Now Viewing: Health Care Access

Turning Disconnects Into Opportunities

Jun 28, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Wendy Yallowitz


During my time as a social worker working with our most vulnerable older Americans, I saw firsthand just how much skilled nursing facilities need to do every day to care for our loved ones. Providing that care is always rewarding, but never easy. Residents come and go, and their care needs change daily. Beds go unfilled. Activities go unattended. Food goes uneaten.

While concentrating on providing care to this vulnerable population, we miss out on an opportunity to easily help so many other vulnerable Americans. Every year, nursing facilities let millions of dollars’ worth of medicine that many low-income patients desperately need go to waste.

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Disruptive Innovation: Conversation with Nancy Barrand and Dr. Sanjeev Arora

Jun 25, 2013, 3:43 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Nancy Barrand Nancy Barrand
Dr. Sanjeev Arora Dr. Sanjeev Arora

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio partnered with Changemakers to launch a competition in 2007 that sought out disruptive innovations in health and health care. Influenced by the thinking of Clay Christensen, the competition asked applicants to submit sustainable ideas that have the potential to systemically transform health and health care, and change the world.

In this post, which originally appeared on Ashoka Changemakers, Nancy Barrand, a senior adviser for program development at RWJF, and Dr. Sanjeev Arora, a competition winner and the visionary behind Project ECHO, talk about how — because of the Changemakers competition — Project ECHO captured RWJF’s attention as a disruptive innovation and an example of the type of ideas that Barrand and her colleagues on the Pioneer Portfolio continue to seek today.

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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.

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Viewpoint: Creating Centers of Lifelong Learning

Oct 22, 2012, 12:16 PM, Posted by Sanjeev Arora

Sanjeev Arora Sanjeev Arora

This blog entry was originally posted to the Association of American Medical College's AAMC Reporter blog.

Academic medical centers are, by definition, hubs for education, research, and patient care. They are essential to creating a health care system in which new knowledge is translated into practice for real-time treatment and quality improvement.

Academic medical centers should be centers of lifelong medical learning and knowledge sharing, where medical professionals expand their expertise and competencies throughout their careers and where best practices are disseminated to the field. They can serve as forums for ongoing mentoring and case-based training. They can host expanded practice communities, where professionals from multiple disciplines, specialties, and even locales work together to provide better care to more people.

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Keeping Pace with the Knowledge Explosion

Aug 9, 2012, 12:17 PM, Posted by Sanjeev Arora

Sanjeev Arora Sanjeev Arora

Originally posted on the Wing of Zock, an AAMC-powered blog for conversation and new thinking about health care through the lens of academic medicine.

Knowledge and expertise are at the center of medical care — without them, we are working in the dark. Fortunately, there is plenty of knowledge to be had: More medical knowledge has been created in the past one hundred years than in the previous five thousand, and more knowledge will be created in the next 50 years than ever before. Yet we have a serious shortage of expertise, in the form of access to clinicians with the latest knowledge and best practices, especially for the care of underserved populations.

Why? This explosion in medical knowledge has not yet been accompanied by a similar transformation in our approach to medical education. In short, we’re not able to keep up.

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