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

 

Speak Up!! Join the Policy Discussion Group

1336950133_1 Happy New Year!!

As we turn the page on 2012 – a year that, for good or ill or somewhere in between as is yet to be determined, will likely be looked back upon as the launching of tremendous change in the US Healthcare Delivery System – I wanted to begin 2013 by thanking those who have taken the time to stop by the Policy Pub, particularly if you have taken time to read my contributions.

Since I started this blog in May of last year I have received over 2,040 visits from 25 countries by latest count.  From what I have researched, that is a rather modest beginning but nonetheless sufficiently encouraging from my perspective (because I truly enjoy writing).

I also want to take this opportunity to remind pub patrons and visitors that Artower Advisory Services is sponsoring a Healthcare Public Policy Discussion Group.  Participation is free, and registration is as simple as providing your name and e-mail address.  You will not receive any solicitations or promotional e-mails by joining.  You will, however, have the opportunity to participate in a lively discussion of current and emerging topics impacting US healthcare policy with industry colleagues representing a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and concerns.

To join the US Healthcare Policy Discussion Group just click on the hyperlink above – or the Join the Debate image just to the left of this post.  Also check out my earlier post if you’d like more background on the discussion group.

Looking forward to sharing more thoughts and insights – and hopefully challenging your thinking regardless of ideologies and/or beliefs.

Cheers,
  Sparky

Announcing New Discussion Group

Artower Advisory Services is pleased to make available for free participation a new online discussion group on the subject of US Healthcare Public Policy.  A number of the initial members, including myself, represent a cadre of individuals that have participated together in a similar discussion group for well over a decade.  Registration is open now, and the group will officially kick off on November 24th.

For my own part, I first joined that predecessor group in 1996 (if challenged memory serves).  And over that span I have learned more useful knowledge on a variety of topics related to Healthcare Reform and Healthcare Public Policy than any other resource.  The reasons for this have to do with the diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideological vantages represented by the group participants – as well as the unfettered and forthright manner in which ideas can be shared, challenged and debated.

I had initially hoped that the Policy Pub would serve as a platform for creating an online environment where clients and colleagues of Artower Advisory Services could participate in an online community and learn from one another’s experiences, thoughts and ideas.  While I have been more than pleased with the attention this blog has received, I have thus far been unable to translate that success into an online community.

So I took advantage of a recent opportunity to germinate a new discussion group with individuals that I know from personal experience are very knowledgeable, very passionate and very eager to tackle fresh meat (perhaps that is stating the case a bit harshly – but please join and decide for yourself).  To join the group, just click on the picture above, and you will be taken directly to the online registration page.  All the information you need to read and share posts can be found there.  Before joining, please read the Discussion Group Guidelines.

As for the Pub, I will continue posting what I hope you will find interesting, useful and maybe occasionally entertaining.  I will also continue to focus my posts on affordable housing, home-and-community-based services and post-acute/long-term care, while the discussion group will encompass topics in healthcare much more broadly.  While there may be future opportunities to cross reference the Policy Pub and the discussion group, they are independent initiatives, and the success of either is not dependent upon the other.

I hope you will consider joining the US Healthcare Policy Discussion Group and benefit from such participation as much as I have during my professional career.

Cheers,
  Sparky

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