Welcome to the MCOL Blog

Please join the discussion with our panel of experts, as we cover a wide range of important topics shaping the business and future of health care.


Google Wants to Helpout Your Health

by Kim Bellard, October 21, 2014

I suppose it was inevitable that I'd end up writing something about Google's interest in health, since recent posts have focused on efforts from Facebook and Amazon, as well as the general gold rush for health IT.  Fortunately Google has obliged me by introducing a neat health-related wrinkle on their Helpouts service.............Click to continue


Surveying Physicians on Their Views of the ACA

By Clive Riddle, October 17, 2014

The Medicus Firm, a national healthcare recruiting firm has just released results regarding health reform, from their 11th annual Physician Practice Preference Survey. This year’s survey shows an uptick grades doctors give the Affordable Care Act, but a still overall negative review.............Click to continue


Population Health Management Costs & Risks

By Claire Thayer, October 15, 2014

Chronic disease is defined as a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured.  In the United States alone, 75% of our healthcare spending is now directed towards the treatment of chronic disease.  Studies find that almost 50% of this population copes with at least one chronic condition.  MCOL’s infoGraphoid this week highlighted these trends.............Click to continue


Study on Health Plan Shopping – Reluctants, Premiums and Defaulters

By Clive Riddle, October 10, 2014

Vitals – who provide a consumer health information platform including doctor ratings and reviews, has released a study on health plan shoppers in open enrollment season, and lumping many of the shoppers into three categories: (1) The Reluctant; (2) The Premium; and (3) The Defaulter.............Click to continue


Scorecard on Value Based Payments

By Clive Riddle, October 3, 2014

Catalyst for Payment Reform has just released their second annual National Scorecard and California Scorecard on value based payments and payment reform made to providers by purchasers.............Click to continue


Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey

By Claire Thayer, October 2, 2014

Findings from the latest Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey of employer-sponsored health benefits are now available in the 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey. This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including .............Click to continue


Problems with Accuracy in Health Plan Member Data

By Claire Thayer, September 24,2014

LexisNexis illustrates the types of problems encountered with accuracy in health plan member data in MCOL’s infoGraphoid this week.............Click to continue


Put Your Money Where Your Scalpel Is

By Kim Bellard, September 22, 2014

I propose taking value-based purchasing from the payor-provider contractual backroom and putting it in the health plan benefit design, where consumers directly see and are impacted by it.

One of the most troubling things about our health care system is the lack of accountability.............Click to continue


Humana Study on Workplace Wellness: It’s not just ROI

By Clive Riddle, September 19, 2014

Humana has just published a 22 page report Measuring wellness: From data to insights which based on their study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, examining “why companies implement workplace wellness, how data influences these programs and identifies obstacles that inhibit program participation.” The study.............Click to continue


Clinicians Embracing mHealth – but not so much if patients are involved

By Clive Riddle, September 12, 2014

Although lagging behind many other service sectors, healthcare clinicians do continue to their march towards the inevitable professional embrace of mobile apps, social media and other web applications – typically as long as that embrace falls short of interacting with their patients. 

Wolters Kluwer Health just released survey results.............Click to continue


Healthcare (Health Care) in a word (or two)

By Clive Riddle, September 5, 2014

MCOL has launched a survey, albeit a little tongue-in-cheek, on solving a great question for the ages:  do we spell it healthcare (one word) or health care (two words)? You can click here to take the survey, and see real-time results, or click here to check out a one-minute video on the topic.

Early results from the survey.............Click to continue


What Is Amazon Up To?

By Kim Bellard, August 27, 2014

Back in April, PwC and HRI issued a report that asked what new entrants might be healthcare's Amazon.com.  Now it appears that it might just be Amazon itself.

What we "know" is that.............Click to continue


Towers Watson 2014 Employer Survey Results

By Clive Riddle, August 22, 2014

Towers Watson has just released results from their annual Health Care Changes Ahead Survey which “offers insights into the focus and timing of U.S. employers’ plans and perspectives related to their health benefits, and their efforts to better manage costs and employee engagement.”

