Healthcare Innovation in Vermont
Apr28

Healthcare Innovation in Vermont

I am now involved in a small way with the Vermont Healthcare Innovation Project that is the latest of several efforts in Vermont to move away from healthcare that is fragmented, inefficient and expensive. Despite efforts to move toward value-based reimbursement and the presence of three ACOs in the state (the largest, OneCare Vermont, sees about one hundred thousand Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial patients), the current system of...

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5 Years Later, ACA Is a Big Deal
Apr21

5 Years Later, ACA Is a Big Deal

Last month we passed a big milestone: the fifth anniversary of the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Barack Obama used 22 pens on March 23, 2010 to sign the most important piece of social legislation so far in this young century. If you have about seven minutes, you can hear Joe Biden’s introduction of the President at the signing. Biden’s speech is pretty laudatory and positive but he does not overstate the significance of the President’s...

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Healthcare Is a Civil Right
Apr14

Healthcare Is a Civil Right

I see the current efforts to extend healthcare to all Americans to be an extension of the issues of equality of opportunity that were expressed by President Obama in his speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement. Ironically, it is hard to imagine a great country with more than an eighth of its population denied access to one of the fundamentals necessary to be a productive member of society. Statistics often...

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Blocking a Healthcare Giant
Apr08

Blocking a Healthcare Giant

Recently the Boston Globe reported that healthcare giant Partners Healthcare had abandoned a three-year effort to acquire South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. The Globe called it “an unprecedented setback for an organization used to getting its way.” If I ever needed to point to one fact as evidence that we are in the midst of change, what happened to Partners’ plan for expansion is perhaps about as good an example as I could ever hope...

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Consumerism in Healthcare
Apr02

Consumerism in Healthcare

As I read through the many online journals and newsletters about healthcare, I am struck by the ubiquity of articles showcasing healthcare consumerism. I am increasingly interested in “consumerism” as an expression of patient-centeredness, and I often wonder if “patient centeredness” has become an empty cliché for many of the people that I meet. It is an antiquated phrase that lacks a widely accepted working definition among...

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