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Community: Project HealthDesign

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced a new call for proposals for Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records, a $10-million national program to stimulate innovations in personal health information technology.  Project HealthDesign will host a series of two informational web seminars for potential applicants. The first on April 29th at 2PM EST. The second on May 7th.  For more information and to register: http://www.projecthealthdesign.org

Community: Online Bone Marrow Drive

-1I am a first-year medical student,
president of the Yale Medical Student Council, and a reader of the Health Care
Blog. I am writing to make you aware of an effort among members of my
class to increase registration for bone marrow donation. This was
inspired by a classmate, Natasha Collins, who has recurrent leukemia
and requires a bone marrow transplant. A major issue is that Natasha is
of mixed ethnic background, making it particularly difficult to find
her a match.Members of my class have been very active in trying to increase
awareness of the need for bone marrow donors – they have organized an
online bone marrow drive, and achieved some degree of publicity via
Facebook
, YouTube, and local media coverage.I think this story may be of interest for your readers. For me and
many of my classmates, who are training to be future physicians,
Natasha provided a different perspective on disease and the ways we can
try to help a sick patient or friend – not only by medical
interventions, but by social networking and publicity. If I can provide
any further information, or if you'd like to contact anyone else
involved, please let me know.

Capstone conference, May 14: Fresh thinking on health care reform

Matthew’s note: imagine that several of your intellectual health care policy wonk heroes were teaming up with at least one big time industry player that you sometimes love to hate, but who’s always a great source of thinking. Imagine that they were getting together in an intimate setting to spend a day focusing on health care reform. Imagine that two of them are behind the two ideas you consider the best for the future of health care in the US. And it’s all just down the street from you. Then imagine that because of a prior client commitment you can’t go. Now you know how I feel, but it doesn't have to be that way for you!

The Capstone Conference: Fresh Thinking on Health Care Reform will bring together influential health care reform professionals from academia, industry and government for a day of presentations and discussion. The Conference represents the culminating activity of the FRESH-Thinking Project, which has conducted eight workshops over three years on health care reform. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at the Quadrus Conference Center, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm

TOPICS of INTEREST:

* Prospects for National Health Care Reform* Funding and Access to Health Care* Organization And Delivery Of Medical Care* Fostering Innovation In a Value–Conscious Environment* What Health Care Reform Means to Physicians, Employers and the Public?

The panel is stellar: Alain Enthoven, Victor Fuchs, Alan Garber, Leonard Schaeffer, John Shoven, & Wallace R. Hawley. For more information, www.fresh-thinking.org.

Write and tell me how it was. Or if you can be there and can write for THCB, let me know

Op-Ed: Seven Strategies to Address the Nation’s Health Care Crisis

Susan_Blumenthal_SOH_Photo1 America's health crisis does not have either a single cause or a silver bullet solution. Yet previous attempts at reform have often focused too narrowly on the financing and delivery of health care. In a report released last week, a Commission of national health experts convened by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) emphasizes a wide spectrum of actions needed to become the healthiest nation in the world. The Commission on U.S. Federal Leadership in Health and Medicine: Charting Future Directions that we co-chair has identified seven strategies to mobilize all sectors of American society to help put "health" into our nation's health care system.

The report, New Horizons for a Healthy America: Recommendations to the New Administration, adopts a comprehensive perspective in framing its seven recommended strategies for a high-performance health care system and a healthier nation. These recommendations include:



Issue a Presidential Call to Action for a "Healthy U.S." The
Administration, working with Congress, should set a bold framework for
action for improving health in the United States (Healthy U.S.),
mobilizing all sectors of society and emphasizing comprehensive health
promotion, disease prevention, and the delivery of high quality medical
care .

Establish "Health in All Policies."  Marshal the leadership and
resources of the more than 40 federal agencies that address health into
a coordinated, synergistic effort.

Continue reading…

Where’s THCB’s share of the money? Or does Stuart Browning feel left out?

My lefty friends at Moveon.org emailed me (and a few million others) appalled that Rick Scott’s group is going to be spending $1 million running ads attacking the as yet officially non-existent Baucus/Daschle/deParle/Obama health plan. Now that’s not exactly a surprise. Rick Scott has been on the offensive for a while now and in the spirit of inclusiveness (or the more cynical among you might say, to start a fight in an empty house) THCB ran his op-ed a while back. Frankly it was pretty tough to figure out what he was “for” but it’s clear what he’s against—the evils of Canada and the UK.

