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Tag: Michael Millenson

THCB Gang, Episode 13

Episode 13 of “The THCB Gang” was on Thursday, June 11th. Watch it below or on our YouTube Channel.

Matthew Holt (@boltyboy)was back on the moderating chair! Joining him were patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano), patient safety expert Michael Millenson (MLMillenson), policy expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), MD & hospital system exec Raj Aggarwal (@docaggarwal), data privacy expert Deven McGraw (@healthprivacy) and fierce journalist & data rights activist Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey). This was a doozy, and the conversation ranged from what it’s like re-opening at a big academic medical center to data flow and public health in Taiwan to statues of Confederate losers in Richmond. Not to mention what will happen in the impeding second wave.

If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan

Even Covid-19 May Not Be Causing Your Doctor To Wash His Hands

By MICHAEL MILLENSON

If you think the grim coronavirus death toll is causing health care workers everywhere to always wash their hands, think again.

A recent research letter published in The Journal of Hospital Infection examined whether it’s “possible to achieve 100 percent hand hygiene compliance during the Covid-19 pandemic.” The medical center involved in the research, Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong, had reached a pre-Covid-19 hand hygiene rate of over 75 percent.

Yet the hospital’s goal of complete compliance proved surprisingly elusive. In one pediatric ward devoted to suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients, doctors and nurses followed hand hygiene rules 100 percent of the time, but in another ward with similar patients and staff, compliance was 83 percent, or about one-fifth less.

Given Covid-19’s risk to providers as well as patients, this was “unexpected,” the researchers admitted. 

The Queen Mary study supports what infection control experts have long maintained: awareness isn’t enough. Doctors and nurses, particularly during a pandemic, understand that hand hygiene is “the most important intervention” to reduce the staggering death toll from infections, as the American Journal of Infection Control put it.

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THCB Gang, Episode 11

Episode 11 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, May 27th and you can see it again below

Joining me were three regulars, patient safety expert Michael Millenson (MLMillenson), writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), health futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), and two new guests: digital health investment banker Steven Wardell (@StevenWardell) and MD turned physician leadership coach Maggi Cary (@MargaretCaryMD)! The conversation was heavy on telemedicine and value based care, and their impact on the stock-market, the economy and the health care system–all in a week when we went over 100,000 deaths from COVID-19.

If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Matthew Holt

THCB Gang: Episode 9

Episode 9 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Wednesday (instead of our normal Thursday slot) on May 13th at 1pm PT- 4pm ET! Watch it below! Next week we’ll be back to Thursday

Joining me were health “IT” girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa), health futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (@healthythinker), patient safety expert Michael Millenson (MLMillenson), and MD & hospital system exec Rajesh Aggarwal (@docaggarwal). The conversation looked at the likelihod of big picture change, Medicare Advantage expansion, whether the move to remote care is real and sustainable, and at one point got us to war with China!

If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels from Thursday onwards— Matthew Holt

THCB Gang: Episode 7

Episode 7 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, April 30th at 1pm PT- 4pm ET! You can see it below. If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.

Joining me were regulars futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano), quality expert Michael Millenson (@MLMillenson), with guests Raj Aggarwal (@docaggarwal) head of innovation at Jefferson Health System, and our very own health tech “IT girl” Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa) from WTF Health. We had a great conversation about the present and future of care delivery and finance. — Matthew Holt

Paul O’Neill, Health Care Hero

By MICHAEL MILLENSON

Paul O’Neill, who died from lung cancer earlier this month at age 84, was one of my personal heroes, but not because of anything he accomplished as Alcoa’s chief executive officer or as Secretary of the Treasury.

O’Neill was my hero because he saved patients’ lives. 

Two decades ago, when few dared speak openly about medical error, this titan of industry put his considerable clout behind a radical idea: not a single patient should be injured or killed by their medical care. And in pursuit of that goal, hospitals had to continually make care measurably safer.

No one of O’Neill’s stature, before or since, has shown anything close to his dogged determination to make this ideal real.

