourselves as society and marvel at how primitive the tools were to improve the health of communities.
On a daily basis, our individual health is driven by countless decisions. Where we shop for food, how we commute, where we choose to live and spend our time outdoors are all contributors to our health and wellbeing. Each of these actions can be improved—optimized so they contribute to a maximum level of health—if adequate data is available.
Continue reading “Healthy Community Data Summit — A Call to Action”
Filed Under: Health 2.0
Tagged: California HealthCare Foundation, Healthy Communities Data Summit, Wil Yu
Apr 4, 2013
After a seemingly endless presidential campaign, we’re just days away from the Nov. 6 election. And to be sure, health care issues remain at the forefront.
Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have tried to claim the high ground as Medicare’s number one defender. In his latest column, the New York Times’ Paul Krugman argues that next week’s vote “is, to an important degree, really about Medicaid.” And writing on Bloomberg View, columnist Ezra Klein takes an even broader stance, concluding that “this election is all about health care.”
But health care isn’t all about the election, despite politics’ seeming ability to draw every sector into its gravitational pull.
In fact, many of the most significant stories in health care from the past two months haven’t come from the campaign trail — where candidates have mostly rehashed their existing policies — but from the private sector, as employers and providers have made aggressive, and sometimes unexpected, deals and changes. Reforms that will continue regardless of who’s sitting in the Oval Office next year.
Here are some of those stories.
Top Employers Move to Defined Contribution
As previously discussed in “Road to Reform,” Sears Holdings and Darden Restaurants have made plans to shift away from their current “defined benefits” — where they choose a set of health insurance benefits on behalf of their workers — and roll out “defined contribution” instead.
Under that model, firms pay a fixed amount for employees’ health benefits and allow workers to choose their coverage from an online marketplace, such as the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges or the emerging number of privately run exchanges.
In theory, the model would slow employers’ health costs while allowing employees to have more control over their own health care spending. And Sears and Darden’s announcements aren’t wholly unexpected, given that many employers have signaled their interest in making a similar shift.
But given the long-entrenched employer-sponsored health coverage model, some employers needed to be the first movers before the rest would be ready to follow.
Will they? That will be a major industry issue to watch across the next months.
Continue reading “How Health Care Changed While You Were Watching the Election”
Filed Under: THCB, The Business of Health Care
Tagged: 2012 Election, Advisory Board Company, Alternative Quality Contract, Barack Obama, BCBS of Massachusetts, bundled payments, California HealthCare Foundation, California Healthline, Chas Roades, Dan Diamond, Darden Restaurants, employee benefits, Employers, Ezra Klein, Massachusetts, Medicare, Mitt Romney, Partners Healthcare, Paul Krugman, PPACA, Reform, Sears Holdings, Wal Mart
Nov 1, 2012