Yesterday I had a little fun teasing some Norwegians over here to learn about the US health care system. I asked them what they wanted to learn about, and one of them said “what about the 48 million uninsured”. I told her that Americans were a kind and generous people, and that there couldn’t possibly be anyone here uninsured or suffering because of it, and obviously the two Michael’s at Cato and the nutjob prof at Harvard prove me right about uninsurance being a) voluntary and b) the fault of three Medicaid clerks in New York state who forgot to print the enrollment forms in Spanish. OK, OK, I changed my tune a little a few seconds later.

But that remains basically the screed of the Canada bashers. They say that those evil Stalinists in the UK and Canada are the same (even though they’re not), and no one gets any care. Whereas here it’s all sweetness light, teddy bears, puppies and all the MRIs you can eat.

However, I am beginning to tentatively that the lack of mainstream industry support for Rick Scott signals a couple of things—besides the fact that the mainstream is somewhat nervous of being led by an unconvicted fraudster man whose company settled with the government for $1.7 billion after it fired him.

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Health 2.0 Met Ix….

6a00d8341c909d53ef0105371fd47b970b-320wi So the party's over, the buntings are down, the #health2con tweets—more than 3,000 of them—are drying up but recorded here, and the Health 2.0 & Ix teams have returned to their respective coasts. Even though this is the smaller of the two annual Health 2.0 Conferences, because we were co-hosting this one with Ix, it was not a small event. There were more than 500 people, some 60 main stage speakers & demo-ers, another 12 or so in the Deep Dives and Launch, some 90 people at the Health 2.0 Accelerator meeting in the morning, and a whole lot of deep conversations going on in the Exhibit Hall, in the corridors and at the party at the top of the Prudential Tower—where else can you talk Health 2.0 & Ix and watch live base-runners at Fenway park (albeit they looked like ants!).

If you were there, please give us your feedback in the survey (but only if you were there please!)

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Blog Rally for Roxana Saberi and others

Blue_Ribbon_Campaign_banner Bloggers across the web are holding a blog rally in support of Roxana Saberi, who is spending her birthday on a hunger strike in Tehran's Evin Prison, where she has been incarcerated for espionage. According to NPR, "The Iranian Political Prisoners Association lists hundreds of people whose names you would be even less likely to recognize: students, bloggers, dissidents, and others who, in a society that lacks a free press, dare to practice free expression."

We here at THCB have decided to join the Blue Ribbon campaign (Blue is for blogging) to honor and show support for those journalists, bloggers, students and writers imprisoned in Evin Prison, nicknamed "Evin University," and other prisons around the world, for speaking and writing their minds. 

Please consider placing a blue ribbon on your blog or website this week to show your support.  Also, please ask others to join this blog rally.

A Shout out to our sponsors

Sage_small THCB would not quite simply not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and advertisers.  We'd like to extend a warm welcome to our newest corporate supporter, the wonderful folks at Sage, makers of industry leading healthcare applications including the Sage Intergy EHR  and Sage Intergy Practice Management Solutions.  If you're a physician trying to sort through  the complexities of the stimulus package for your practice, you may want to take a few minutes to visit the useful collection of resources they've pulled together to help you think about the decisions involved. Tell them THCB sent you They like that.

Meanwhile, we were sorry to hear that Sage VP of Market Strategy & Industry Relations James Mathews will not be attending Health 2.0 Boston after falling ill en route to Boston.  We wish James a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him at Health 2.0 San Francisco in the fall .. 

Op-Ed: Health care reform is within reach

-1In recent weeks, President Obama has gotten flack for insisting that, despite the nation’s urgent economic  problems, “health care reform
cannot wait.”

On this point, though, he’s absolutely right. But that doesn’t mean we
need more government programs. What we need is a focus on chronic
disease.

Chronic diseases are among the most serious public health threats
facing the American people today. These conditions, which include
diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer,
often last for years, requiring frequent treatment throughout a
person’s life. The toll they exact on American patients is appalling,
accounting for 70 percent of all deaths in the United States.

America’s exorbitant health care spending is also linked to these
destructive illnesses. In fact, 75 percent of the more than $2 trillion
spent on health care in the United States goes toward caring for those
with chronic conditions. Heart disease and strokes alone cost the
American people $448 billion in 2008.

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