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A Health Care Blog Bringing You the Latest Industry News & Trends

Brian Klepper, PhD   How will the drive to health care value affect health care’s structure? We tend to assume that the health care structure we’ve become accustomed to is the one we’ll always have, but that’s probably far from the truth. If we pull levers that...

By Brian Klepper, PhD   It’s no secret that conventional U.S. health care arrangements have been ineffective in controlling health care costs. In 2008, the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that more than half (54.5%) of all American health care spending delivers no value, and health care spending...

Brian Klepper, PhD RAND Corporation recently published a report showing that, on average, private health plans (and the employers and unions that typically sponsor them) pay hospitals 241% of what Medicare pays for the same procedure or service. Of course, there’s lots of variation around that...

Al Lewis By way of background, there are two things you need to know before launching into this Valid Points article: Livongo, a venture-capital funded diabetes management company, recently published a study in the Journal of Medical Economics alleging a significant savings in diabetes-related spending for...

Brian Klepper, PhD A couple weeks ago a Journal of the American Medical Association article reported the results of a large (33,000 employees) rigorous study of worksite wellness programs. As explained in The New York Times, the research “found no significant differences in outcomes like lower blood pressure or sugar...

Fred Goldstein

Recently two articles were sent to me by Cliff Frank, a colleague and friend. If you know anything about Cliff, you’ll know that 1) if he’s sending something, it’s worth reading, and 2) he doesn’t mince words. In this case, with regard to the first article, it was one short line:

“Fascinating article about crap in our own state (Florida).”

After reading it and sending an email in which I discussed the historical basis of this behavior, my response became three short lines:

  • “Just more recycling of S.O.S.”
  • “How much good care could be provided if we got rid of this garbage.”
  • “Shaking my head.”

The Mother Jones article – “Mom, When They Look at Me, They See Dollar Signs” – was an unbelievable read about the abuses being done by substance abuse treatment centers in Florida and around the country. Well, I really shouldn’t have considered it unbelievable. In the early 90’s I got out of that industry quickly after arriving at one of a two psychiatric/substance abuse hospital system whose owners were doing some things that just weren’t ethical or possibly legal, although not to the extent of this article. The examples cited in this article were way beyond the pale:

  • Putting the people up in hotels after being discharged from the treatment center and providing them with drugs so they can then test positive and be readmitted,
  • Paying the patient for coming to the facility and while they are there, paying huge bonuses to patient recruiters, and
  • Charging exorbitant fees.

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