About Lisa Suennen
Yes, it’s me
Most Popular Posts
- From Russia With Love
- The Secret to Lower Healthcare Costs: Dying Faster
- You Say You Want a Healthcare Revolution
- We Are the 51%!
- Singing a New Tune: Redefining Innovation in the Medical Device World
- Rap Genius: Healthcare to a Hip Hop Beat?
- When “Cloud-based” Means Technology, Not Heaven: Report from AARP Health Innovation@50+
- A Tale of Two Doctor Visits
- Your CEO May Be A Man, But Your Healthcare Customer is a Woman
- Healthcare IT BINGO!
- I’m On A Boat! The Rising Fleet of Incubators
- Employers and Health Innovation: Will They Go Long or Advance One Yard at a Time?
- Give ‘Em That Old Razzle Dazzle
- Never Let Anyone Make You a Carrot
- What’s Done Cannot Be Undone
- Entrepreneurs: The All Around Pursuit Predator
- Healthcare: Where the Customer is Occasionally Present
- Posing with the Devil
- Invention is the Talent of Youth, As Judgement is of Age
- Got Diabetes? Smoke Two Joints and Call Me in the Morning
- The Star Thrower, or How Healthcare Looks to Consumers
- Medical Technology and Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief
- There Is No “I” in Team, But There Is In “Win”
- A Soda A Day Keeps Your Lifespan Away
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Monthly Archives: October 2010
I thought I had seen it all until I saw the “sexy” Sesame Street costumes that are new this year for Halloween. You too can be amazingly slut-tastic as Elmo, Big Bird or Cookie Monster while you troll the street for candy. More of a Pixar fan? How about sexy Nemo from Finding Nemo fame?
More of a baseball fan in this season of Giants glory? How about a Yankee babe inviting you to take one for the team? Talk about a stand-up double.
Has anyone noticed the irony that all of these characters were male before their costumes were paired with thigh-high tights?
I guess it’s only fitting that everyone seems to look like the St. Pauli Girl in October given that it is not only Halloween, but also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While I had been planning to write something about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the last several weeks, it kept slipping my mind until the, ahem, “evidence” was too difficult to ignore. Big Bird with cleavage? Don’t those airbags interfere with flight? But seriously folks…
There is a great deal of coverage of National … (read the rest)
On October 20, 2010 HealthGrades released their Thirteenth Annual Hospital Quality in America study, which analyzed mortality and complication rates at all of the nation’s 5000 non-federal hospitals using 40 million hospitalization records obtained from CMS. The study found that patients treated at hospitals rated as “5-star” by HealthGrades had a 72% lower risk of dying than if they had gone to a “1-star” rated hospital. A key finding: If all hospitals performed at the level of a five-star rated hospital, 232,442 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved from 2007 through 2009.
According to Rick May, MD, an author of the study and a vice president with HealthGrades, “We are encouraged by the steady improvement in mortality rates among America’s hospitals, but there’s an unacceptably wide gap that has persisted between the top-performing hospitals and all others in terms of patient outcomes.” Bottom line: mortality rates overall have improved at our nation’s hospitals, but they are still unnecessarily killing people (or injuring them) at alarmingly high rates. Note to self: stay out of the hospital.
HealthGrades’ approach is interesting because similar star ratings are ubiquitously used by … (read the rest)
Health insurers have long shunned skydivers and hang gliders. Seems they are now thinking hard about extreme athletes of all types. If you were one of the half a million Americans who ran in a marathon in the last year, this might mean you.
There was an article in today’s New York Times that discussed how long distance runners, such as marathoners, are having a harder time getting health insurance coverage because they are prone to injuries that cost insurers money. How ironic.
Insurance carriers have been beating the drum about exercise for years, culminating in significant incentive-based programs for their healthy, exercise-oriented clientele. Today many major insurance carriers offer rewards in various forms to beneficiaries that participate in exercise programs to lose weight. These rewards come in the form of everything from points for prizes to significant discounts on copayments and better insurance benefits.
I recently went to the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco where it seemed like half of the companies there were touting products and websites that help people engage more actively in athletic pursuits in order to lose weight. FitBit (for adults) and Zamzee (for … (read the rest)
If you are one of those people who thinks a lot about health reform and yet managed to maintain your sense of humor despite all that is happening, you will no doubt enjoy these videos (they should be watched sequentially–it’s a total of about 7 minutes of entertainment in Jack Black’s inimitable style). Happy Friday!
