Matthew Holt

THCB relaunch to change focus to renewable energy, fly fishing, sailing

The Patient Reassurance and Consumer Total Insurance Confirmation Access legislation was signed into law last week, and the powers that be at THCB have had a radical rethink about what we should do next.

I myself have led this effort. Given that all the major problems in the health care system in the US have more or less been solved by the recent law, it’s apparent that a blog focusing on only health care is going to be pretty superfluous. Some of the more frequent and most important THCB contributors are have also subtly told us that they’re ready to move onto other things.

Brian Klepper told me that with a combination of both leadership from Congress and employers “85% of everything I think we need in health care is done.” Brian plans to spend even more time sailing his catamaran off the coast of Florida and down to the Caribbean where he’ll be focusing on his new business with David Kibbe of importing cheap Cuban rum to Florida—at least until the embargo is lifted. Bob Wachter has decided that with a combination of the new health care bill and with Don Berwick taking over all his work on patient safety, hospital care is about as good as it’s going to get. Bob is going to stay in health care, but he’s taking a crack at the issue of the rural physician shortage by moving to Idaho to start a solo primary care practice. He’ll be opening his new practice just as soon as the bunker is built and stocked with sufficient supplies.

Jeff Goldsmith has worked out an arrangement with Maggie Mahar in which Jeff is retiring to Colorado to pursue his two loves of downhill skiing and fly fishing. He’ll be sending us regular reports on the latter. In turn Maggie will be picking up Jeff’s consulting practice and spending most of her time with hospital systems and insurance companies advising them on integration strategies. She’ll be sending Jeff half her speaking fees. Meanwhile two of our other contributors, Paul Levy and John Halamka, recently were informed that they have day jobs running some big hospital and may actually have to spend some time on that, until the impending takeover of BIMDC by Partners Healthcare (after which they’ll have plenty of time for blogging, if you catch my drift!).

But for THCB itself, it’s clear that with health care wrapped up, we need to turn to new challenges. We’ll still be getting dispatches from our contributors about fly fishing, sailing, and real topics of interest, but from now on our focus will be on the next big issue for America, which is of course renewable energy.

I’m really excited to lead this effort, and will be putting into practice my year and a half of high school physics to assess the various proposals and technologies for solving the world’s energy crisis. For the past several months John Irvine, THCB’s managing editor, has been learning about the market by driving his SUV all over New Jersey and even sometimes into states where he has to pump his own gas.  We would like to thank the health care types who’ve been reading THCB over the last seven years, and hope that as your industry becomes a quiet backwater, you find more entertaining things to do.

Finally of course we realize that the name “The Health Care Blog” isn’t suitable for our new focus on renewable energy technologies, so from tomorrow THCB will be called the Journal of Kinetic Energy.

Categories: Matthew Holt