O’Neill first embraced zero harm after Karen Wolk Feinstein, the president of a small, local foundation, had the chutzpah to ask him to serve as co-chairman of a coalition to radically improve Pittsburgh’s health care. He make this commitment even though it was a goal championed by a non-physician book author (me) and by a PhD in labor economics (Feinstein), while being denounced as naively unrealistic by respected local medical leaders.

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The THCB Gang: Episode 5

Episode 5 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed Thursday, April 16 at 1pm PT- 4pm ET! 4-6 semi-regular guests drawn from THCB authors and other assorted old friends of mine will shoot the sh*t about health care business, politics, practice, and tech. It tries to be fun but serious and informative! If you miss it, it will also be preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.

Deven McGraw (@healthprivacy), Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), Grace Cordovano (@gracecordovano), Michael Millenson (@MLMillenson), and Dave deBronkhart (@ePatientDave) all discussed the recent news surrounding COVID-19, and their guesses on how it will impact the landscape of health care; from policy to practice — Matthew Holt

Trump Urges Insured COVID-19 Victims to Use For-Profit Medical Care

By MICHAEL MILLENSON

(Foxnoxious News) WASHINGTON, April 1 –  President Trump today urged all insured Americans infected by the coronavirus to seek care only at for-profit facilities.

“American capitalism is the world’s greatest job-creating engine,” said the president in a prepared statement. “That’s why I urge all Americans who have both good health insurance and COVID-19 to get their care at for-profit hospitals and other wonderful, for-profit health care facilities.

The president expressed his compassion “for all the great companies whose share prices are suffering.” Americans who fall sick “can help make your life savings great again,” he said, by using investor-owned firms. In addition to hospitals, these include for-profit nursing homes, rehab facilities, home care and hospice, as well as funeral homes.

“If one million Americans get infected by COVID-19, that’s a terrific business opportunity,” the president declared.

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To Improve Patient Care, Think Both “Zebras” and Golf

By MICHAEL MILLENSON

Super Bowl Week ended with the San Francisco 49ers and 161 U.S. hospitals having something in common.

Both were publicly penalized, both lost money as a result and both passionately believed the process was unfair. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to decide whether their objections were sensible or sour grapes and, in the case of hospitals, the real-life consequences are not a game.

The penalty that pained the 49ers occurred shortly before halftime of Super Bowl LIV, when offensive pass interference was called on tight end George Kittle. The call negated a big gain that might have enabled the 49ers to take the lead.

Replays showed that the referees – nicknamed “zebras” for their black-and-white striped shirts – were technically correct in their decision. Nonetheless, controversy erupted over whether given other possible penalties called or overlooked, this one deserved a yellow flag.

Hospitals call that kind of context “risk adjustment.” A few days before the Super Bowl, the Medicare program blew the whistle on a group of hospitals having high rates of infection and other patient injuries. The hospitals who are outliers in what are blandly labeled “hospital-acquired conditions” (HACs) suffer a cut of one percent in their Medicare payments over next fiscal year.

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Will Your Health Plan Tell You That It Can Save Your Life?

By MICHAEL MILLENSON

At kitchen tables everywhere, ordinary Americans have been grappling with the arcane language of deductibles and co-pays as they’ve struggled to select a health insurance plan during “open enrollment” season.

Unfortunately, critical information that could literally spell the difference between life and death is conspicuously absent from the glossy brochures and eye-catching websites.

Which plan will arrange a consultation with top-tier oncologists if I’m diagnosed with a complex cancer? Which might alert my doctor that I urgently need heart bypass surgery? And which plan will tell me important information such as doctor-specific breast cancer screening rates?

According to Matt Eyles, president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), insurers over the last decade have made a “dramatic shift” to focus more on consumers.  That shift, however, has yet to include giving members the kind of detailed information available to corporate human resources managers and benefits consultants (one of my past jobs).

What’s at stake could be seen at a recent AHIP-sponsored meeting in Chicago on consumerism. Rajeev Ronaki, chief digital officer for Anthem, Inc., explained how the giant insurer is using artificial intelligence to predict a long list of medical conditions, including the need for heart bypass surgery. Information on individual patients is passed on to clinicians.

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