Now Viewing: Health Care Costs

What's Next Health: Designing an Elegant Health Care Process

Mar 20, 2014, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Jay Parkinson, founder of Sherpaa Jay Parkinson, founder of Sherpaa

Each month, What’s Next Health talks with leading thinkers with big ideas about the future of health and health care. Recently, we talked with Jay Parkinson, founder of Sherpaa, who challenged us to consider what a more "beautifully designed" health care system might look like. As you'll read in his post below, Jay’s trying to do just that through his work at Sherpaa. (Jay’s opinions are not necessarily those of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.)

By Jay Parkinson

Everything great comes from an elegantly designed process. Just think of all of the experiences we love and use on a daily basis. Consider the iPhone. Apple re-imagined what a phone, or rather, a tiny computer in your pocket, could be and created a revolutionary device. Steve Jobs designed not only the interface that changed computing forever, but Tim Cook designed the manufacturing and material sourcing processes that enabled them to produce a remarkably complicated device at a relatively inexpensive price. They understood that, in order to deliver an exceptional user experience, they had to design the entire process, from the interface to the factory.

Health care was never designed. It just happened, revolving mostly around doctors’ needs and wants, in a culture that strongly believed “doctor knows best.” But our culture changed with the democratization of health information and other industries quickly evolved, raising consumers’ expectations of what health care could and should be.

View full post

Can Our Positive Health Assets Cut Health Costs?

Dec 12, 2013, 12:30 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

A female patient gets an allergy checkup in a doctor's office.

By Eric Kim

What if scientists could develop simple, low cost interventions that enhance health and reduce healthcare costs? What if these interventions also increased psychological well-being and were inherently enjoyable for people to perform? These questions are particularly relevant now, as we are constantly reminded of our nation’s rising healthcare costs.

View full post

When Moneyball Meets Medicaid

May 16, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Steve Downs

Nirav Shah Dr. Nirav Shah, New York Commissioner of Health

New York State Commissioner of Health Nirav Shah is the Billy Beane of health care.

Let me explain. 

Billy Beane—the general manager and minority owner of the Oakland Athletics—and made famous in the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, was made even more famous when Brad Pitt portrayed him in the movie adaptation. (Generally speaking, having Brad Pitt portray you is a good way to get famous.)

For those who aren’t familiar, Moneyball is about how, under Beane’s unconventional leadership, “the Oakland Athletics achieved an amazing winning streak while having the smallest player payroll in Major League Baseball. (Short answer: creative use of data.)” (Thank you, New York Times.)

View full post

When Doctors Compete, Everyone Wins

Apr 30, 2013, 9:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Touré McCluskey

Touré McCluskey is the founder of OkCopay, a search engine for medical procedures whose mission is to provide consumers with objective information so they can make better choices about their health care. He is also a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, a program that Pioneer co-sponsored. Touré’s opinions are not necessarily those of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

When you want to buy something at the store, you check the price tag. Why can’t it be this easy to figure out the cost of medical care?

It should be.

Consider, for a moment, the story of Tracy, an uninsured waitress trying to find out how much a dental procedure would cost before making an appointment. Calling providers didn’t help her, because they themselves didn’t know the prices; dealing with multiple insurance companies often makes it difficult for providers to know how much a procedure will actually cost a patient. As a result, Tracy was left with a surprisingly high bill she did not expect—and could not afford.

View full post

The Global Cardiovascular Risk Score: A New Performance Measure for Prevention

Apr 12, 2013, 11:00 AM, Posted by Nancy Barrand

In a recent post in The Health Care Blog, Archimedes Founder David Eddy, MD, makes a strong case for the new Global Cardiovascular Risk score (GCVR), because it will keep providers more focused on preventing disease and give them a more accurate and meaningful target to shoot for to keep patients healthy. This project, to test the merits of a new way to measure the health outcomes of patients with heart disease and diabetes, is an example of a truly disruptive innovation that could be a real game-changer for measuring quality. Read Dr. Eddy’s full post below.

-Nancy Barrand  

View full post