Their headline takeaway?.............Click to continue


Ten Things to Know About Ebola Today:

Clive Riddle, August 15, 2014

While Ebola is only rampant in Africa, cases are now out-migrating, and Ebola is finally starting to get the increased  attention of the world it needs.  For those of us half a world away, we typically want to condense this information down to how it might ultimately indirectly or directly affect us.............Click to continue


The $10 Billion Search for Healthcare Innovation

By Claire Thayer, August 12, 2014

The hunt is on for the discovery of innovative ideas to change the delivery of health care at all levels.   Kaiser Health News published a great summary of this massive quest in this article: Washington's $10 Billion Search For Health Care's Next Big Ideas.  Funded by the new health care law, experiments are taking place in every state in the country.............Click to continue


Healthcare Workers Are More Confident About Their Prospects and the Future

by Clive Riddle, August 8, 2014

Randstad Healthcare, the national healthcare staffing firm, issues a quarterly report on healthcare workers’ confidence, conducted by Harris Poll, based on a survey of physicians, nurses, healthcare administrators and other healthcare professionals. Their just released second quarter 2014 report, which tells us that confidence is up for the second quarter in a row, and that healthcare workers had the highest level of confidence compared to all industries they track.............Click to continue


Stopping on Green - Part 2

By Laurie Gelb, July 28, 2014

(Read the first installmant of this part post at Stopping on Green

 They Don’t Need No Satisfaction

If/as we rethink the adherence doctrine, with its emphasis on following bottom-up, and begin to consider supporting patients as largely self-informed deciders rather than passive consumers, to what corollaries does that lead?.............Click to continue


Everything Everyone Had To Say About Halbig and King

By Clive Riddle, July 25, 2014

Much has been written this week about the two conflicting circuit court decisions regarding Affordable Care Act Exchange subsidies - The Halbig v. Burwell decision that found against subsidies for FFE states was celebrated as a decisive blow against Obamacare by opponents; and hours later the King v. Burwell decision that came to an opposite conclusion and dampened, at least a tiny bit, such celebrations.

So is the net effect of the two decisions cause for Much Ado About Nothing, or Much Ado About Everything?.............Click to continue


All Things to All People Isn't Working

By Kim Bellard, July 18, 2014

When it comes to hospitals, we may need to paraphrase Lincoln: they can treat all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but they can't -- or, rather, they shouldn't -- try to treat all of the people all of the time.

US News & World Report just released their annual "Best Hospitals" rankings.  They evaluated nearly 5,000 hospitals against a detailed methodology

What struck me was that, out of those nearly 5,000 hospitals.............Click to continue


State Health Care Prison Spending by the Numbers

by Clive Riddle, July 10, 2014

The State Health Care Spending Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has been monitoring and analyzing prison healthcare costs for some time, and Pew has just released a new 32-page report.............Click to continue


One in 5 million Americans now covered by Medicaid

By Claire Thayer, July 7, 2014

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had a huge impact on Medicaid enrollment and spending since the expansion of Medicaid eligibility to include almost all adults with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level effective January 1, 2014. The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a concise fact sheet summarizing current enrollment.............Click to continue


Marketplace: 57% of New Enrollees Were Uninsured Before Signing Up

By Cyndy Nayer, July 1, 2014

Kaiser Family Foundation--KFF-- issued a new summary on the enrollees in the insurance marketplaces, which MCOL has summarized.  In short, most of the enrollees in the #ACA were uninsured before the rollout, and most of the 57% had been without coverage for 2 years.............Click to continue


May I Speak to the Doctor's Computer?

