Last month, the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans sponsored a seminar on Health 2.0 with Lynne Dunbrack at IDC Health Industry Insights and Roy Schoenberg from American Well. Any resemblance in Lynn’s presentation to the talk I’ve been giving since mid-2007 is I’m sure completely coincidental. (To be less snide, it’s all pretty obvious stuff, and many others are doing it, too). Meanwhile, next month at the big AHIP meeting in San Francisco, another analyst from a Massachusetts research outfit (Carlton Doty of Forrester) will be presenting on this “new” trend.
Now, I’m not exactly blaming these guys for getting into a good thing. Both American Well and David Sobel (who’s appearing with Doty) have been featured at Health 2.0 Conferences already, and Indu and I certainly didn’t discover them, the term Health 2.0, or the Internet. And given the “praise” I’ve heaped on AHIP and its President on THCB over the years, I wasn’t exactly sitting by the phone waiting for their call. Certainly slightly more, ahem, compliant pundits can do a great job instead — even if flying a guy from Boston to talk in San Francisco, when I could walk three blocks may not be the best use of their members’ money.
While it’s good that AHIP is introducing its member health plans to the potential of the Health 2.0 world, let’s not forget that the motivations of the organization don’t exactly square with where many of us think health care, including Health 2.0, should be going — and nor that matter do the Association’s President’s public pronouncements fit with the long-term interests of those of its members who do have something to offer society (e.g not Mega Life/HealthMarkets). Meanwhile, over the years, the quality of AHIP’s research and the veracity of its public statements about the value its members deliver to society have been laughable. So let’s be a little careful about AHIP’s role in Health 2.0
OK, rant over. You can all go back to Friday dog blogging