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The Health 2.0 Show, January 2010

Earlier this week we recorded the very first episode of the Health 2.0 Show. We're calling this new webinar series "The Health 2.0 Show with Indu and Matthew."  The first episode features a quick talk about the new report from Health 2.0 Advisors, called The Past and Future of Health 2.0, and a great interview with Thomas Goetz of Wired Magazine. Thomas’ new book, The Decision Tree, comes out  next month.

Here’s a link to the blog about the topic.  And here’s the webinar. Some technical notes: The sound starts at 0.45 seconds. (Oops!) Matthew’s presentation starts at 7.56. Thomas’ talk and interview starts at 23.06.

2009 Homeless Gift Guide

Gurley This time of year, no matter what your worldview, religion or culture, it’s hard, as you hurry past the homeless huddled on the street, to not feel like Scrooge. Whether you’re taking your family to the Nutcracker, or pounding the pavement for a job yourself, walking past so many shivering mounds of human misery takes a toll on the psyche. Maybe your kids are tugging on your arm, asking why can’t something be done? Maybe you (like so many of us) just don’t feel comfortable handing out bits, or even wads, of cash. So what can YOU do to make a small difference? Here, folks, is the 3rd Annual Doc Gurley Homeless Gift Guide, with tips for how you too can safely give an affordable, life-saving gift to the neediest among us. Because when it comes to the homeless, that’s when, truly, The Giving Is Easy. And once you see how simple and rewarding it can be to drop a gift with a homeless person, be sure to pass the word along. Email friends, post your efforts on Facebook or MySpace. Put together gifts to have in your car for those awkward moments when you’re waiting at an intersection, staring at a scrawled “anything helps, even a smile” cardboard sign. It will change the whole tenor of your life.

Still feeling reluctant to throw together a homeless gift? Keep in mind that, when it comes to your health, studies show that acts of altruism benefit YOU – your life satisfaction, your overall level of contentment, and even how long you live. If altruism was a drug, it would outsell Viagra.

Continue reading…

Some conversations are easier than others

We’re continuing a tradition at THCB started last year. Asking you to take a moment this weekend to discuss your desires for how to live the end of your life as meaningfully as possible–If you want to reproduce this post on your blog (or anywhere) you can download a ready-made html version here Matthew Holt

Last Thanksgiving weekend, many of us bloggers participated in the first documented “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes.
It was a great success, with over 100 bloggers in the healthcare space and beyond participating and spreading the word. Plus, it was timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these tough conversations – our closest friends and family.
Our original mission – to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes – hasn’t changed. But it’s been quite a year – so we thought this holiday, we’d try something different.

A bit of levity.

At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started. We’ve included them at the end of this post. They’re not easy questions, but they are important.
To help ease us into these tough questions, and in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d start with five parallel questions that ARE pretty easy to answer:

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Silly? Maybe. But it underscores how having a template like this – just five questions in plain, simple language – can deflate some of the complexity, formality and even misnomers that have sometimes surrounded the end-of-life discussion.
So with that, we’ve included the five questions from Engage With Grace below. Think about them, document them, share them.

Over the past year there’s been a lot of discussion around end of life. And we’ve been fortunate to hear a lot of the more uplifting stories, as folks have used these five questions to initiate the conversation.

One man shared how surprised he was to learn that his wife’s preferences were not what he expected. Befitting this holiday, The One Slide now stands sentry on their fridge.

Wishing you and yours a holiday that’s fulfilling in all the right ways.


(To learn more please go to www.engagewithgrace.org. This post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team. )

Spotlight on Health 2.0: David Kibbe’s Motorcycle Tour

health 2.0 tvEvery week we bring you a video from Health 2.0! This week we’re featuring a golden oldie, David Kibbe’s motorcycle tour across America.

To see more videos from past Health 2.0 conferences, or to purchase the entire conference DVD sets from ’07 & ’08 click here. 2009 DVD sets will be available shortly, please check back for updates.

Dave Durenberger on Lieberman

Former Minnesota Senator Dave Durenberger, a thinking centrist Republican (remember them?) puts out an occasional newsletter full of gems. This is today’s zinger:

The Senate has a better bill than the House, but it also has a 60-vote requirement which empowers the odd-ball “if not my way, the highway” members – like Joe Lieberman claiming that something like a public insurance plan violates his “conscience.” I guess I don’t understand Conservative Judaism.

Spotlight on Health 2.0: The Patient Is In, from SF 2009

health 2.0 tvEvery week we bring you a new video from Health 2.0! This week we’re featuring The Patient is In, a session focusing on how Health 2.0 tools are making a difference for patients.

To see more videos from past Health 2.0 conferences, or to purchase the entire conference DVD sets from ’07 & ’08 click here. 2009 DVD sets will be available shortly, please check back for updates.

Spotlight on Health 2.0: In The Doctors Office, from SF 2009

health 2.0 tvEvery week we bring you a new video from Health 2.0! This week we’re featuring Health 2.0 In the Doctors Office, a special showcase featuring physician-facing tools and services from the recent Fall conference in San Francisco.

To see more videos from past Health 2.0 conferences, or to purchase the entire conference DVD sets from ’07 & ’08 click here. 2009 DVD sets will be available shortly, please check back for updates.

Commentology

Jeff Goldsmith writes:

As you may know if you’ve read my postings, I’m an outspoken advocate of tightening Medicare fraud and abuse laws. There will be a post on this in a day or two. It’s actually the stuff that’s legal that is the problem: doctors self-referring patients for radiological scans, surgery, hospitals admissions to facilities they have an ownership interest in. I think there is just as much “fraud” of this type- rampant self dealing- on the private insurance side.

The scandal is: what’s legal. And I stand by my earlier statement that the big money is in running up the tab on the privately insured, not in Medicare. On private insurers’ margins, I’ve never subscribed to the populist garbage about obscene profits. Uwe Reinhardt had an excellent analysis of the Wellpoint 10K the other day in the New York Times. Health insurance is actually not a very good business. Many of these firms would be a lot more profitable if they were better managed, and eliminated a lot of the paper and clerical overburden, and if they were more aggressive in bargaining with providers. Since the same companies process Medicare claims, I don’t see us escaping them. Management in both our private and public systems is mediocre and not improving. (Medicare has been without an Administrator for two years, spanning two administrations).

It’s really a waste of my time to participate in a philosophical BS argument about government=bad, private sector= good. That sort of ended after college for me. We have a mixed system. I’ve worked in both private and public sectors. If we want to cover the 55 plus population, my best case scenario is for Medicare to assume the insurance risk, and contract with well managed HMO type health plans to actually co-ordinate the care. We’ve both spend decades working in this field, Nate- 34 years in my case; I’ve spent most of my time in provider space, and have a much clearer idea than you do about where the waste is. Don’t get me started- if all you’re looking at is claims data, and in essentially one market, believe me, my friend, you don’t know what you don’t know . . .”

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