Entries in Thayer, Claire (141)


Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition

By Claire Thayer, December 9, 2016

Every business day, MCOL posts feature stories making news on the business of health care. Here are five we think are particularly important for this week:

1. 5 quick ways a new HHS secretary could change health policy
Kaiser Health News reports: Prospective Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price, currently the chairman of the House Budget Committee, brings a distinctive to-do list to the agency. And, if confirmed by the Senate, he will have tremendous independent power to get things done.
Kaiser Health News via the Washington Post, December 9, 2016

2. HHS Chief Warns Senate Democrats of ‘Chaos’ Under ACA Repeal
Morning Consult reports: The nation’s top health official spoke with Senate Democrats Thursday about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, warning that undoing the law without having a replacement ready could be disastrous.
Morning Consult, December 8, 2016

3. These drug price hikes cost taxpayers millions
Stat News reports: Drugs to treat cancer, high blood pressure, and seizures experienced large price spikes in 2015, costing taxpayers millions of dollars in added Medicare spending, according to new data released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
StatNews, December 8, 2016

4. Health Insurers List Demands if Affordable Care Act Is Killed
The NY Times reports: The nation’s health insurers, resigned to the idea that Republicans will repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Tuesday publicly outlined for the first time what the industry wants to stay in the state marketplaces, which have provided millions of Americans with insurance under the law.
New York Times, December 6, 2016

5. Insurers’ Flawed Directories Leave Patients Scrambling For In-Network Doctors
Kaiser Health News reports: Penny Gentieu did not intend to phone 308 physicians in six different insurance plans when she started shopping for 2017 health coverage.
Kaiser Health News, December 5, 2016

These and more weekly news items on the business of healthcare are featured in the MCOL Weekend edition, along with the MCOL Tidbits, and more, for MCOL Premium level members.


Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition

By Claire Thayer, December 2, 2016

1. The drug industry’s stake in Trumpcare is bigger than you think
StatNews reports: The upcoming fight over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act promises to shake up hospitals and insurers, but drug makers also stand to gain — or lose — a lot.
StatNews, December 2, 2016

2. 2,000+ physicians: 'The AMA does not speak for us' in supporting Price for HHS
Becker's Hospital Review reports: More than 2,000 physicians signed an open letter railing against the American Medical Association's support for Rep. Tom Price, MD, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, as secretary of HHS.
Becker's Hospital Review, December 1, 2016

3. U.S. House Passes 21st Century Cures Legislation
Healthcare Informatics reports: The U.S. House of Representatives today passed sweeping, bipartisan legislation, called the 21st Century Cures Act, comprised of a $6.3 billion package of medical innovation bills including $4.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health as well as $1 billion in state grants to fight opioid abuse.
Healthcare Informatics, November 30, 2016

4. Price’s Appointment Boosts GOP Plans To Overhaul Medicare And Medicaid
Kaiser Health News reports: President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services signals that the new administration is all-in on both efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and restructure Medicare and Medicaid.
Kaiser Health News, November 29, 2016

5. CMS nominee set up Indiana’s unusual Medicaid expansion
The Washington Post reports: A decade ago, when Indiana had one of the lowest rates of health insurance coverage in the nation, then-Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) turned to a health policy consultant named Seema Verma to help insure more of the state’s poor and working poor.
The Washington Post, November 29, 2016

These and more weekly news items on the business of healthcare are featured in the MCOL Weekend edition, along with the MCOL Tidbits, and more, for MCOL Premium level members.


Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition

By Claire Thayer, November 18, 2016

1. Study Finds Nearby Retail Clinics Don’t Drive Down ER Visits
Kaiser Health News Reports: Even if there’s a retail health clinic less than a 10-minute drive away, consumers are just as likely to go to the emergency department for low-level problems like bronchitis or urinary tract infections, a recent study found.
Kaiser Health News, November 18, 2016

2. The ultimate Q&A about health care under a Trump presidency
The Washington Post reports: While it's pretty much a given that the Affordable Care Act won't survive a Trump presidency and Republican Congress in its current form, there are sweeping implications of reversing a law that has reached in so many ways into our health care system.
The Washington Post, November 17, 2016

3. Former Valeant and Philidor Executives Charged in Kickback Scheme
The New York Times reports: A secret relationship had made the two men rich: one, the head of a mail-order pharmacy, the other, an executive at a major pharmaceutical company who had promised to funnel millions of dollars to his partner in exchange for receiving millions of his own.
The New York Times, November 17, 2016

4. Landmark report by Surgeon General calls drug crisis ‘a moral test for America’
The Washington Post reports: A landmark report released Thursday by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy places drug and alcohol addiction alongside smoking, AIDS and other public health crises of the past half-century, calling the current epidemic “a moral test for America.”
The Washington Post, November 17, 2016

5. More than 1 million sign up for ObamaCare, HHS says
The Hill reports: More than 1 million people have registered for ObamaCare coverage for 2017 since the sign-up period began Nov. 1, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
The Hill, November 16, 2016

These and more weekly news items on the business of healthcare are featured in the MCOL Weekend edition, along with the MCOL Tidbits, and more, for MCOL Premium level members.


Changing the conversation from wellness to total wellbeing

By Claire Thayer, November 10, 2016

This week, Robin Bouvier from Aon’s Health Transformation Team, spoke in a HealthcareWebSummit webinar, co-sponsored by WebMD Health Services, on More than Meets the ROI: The Value of Investing in a Healthy Workforce.   Today’s forward thinking companies are moving towards a culture of health and changing the conversation about employee wellness from a ‘benefit’ to instead looking at health as a business imperative that’s integrated across all aspects of the organization.

Robin shares some perspective on general health of the workforce and somewhat surprisingly, the younger generations are not necessarily healthier:


Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

Generation X (1965 -1978)

Millennials (1979-1996)

Tobacco Use

















Robin tells us that wellness is evolving to an all encompassing, total wellbeing approach: “Wellbeing means having the appropriate resources, opportunities and commitment needed to achieve optimal function, health and performance for the individual and the organization.” Total wellbeing interconnects:

  • Emotional – attitudes and everyday living

  • Physical – energy to complete daily living tasks

  • Financial – confidently manage everyday and future finances

  • Social – connections to others

Robin cited recent study findings of the impact of total wellbeing:

  • 81% less like to seek out new employer in next year

  • 41% less work missed because of poor health

  • 69% of consumers say wellbeing programs health them get or stay healthy

  • 22% more profitable as organizations

  • 10% higher customer ratings

  • ½ point higher performance rating by supervisor

From the new Aon Hewitt 2016 Financial Mindset Study, Robin identifies employee needs by financial stage as:

  • Security: 30%

  • Foundation: 25%

  • Growth: 36%

  • Freedom: 9%


It’s Complicated – Navigating Health Care Integrated Delivery Networks

By Claire Thayer, October 7, 2016

Integrated delivery networks (IDNs) are vast and complex. In the U.S. alone, there are more the 626 IDNs operating at 44,000 sites, employing over 412,000 health care providers.  Some IDNs are groups of hospitals, some are regional, some have facilities scattered throughout the country and even internationally – think Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic – both long standing traditional IDNs. More and more health systems are taking on risk management for their patient populations and in doing so, are looking for ways to collaborate with health plans and providers and related entities to align efficiencies in overall patient care management.  In the not to distant future, expect to see most provider organizations involved at some level with an IDN. 

Navigating IDNs and understanding the scope of their reach is the focus of a recent MCOL infographoid, co-sponsored by LexisNexis Health Care, highlighted below:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.