Let me start with what’s important: The Giants are up 2 games to 1 over the Phillies in the NLCS. I am looking forward to collecting on my bet with my partner, Joe Riley, who is a seriously misguided Phillies fan. What the hell is that mascot anyway? Looks like a mutant bigfoot that ran into a brick wall face first.
But back to the subject at hand.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak as an invited guest at a public meeting hosted by the Brookings Institution and CMS. The focus of the meeting was “Accelerating Health Care Innovation to Improve Quality and Lower Costs: The Role of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.” This meeting was the sequel to a private meeting that occurred several months ago in which many people from all facets of the healthcare industry provided input and suggestions to the joint Brookings-CMS team that is defining how the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) will set its goals, operating plans and procedures. As you may recall from an earlier post, CMMI was established as a result of the Affordable Care Act … (read the rest)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of those entities you hear about on the news occasionally but also one that few people really know much about. Rarely do we hear about the CDC except when flu season gets going or when some new infectious disease hits our shores. Yet the CDC has a broad federal mandate and a $6.6 Billion/year budget to make a difference in public health and their stated mission is “to collaborate to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.” That’s a pretty broad mission, particularly given the broad constituency the CDC serves: Americans of every shape, size, age and ethnicity. The CDC’s original mission when it was founded in 1946 was singularly to eliminate malaria in the U.S. going after the mosquito population (thus paving the way for Obama’s safe passage through Iowa backyard barbecues 64 years later).
Oh my God. It’s bad enough that every time you turn around there’s another food you can’t eat because it makes you fat, but now the scientists have really outdone themselves. Having declared 100% of all foods fattening and unfit for consumption, they have moved on to natural phenomena. Newest research finding? Being exposed to light at night can cause obesity.
Really, I am not making this up. In a study undertaken jointly by Ohio State University and the University of Haifa, Israel (but which should have been sponsored by Dracula, Prince of Darkness), researchers have found that persistent exposure to light at night may cause weight gain – even without changing physical activity or eating more food. So now you don’t even have to eat more or lay dormant on the couch like a wet washcloth to gain weight…all you have to do is recline in front of your slightly too bright digital alarm clock and you will expand like the deficit.
In related research, scientists have discovered that if you gouge your eyes out you will stay skinny, but no one will notice since everyone has gouged their … (read the rest)
I’m looking forward to speaking at this event, my second at The Brookings on innovation. It is a public meeting so if you will be in Washington, D.C., check it out (reservation can be made at this link)
Accelerating Health Care Innovation to Achieve System-Wide Impact
With U.S. health care expenditures projected to double by 2035, reforming payment and delivery systems is essential to reining in costs and achieving higher-value care. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI) – created by the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – has the potential to accelerate, optimize and speed health care payment and delivery innovation.
In my last post I talked about the risk of unintended consequences that may lead 2 million people to be dumped onto the States’ Medicaid rolls if the federal government continues to contest the validity of mini-med health plans, such as those in place for McDonald’s employees. This is a highly controversial situation and the States are already in a tizzy over the potentially disastrous budget consequences of the new healthcare reform legislation known as PPACA without this added treat.
The reason for the States’ fury? PPACA will result in about 20 million additional Medicaid beneficiaries that will become, at least in part, the financial responsibility of the States around 2014. California alone, for instance, estimates that the additional cost to the state of the resulting 1.6 new Medi-Cal recipients would be about $3 Billion/year. If Meg Whitman becomes Governor, she can pay for that herself, but short of that, there is no plan on how to stretch already waning tax revenues to cover this new bill.
Not since DeTocqueville have we heard so much talk about Federalism (okay kids: remember your high school class on U.S. government? We’re talking … (read the rest)
On September 30, 2010 the Wall Street Journal ran a story called McDonalds May Drop Health Plan followed on October 2, 2010 by one called Healthamburgler. In the stories it was noted that McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
The requirement, which becomes effective in 2011 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), requires that fully insured health plans must spend 85% of their premium revenue on medical expenses rather than on administrative costs (the concept that defines the percentage of premium dollars that is spent on medical care is called the “medical loss ratio;” under the PPACA the ratio of medical expenses as a percentage of all premium costs must be 85% or higher). The purpose of the provision is to prevent profiteering by insurance carriers who purportedly collect large premiums and do not pay enough of those dollars out, according to the Obama administration.
But despite the consumer protection intent of this law that is about to be visited on … (read the rest)