By Kim Bellard, June 25, 2014

There's a new provocative study in Computers in Human Behavior that suggests we may be more likely to tell the truth about personal matters, such as health problems or medical history, when talking to a virtual human instead of to an actual human.  I'm not sure if these findings threaten to set back the patient-physician relationship 10,000 years, or promise to advance it fifty years.............Click to continue


Enrollment in Federal Marketplace & 2014 Premium Tax Credits

By Claire Thayer, June 23, 2014

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services published an in-depth research brief that examined 19,000 Marketplace plans for 2014 and analyzed data on the change in the premium cost associated with the tax credit for Marketplace plan selections made through the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) during the initial open enrollment period.............Click to continue


Goldman Exec: Economy is Growing, but…

By Cyndy Nayer, CEO, Center of Health Engagement, June 18, 2014

Goldman's top economist, Jan Hatzius, believes that the US economy is now growing at an above-trend pace. This is great news regarding economics and income security. For most.

But Hatzius calls out the high student debt and overall slow pace of job creation as a hindrance to the recovery and expansion of the marketplace.  

And there is still the issue of those without health care coverage.............Click to continue


Stopping on Green

By Laurie Gelb, June 9, 2014

The intersection greets you with a green light, but an accident blocks your lane. You brake instinctively, disregarding an official signal to proceed. Contradictory stimuli define our lives. 

Cut to health care’s adherence doctrine. “Ask your doctor. Take your medication as prescribed.” In what other subject area is it optimal for end-users to follow instructions without having internalized a rationale.............Click to continue


athenahealth Annual PayerView Report Ranks Humana Top Plan Again For Providers

by Clive Riddle, June 6, 2014

athenahealth recently released their 2014 PayerView Report, which ranks “commercial and government health insurers according to specific measures of financial, administrative, and transactional performance. These measures provide an objective, comparative benchmark for assessing how easy or difficult it is for providers to work with payers.” For the second year in a row.............Click to continue


RWJF Examines Current and Future Coverage Eligibility For the Uninsured – It’s a State by State Issue

By Clive Riddle, May 30, 2014

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in conjunction with the Urban Institute, has just issued a nine-page Issue Brief: Eligibility for Assistance and Projected Changes in Coverage Under the ACA: Variation Across States.

The Urban Institute authors, Matthew Buettgens, Genevieve M. Kenney, and Hannah Recht found that.............Click to continue


Consumer Driven Healthcare and the Mobile Market

By Claire Thayer, May 28, 2014

This week, Jeff Bakke, Chief Strategy Officer at Evolution1 participated in a live Healthcare Web Summit webinar event, “A Fresh Approach to CDH: 5 Ways to Get In It to Win It.” His presentation focused on important market drivers increasing consumer driven health demand, industry challenges, post-reform opportunities, along with emerging trends in the marketplace, including the explosive growth in the mobile market. Here's a screenshot from one of his slides on Evolution1’s growth in the mobile market.............Click to continue


The Myth of the Sovereign Consumer

By Kim Bellard, May 22, 2014

The title of this post comes from a provocative article by Bruce Vladeck in a recent Health Affairs Web First edition focused on provider consolidation.............Click to continue


Portrait of a LinkedIn User

By Claire Thayer, May 12, 2014

A few weeks ago, LinkedIn announced that it reached 300 million registered users, with almost two-thirds of these members located outside the United States. So, just what does the typical LinkedIn user look like? Power+Formula has a nice infographic on user demographics.............Click to continue


Practice Profitability Index: Physicians Bearish on the Year Ahead

By Clive Riddle, May 9, 2014

CareCloud, in partnership with QuantiaMD, has just released their second annual Practice Profitability Index report. The ten-page 2014 report, “intended to serve as an annual barometer for the operational wellbeing of U.S. medical groups in the year ahead,” finds that “U.S. physicians are now more than twice as likely.............Click to continue


Humana Study Measures Claims Costs and Absence Rate by level of Wellness Program Engagement

