May, 2018 vol. 2 - In This Issue:
The first article in this edition was a gut punch for me. With the daily stream of announcements about mega-mergers, billions in venture capital funds chasing new technologies and cures, how is it possible that we can ignore the real health issues of our most vulnerable citizens? The shuffling of patients through endless tests, misdiagnoses and the poorest quality of care is not isolated to Kenneth's story
Several years ago, my own disabled, elderly uncle, who suffers from both physical and mental health issues, nearly died from an overlooked medical condition that landed him in ICU and then evolved to a dangerous Clostridium difficile infection. Like me, many family members trying to manage similar situations from afar not only encounter well-intentioned but mis-applied privacy policies that make getting accurate information impossible, but also experience anxiety for their loved one who is frightened, sick and unable to represent their needs and preferences for care. Thankfully, my uncle's outcome was better, but I worry about the next episode.
All the policy talk about world-class, affordable, "value-based" health care doesn't mean a thing if we can't first achieve the Golden Rule of health care: First, do no harm. The article is a clarion call. We have an attitude problem in the U.S. The purpose of a health system is (should be) care, especially for those made vulnerable by disease, age and socio-economic status. I'm a fan of free markets, innovation, cost-effectiveness, cures and all the rest. We'll all be patients at some point in our journey, after all. But our habit of looking beyond to the next "best thing" is literally killing us.
The Best Medical Care in the World

The first few days he was here, they didn't know about his defibrillator. That would seem shocking in a palliative care hospital where people come to die, but to one who knows Kenneth's story, it's no surprise. He didn't tell them about the ICD, and the doctors didn't ask.  

Evaluating and Valuing Drugs for Rare Conditions: No Easy Answers 

We find ourselves in an era of unprecedented growth in the development and use of so-called "orphan" drugs to treat rare diseases, which are poised to represent more than one-fifth of pharmaceutical expenditures by 2022. 
Caring, accountability, and continuity: What patients and caregivers want during hospital care transition 
Hospitals are continuously working to improve care transitions, the time when patients are discharged from the hospital and moved to post-acute care facilities or brought home, but there is little known about what patients and caregivers value during this time.  

Employers Play an Increasingly Important Role in the Move to Value-Based Care
Employers may not look forward to purchasing healthcare, but they, and other large purchasers, are in the position to transform the market, explained Suzanne Delbanco, PhD, MPH, executive director of Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR), during her keynote speech at The American Journal of Managed Care┬«'s Accountable Care Delivery Congress (formerly called the ACO & Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition┬«).  

Seeing Value From the Patient's Perspectives 

"Value" is the focus right now in American health care. Payers like Medicare and private insurers are placing great emphasis on it, as are hospitals and doctors' offices needing to satisfy the demands of those payers to get paid.  

Financial Strain Has Major Impact on Patients' Health Care Decisions 

Financial strain is the single most important factor in making health care decisions for low-income individuals, who often forgo care in favor of basic needs like food and rent, researchers in UT Southwestern's Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) found.  

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