Here We GO!!

And We're BackAs Joey Mack (a/k/a Jimmy Fallon) used to say on Z-105, “… we’re back!” My last post here was at the beginning of December last year. That’s just about the time I entered into serious discussions on the sale of Artower Advisory Services to Symbria, Inc.

I have to say the intervening period has been dominated a lot more by politics than policy – at least so far as the broad spectrum of media reporting have favored upon us a la the circus that is the American presidential race. Believe it or not, in spite of that depressing entertainment a lot of policy continues to be made every day – much of the action happening at the state level. The discussion and debate over healthcare policy is anything but dormant.

So where do things stand on the future of healthcare reform? If Donald Trump is elected do you think he’ll be able to withstand industry resistance to repeal & replace the Affordable Care Act? If Mrs. Clinton is elected, will she be able to use the Medicare model to expand coverage and lower costs? If Bernie Sanders is elected, would the Chinese economy ever grow fast enough to absorb all of the new US debt needed to fund his great ideas?

Set aside what influence, if any really, these presidential hopefuls might have on future healthcare policy and all we are left with are the same difficult issues we’ve been facing for the past few decades:

  • Will this new era of industry consolidation do anything to help achieve the Triple Aim goals espoused by supporters of the Affordable Care Act? Or just create greater monopsony power?
  • What, if any, should be the role of government in addressing escalating drug prices and Pharma’s insatiable appetite for capital?
  • How do we even begin to build a qualified workforce to care for our aging population with stagnated economic growth?
  • More evidence daily shows the promise of mental/ behavioral health integration; what’s the most effective way to accomplish this?
  • New payment and care delivery models have so far shown mixed results, at best; should we continue to invest or stop trying?
  • Will we be able to build the requisite community infrastructures ultimately needed to support population health and the benefits that portends?
  • Where and how should public policy most effectively intersect with health technology?
  • What’s the point of chest-thumping on transparency in healthcare when we are still unable to provide meaningfully basic cost data?
  • Big Data? Big security risks. What can be done to protect patient medical records when it seems nothing electronic is protected?

These are a few of the topics I have been mulling around in my mind over the past five months. These are a few of the topics I would like to start writing about again.

I hope if you are still out there signed up as a follower of the PolicyPub you will think about getting engaged again discussing and debating these issues. As we move through the summer and head toward the two political parties’ national conventions healthcare is going to become a hot topic for debate again. I will do what I can here to help keep you informed and energized.

Cheers,
  ~
Sparky

 

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ChangingAging

with Dr. Bill Thomas

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