By Clive Riddle, May 2, 2014

Humana has released findings from their HumanaVitality Health Claims and Productivity Impact Study of Humana employees. HumanaVitality is a joint venture between Humana Inc. and Discovery Holdings, Ltd. That serves 3.5+ million members and “is a data-driven wellness and rewards program that motivates members to make healthier life choices.............Click to continue


Net Gain of 9.3 Million American Adults with Health Insurance Coverage

By Claire Thayer, April 18, 2014

While the big news this week focused on the success of President Obama and the ACA enrolling 8 million Americans for health insurance through the federal marketplace, a new study from RAND estimates that there was actually a net gain of 9.3 million in the number of American adults with health insurance coverage.............Click to continue


The Colossal Ship - The SS Rx Costs – makes a Course Correction

by Clive Riddle, April 17, 2014

Course corrections on mammoth shipping lines don’t happen in an instant – you watch them develop over a period of time. The same can be said for pharmaceutical costs as well as the entire healthcare sector, and the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics tells us we’re witnessing a slow correction right now.............Click to continue


Hacking a Better Health System

By Kim Bellard, April 9, 2014

Who knew hacking might help us reinvent our health care system?

I must be old-fashioned, or at least not a true techie, because I still thought of hacking as a bad thing.I was thus surprised to read in The Wall Street Journal that “hackathons” are a trend for the good in health care .............Click to continue


April Fool’s Day Brings Some Humor to Healthcare

By Clive Riddle, April 4, 2014

The first of April marked the annual issuance of satirical lists from healthsprocket, zinging a range of current topics in the business of healthcare, which I can’t resist repeating.

First, let’s visit a list of predictions of future major news items, in a list entitled - Top Healthcare Headlines from Tomorrow's News.............Click to continue


March Brings Three Different Slices of Health Plan Consumer Experience Ratings

by Clive Riddle, March 28, 2014

This month, three annual proprietary consumer experience studies have yielded separate slices of the health plan consumer experience. J.D. Power, Temkin Group and Saatmetrix have all weighed in, and each shed favorable light on Kaiser Permanente, among other plans.............Click to continue


Seated Behind a Health Plan Dashboard

By Clive Riddle, March 21, 2014

Spring has sprung, and if your fancy lightly turns to thoughts of health plans, and in fact you are driven towards such thoughts, a dashboard can be useful. You may be in luck, as Sherlock Company provides a summary from their health plan dashboard as part of their complementary publication.............Click to continue


Content Marketing Dominates Social Media Trends in 2014

By Claire Thayer, March 12, 2014

There continues to be a very strong focus on Content Marketing as a vehicle for educating current customers as well as for attracting new business opportunities. White papers and sponsored emails are considered the two top tactics.............Click to continue


That's Not the Way I Always Heard It Should Be

by Kim Bellard, March 11, 2014

Now that the initial open enrollment period under ACA is drawing to a close, we’re starting to hear more about how the enrollment is going, and the news is not encouraging.

The Administration has touted that 4 million have gotten coverage through the exchanges – still several million short of their goals.............Click to continue


How do you Define Population Health?

By Clive Riddle, March 7, 2014

This week, the inaugural issue of Population Health News was published. In their Thought Leaders Corner, a number of members of their national advisory board answered the question – how do you define population health? Here’s what the experts had to say.............Click to continue


mHealth on my Mind

 

by Clive Riddle, February 28, 2014

With the HIMSS14 gargantuan annual conference being held this week in Orlando, the spotlight has been shining bright on mHealth and other health information technology as of late.  In conjunction with the conference HIMSS Analytics released results.............Click to continue


I'll Take My Care To Go

By Kim Bellard, February 17, 2014

I have to admit that when fast food restaurants first got into drive-throughs, I didn’t really see the point. Well, I missed that one: they now do 60-70% of their business via the drive-through, changing the architecture, menu, and consumer expectations of the fast food industry along the way. Aside from pharmacies, I haven’t seen drive-throughs impact health care yet.............Click to continue


