May 2019 | Volume 1
The common narrative is that the price of healthcare is the problem. If we right-size the price, then care becomes more affordable and we spend resources wisely on something that has true value. There is truth in that a point. But the lead article in this digest points to the larger, stickier, more interesting and frankly, more imperative question: what are we doing to achieve health for Americans? In my mind, price is an end-stage problem and one that is a symptom of a misdirected system.

If we focused on what makes us healthy first, would we prevent disease, improve quality of life, avoid costly end-stage interventions and redirect the industrial innovation engine to products and services that actually match need and produce better results? I’ve spent my career in various "seats" asking this same question and answers still elude us. The wider conversation about social determinants of health and prevention is a welcome growing trend. We need to spend more time and energy to accelerate such thinking in our care delivery, payment and policy "transformation" efforts.  
We need a national conversation about health — not just about health care
Last year, Americans borrowed approximately $88 billion to pay for health care. One in four of us skipped medical appointments because of concern about costs. Such statistics reflect a trend that has been going on for decades. In 1970, the U.S. spent $74.6 billion on health.
Our antibiotics are becoming useless
By 2050, 10 million people could die each year from diseases that have grown resistant to drugs.
“Common diseases are becoming untreatable.” That’s the blunt warning issued on page one of a major new United Nations report on drug resistance. If we don’t make a radical change now, the report says, drug-resistant diseases could kill 10 million people a year by 2050. 
Feds issue new warning to doctors: Don't skimp too much on opioid pain pills
Doctors are misusing 2016 opioid pain medication guidelines, federal officials said Wednesday, a clear response to increasing complaints from chronic pain patients who say they are the victims of an overreaction to the opioid crisis.
Shared Decision Making and the Importance of Time
Uncertain evidence and the uniqueness of a patient’s health care issues often make it difficult to identify the best course of care. These instances are becoming increasingly common as more people live longer with multiple chronic conditions and care becomes more complicated.
Doctors, Is It O.K. if We Talk About Why Finger-Wagging Isn’t Working?
Doctors give a lot of very good advice. Over the years, my primary care doctors have suggested better eating habits, more exercise, improved sleep hygiene, not carrying such a heavy shoulder bag, even exercises to improve my posture. The problem is, I am not sure I have ever made any changes in my behavior as a direct result.
Social health network to address needs on a broad scale
Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit, integrated health system, is launching Thrive Local, the most comprehensive, far-reaching social health network of its kind. Kaiser Permanente is partnering with Unite Us to connect health care and social services providers to address the pressing social needs including housing, food, safety, utilities and more for millions of people across the United States.

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