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.

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Categories: Matthew Holt

20 replies »

  1. P.S. Matthew–
    Thanks for bringing much-needed levity to THCB at a time when many of us seemed to be getting unnecessarily
    I really did laugh out loud, which I don’t do often enough.

  2. In honor of THCB’s new focus, I took the entire day off, stopped by the local Bait/BBQ/Beer?Ammo store, and spent the entire day on the lake without anything electronic. The kinetic energy was so amazing I’ve decided to do the same thing tomorrow!
    Peace out…..

  3. I forgot it was April 1 (absent-minded professor–never know what day it is. When my children were young, I could ask them, but they’re no longer at home.)
    But I did start laughing when I read the first line. Matthew: if you think You’re tired of healthcare–imagine how you’d feel if you wrote 20,000 word posts and comments. My husband tells me I type in my sleep.
    Jeff: Here’s the bad news– Half of nothing is still nothing.

  4. Excellent . . . [puts pinkie finger near mouth in poor imitation of Mini-Me.] I’ll have to think of ways to inject myself into these new enterprises to keep my brood fed and clothed . . . Is $5 million in revenues sufficient for everyone?

  5. Hey I get it that the bay area is a tad of a challenge for fall/winter surfing, but what about that oceanic calling Matt? Kinda feeling left out down here!

  6. Cindy – I think you can take full advantage of NAFTA and import your Coke made w/sugar from Mexico.

  7. I am happy to take up the slack on fly fishing in Colorado. I’ve been taught how to tie a fly – I think I can pull it from the depths of my memory… Maybe you can get Brad Pitt to guest post on his experience for A River Runs Through It – guaranteed to increase your readership 1000X

  8. Long live JoKE! Something to be said for this, as this post has the “happiest” set of blog responses that I’ve seen in quite a while and no one seems to be bent out of shape… Good thing that the THCB comments started working again, so we can see unlimited numbers of such cheerful posts!

  9. Half the pharmacies in the nation closed today. Every EHR reported all semi-annual A1Cs performed and below 7%. And broccoli futures replaced pork bellies on the Chicago exchange. Oh happy day!

  10. Wow, I feel sheepish: I read over half of this in consternation before slapping my forehead and remembering what the date was. You certainly got me! But the space idea isn’t bad Sherry, specially since NASA is soon to be as defunct as health care. 😉

  11. Matthew,
    Please let Brian Klepper and David Kibbe know I am not only interested in the rum importation business, but I have experience to boot!
    When I was 20, I imported two bottles of rum to the U.S. via backpack. Granted, this is limited experience, but seeing as how your 1.5 years of high school physics qualifies you to lead analysis efforts on renewable energy, I think this works out okay for everyone.
    I’d love to say I’ll miss THCB, but to be honest, I am so sick of hearing about health care and meaningful use, I think I will truly enjoy importing rum for a living.
    P.S. I need Coke made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup to make decent rum & cokes. From what country do I need to import this?

  12. Brian’s going to SAIL that rum up from Cuba? C’mon, he needs a power boat with twin 500 c.i. Caddy motors. You can’t keep people waiting on their Cuba Libres. I’ll drive the thing. I’m pretty good with the wrenches, too. Gimme a call, Brian.

  13. I was thinking exactly the same thing when I heard about Berwick’s nomination. My new project is to win “Yard of the Month” so I’m taking up gardening after I get back from Vegas.

  14. Actually, it’s New Mexico, dude.
    See you at the top of Kachina Peak.
    (Maggie will have to raise her rates to make this work.)

  15. Most people of course realize that it is kinetic energy which allows a sailboat to move faster then the wind but I think Matt has a much grander plan in mind.. Sailing, Energy,Oh I know.. his stealth plan includes the next frontier – space!
    Do you think it might have something to do with hhis? “Solar Sailing Kinetic Energy Impactor (KEI) Mission Design Tradeoffs for Impacting and Deflecting Asteroid 99942 Apophis” ?

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