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#WWBR Week of March 16, 2015

by John Moore lll | March 20, 2015

Questioning the Value of Health Apps
Joshua A. Krisch in The New York Times
“Have we made progress in mHealth over the last few years? Of course the instinctive response is to say “yes” – but as this NYT piece points out, it is still a veritable wild west out there in the world of mobile healthcare apps. Regulation hasn’t always weeded out the duds, and the cream hasn’t really risen to the top. We agree with their ultimate prognosis, that provider-led efforts are going to be part of successful uptake.” – Naveen

How corrosive cynicism is destroying professional relationships in medicine
Jeffery Parks in KevinMD
“Not only are pre-populated referral responses overly verbose, they are undermining existing professional relationships according to this great article by KevinMD. This Holden Caulfield-style rant goes far beyond referrals to hit most of the high spots for physicians. While short on remedies, it does frame the issue of the uneasy incorporation of market-oriented thinking into medical practice. It perfectly describes the kind of second guessing that causes at least some physicians angst.” – Brian

CHIME Issues National Patient ID Challenge
Press Release
“CHIME, with support from a host of health care and technology companies, has issued a national challenge for a national patient identifier. The challenge will award a $1M prize to the winning team who designs a single, unique identifier system for patients in the US. The benefits this might provide if implemented successfully go beyond saving money from running duplicate tests – there are serious implications for patient safety, consumer satisfaction, efficiency of care, and more. While this may seem like a “moonshot” for those who’ve been in the industry for a long time, that is exactly what is needed – some bold, outside the box thinking that shrugs off traditional notions of “what can’t be done.” Encouragingly, the platform upon which this challenge is running is co-founded by the XPrize CEO.” – Naveen

The State of Cancer Care in America: 2015
American Society of Clinical Oncology Report
“American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released their report on the state of cancer care in America. The report was a mixed bag with patients have a greater number of treatments available to them in recent years and a much higher historical survival rates than 35 years ago. There are still several challenges though including broad discrepancies in access to cancer treatments, payment challenges especially related to new treatments, a predicted shortage of medical oncologists, and a greater incidence due to obesity and aging by 2020. The report though glossed over the fact that despite the recent influx of very expensive treatments the US the past several years there haven’t been dramatic increases in survival rates nor the fact that the US pays considerably higher rates for cancer treatments than Western Europe without a commensurate increase in outcomes.” – Matt

Why Bankers Are Leaving Finance for No-Salary Tech Jobs
Christopher Langner in Bloomberg
“For those who believe that the $35 EHR Incentive Program constitutes an overindulgence consider these numbers. Last year alone the financial services industry spent $488 billion on information technology. The relative size of these two industry sectors can be debated but it can’t really be disputed that IT investment by the healthcare industry is about one order of magnitude less than other similarly sized industries.” – Brian

Private Exchanges: When Will Employer Adoption Catch Up to the Industry Buzz?
“The number of enrollees on private exchanges hasn’t quite materialized yet (Accenture predicted 9M by the end of 2015) and an overwhelming majority of employers are still in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode through 2016 to see what types of effects early adopters are having with cost, employee satisfaction, etc. It seems as if adoption of private exchanges is somewhat similar to the adoption of HSAs & defined contribution plans a decade ago. Most employers were initially hesitant to offer HSAs after they became available after the MMA Act of 2003 passed. More than a decade later, it is increasingly common that private employers offer an HSA-eligible plan or have gone full conversion with the only type of plans available being HSA-eligible plans. Article hints that the looming Cadillac tax in 2018 on employee-sponsored plans along the continuing shift to defined contribution health plans will spur more rapid adoption of private exchanges. Just not until 2017 and 2018.” – Matt

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