Stakeholder Views on Trends, Winners and Losers for 2014

By Clive Riddle, February, 14, 2014

MCOL recently conducted its annual Future Care e-Poll, asking stakeholders their perspective of trends, winners and losers for the coming year and beyond. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the results from the soon to be released report on this year’s findings.............Click to continue


Practice Priorities for Physicians to Thrive in ACA, Receive Higher Reimbursement

By Cyndy Nayer, February 7, 2014

The promise of value, outcomes, and payment reform are foundational within the ACA (Affordable Care Act) legislation, sometimes called Obamacare.  In order to achieve these reforms, electronic medical records, value-based designs, wellness incentives, expanded coverage through Medicaid.............Click to continue


HealthshareTV – New videos added this week

By Claire Thayer, January 31, 2014

MCOL’s HealthshareTV site has thousands of videos covering important topics for business leaders. Select from over thirty-five categories, including Accountable Care, Benefits, Consumer Driven, Health Insurance Exchanges, Health Reform, Medicaid, Predictive Modeling, readmissions, Trends, and more. Here are some of the new videos added this wee.............Click to continue


Effectiveness of SMS in healthcare

By Krista Burris, January 28, 2014

Healthcare is at a tipping point and as such, unprecedented efforts are being made to improve health outcomes and foster efficiencies in healthcare delivery. What seems promising with the current reform and transformation efforts is the convergence of existing mass markets influencing healthcare innovation. For example, leveraging mobile phones.............Click to continue


Mobile Opens, Desktop Opens and Webmail Opens

By Claire Thayer, January 22, 2014

A new report on email marketing by Litmus, shows that in November 2013, mobile opens surpassed the 50% mark for the first time, with 51% of all emails now being opened on mobile devices, with most of these occurring on .............Click to continue


2014 TOP 10 Watchlist

By Lindsay Resnick, January 21, 2014

Here's what's on this year’s radar screen for leading healthcare companies..............Click to continue


Health Engagement and MLK

By Cyndy Nayer, January 21, 2014

It’s Martin Luther King Day 2014. The sun is shining and the quotes are flowing on the media.  Each year I seek one of his quotes to guide my efforts.............Click to continue


Grading the Emergency Care System

By Clive Riddle, January 17, 2014

For the first time since 2009, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) issued their report card on the emergency care system at the state and national levels. Our grades have slipped. Their 149-page report.............Click to continue


The Locked-Up Potential of Healthcare Consumers

By Clive Riddle, January 10, 2014

It’s become a common theme in healthcare surveys – the consumer has all this potential in our era of health reform, and much is riding on the consumer in the healthcare reform equation, but to-date that potential remains largely locked up.............Click to continue


Can the Consumer Choose Wisely in 2014?

By Clive Riddle, January 3, 2014

The just released January 2014 issue of Medical Home News includes a profile of Paul Keckley, PhD, in which he is asked this question: “Looking back on your years as a health care analyst, what has been this country’s major achievement and what has been its greatest disappointment in terms of health care delivery?” His answer.............Click to continue


Previous Posts...


MCOLBlog Team

Kim Bellard
KB Consulting
Columbus, OH

Krista Burris
Healthcare Strategy Consultant
San Francisco Bay Area

demarcosm.jpg

William DeMarco
President
DeMarco and Associates
Rockford, IL

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Laurie Gelb
Vice President
ORC International
Seattle, WA

Nate Kaufman
Managing Director
Kaufman Strategic Advisors
San Diego, CA

Cyndy Nayer
Founder and CEO
Cyndy Nayer's Center of Health Engagement
CyndyNayer.com

Lindsay Resnick
Chief Marketing Officer
KBM Group: Health Services

Clive Riddle
President
MCOL
Modesto, CA

Marshall Riddle
Senior Analyst
MCOL
Modesto, CA

Claire Thayer
Vice President
Business Development
MCOL
Portland, OR

Paul Vogelzang
Social Media Expert
Falls Church, VA