January 2019 | Volume 2
Lately everything is presented as a black and white,   one-right-answer choice. Anyone who has been involved in health care on a personal and/or professional level knows that the reality is endlessly gray. The tussle is whether we can define what consumers and patients want, need and value in our health care and whether that aligns with the definitions developed by those taking the risk - payers, clinicians, regulators and innovators. It’s not a neat fit and therein lies the rub. Whose definition drives the conversation? And how are the perspectives of those not in the driver’s seat represented in valid and contributory ways? Complexity doesn’t justify abandoning the hard work of engagement and inclusion in favor of simple, neat metrics that justify one view or solution. Complexity is the reason to lean in and find all the ways to understand and incorporate such perspectives. Thankfully, some innovative thinkers exist. Here’s hoping those committed to inclusion and creative thinking gain momentum.
To Get More Bang For Your Health-Care Buck, Invest In Innovation
In the current issue of Health Affairs, David Wamble and colleagues published a new study - What’s Been The Bang For The Buck? Cost-Effectiveness Of Health Care Spending Across Selected Conditions In The US.
Since the 1980s, the phrase “a QALY is a QALY is a QALY” has often been cited in the academic literature to emphasize that all Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) are considered equal regardless of the patient or situational factors concerned (e.g., baseline health, severity of disease, socioeconomic status, area of residence, age).
Cancer in America Is Way Down, For the Wealthy Anyway
Mortality rates declined each year from 1991 through 2016, averting 2.6 million deaths. But for those in poor and rural areas, the news isn’t so good.
The good news is that cancer in America was beaten back over the 25 years ending 2016, with death rates plummeting, particularly when it comes to the four most common types of the dreaded affliction.
Tyson: Kaiser's Oakland housing initiatives first step toward national model
Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson said Thursday he sees the organization's recent initiatives to address homelessness and housing instability in the Bay Area as a first step toward developing "an ecosystem" of supports that could spread throughout Kaiser's national network..
Diversity in clinical trials defines good science and better medicine  
Hispanic Americans have higher levels of diabetes and less access to health care services, yet they live on average about three years longer than non-Hispanic whites and six years longer than African-Americans.
Unproven medical treatments cost us lives and money. Let research tell us what works.
We shouldn't strong-arm insurers — and all of us who pay premiums and taxes — into paying for unproven treatments. Let research guide our health care.
Late last year, an Oklahoma jury awarded $25.5 million to Orrana Cunningham's husband. In 2014, she had nasopharyngeal cancer growing behind her nose. Her doctors recommended proton therapy, a type of radiation treatment, but Aetna refused to pay.
Virtual repurposing can speed the discovery of new uses for existing drugs
The process for discovering drugs tends to be based on the same kind of pigeonholing that doctors use to treat disease: Parkinson’s is one disease, Crohn’s is something completely separate. A new approach, sometimes called virtual repurposing, offers a way to discover unknown connections between “unconnected” diseases that may lead to new treatments.
Testing Novel Payment and Delivery Approaches Through the Veterans Health Administration's New Center for Innovation
In May 2018, Congress passed the VA [Veterans Affairs] Maintaining Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act to consolidate programs that provide veterans access to non-VA care and to formally establish a coordinated, high-performing network of VA and private-sector providers.
What’s Been The Bang For The Buck? Cost-Effectiveness Of Health Care Spending Across Selected Conditions In The US
The continued rise in health care spending has led to an intense debate among policy makers and other health care stakeholders on how to best manage increasing costs, leading to a focus on cost increases with little consideration of the associated change in outcomes.

Passion + Quality = Change That Matters
I embrace the powerful opportunities in our evolving health care landscape. I founded Momentum Health Strategies to be a catalyst for change through continuous learning, diverse engagement and thoughtful policy and practice initiatives. I deliver innovative, strategic thinking and a passion for improving the patient experience. My personal drive and dedication to high-quality results will help you navigate the competitive terrain you face and convert your vision to action.

Momentum Health Strategies

Jennifer L Bright, MPA
(703) 628 - 0534