September, 2018, Vol. 1 - In This Issue:
The big news is recent efforts by employers and health care systems to take the  helm to  try and change the direction in rapidly rising health care costs. Ultimately, this trend could benefit the consumer in the form of more accessible, affordable, evidence-based care. A key success factor that isn't yet evident: the involvement of patients in the design and execution of these initiatives. Are we forgetting who health care is for?

This Drug Is Safe and Effective. Wait. Compared With What?  

We spend many billions of dollars each year on the discovery and development of new drugs, but almost none of it addresses two crucial questions: How do these new therapies compare with already known ones? What are the relative benefits and harms in a particular situation, for a person like you?

The Cancer 'Cost Conversation'  

When patients want to talk about the cost of their cancer care, how should health professionals respond? In this video, Lowell Schnipper, MD, chief of hematology/oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and chairman of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Task Force on Value in Cancer Care, discusses "The Cost Conversation."

Patients as stakeholders: Developing a patient-centered healthcare epidemiology research agenda

Due to its many benefits, stakeholder engagement in health research has been increasingly prioritized in recent years. Engagement throughout the research cycle, from idea development through dissemination of results, helps to ensure that research questions and outcomes are meaningful and relevant to stakeholders, and it may also improve research quality and appropriateness.

Who Else Would Put Up with This?
Those checkbox forms would never fly in other professions

Can you imagine lawyers, or bankers, or almost any other profession, allowing this to happen to them?
I'm writing about the standardization efforts that the makers of electronic health records are trying to institute for us as we try and build a record of what took place between us and our patients.

More employers look toward value-based insurance plans

Nearly half of all insured Americans have employer-sponsored health insurance. That market share means employer-sponsored insurance can impact healthcare costs more than individual insurance or the Affordable Care Act exchanges. However, the market includes businesses with different finances, sizes and locations. Employer-sponsored insurance may have trouble leading an effort to transform care because there are so many players with different needs.

Anthem Announces Collaboration With Walmart

Anthem, Inc., one of the nation's leading health benefits companies, announced today an arrangement with Walmart to advance the companies' mutual goals of reducing healthcare costs and providing consumers with increased access to over-the counter (OTC) medicines and services that can improve their health.

Google, Amazon, Microsoft and others have a long road ahead in healthcare 

As tech giants start to forge paths into healthcare, they stand to put pressure on established healthcare IT firms to open up their systems and adopt data standards.
But change won't happen overnight, and these outsiders will need to adjust too, gaining access to healthcare data and making it useful while potentially moving at a slower pace than they're used to.  

The Last Company You Would Expect Is Reinventing Health Benefits 

Frustrated with insurers, some large companies - including a certain cable behemoth - are shedding long-held practices and adopting a do-it-yourself approach .
Hospitals band together to make drugs to combat shortages and high prices  

Intermountain Healthcare made a splash in January when it said it and other major hospital systems, fed up with drug shortages and skyrocketing prices, planned to manufacture their own generic medicines

Politics and Health Care  

On March 30, 1981, as he was about to undergo surgery at George Washington University Hospital for his life-threatening bullet wound, President Ronald Reagan is alleged to have quipped to the attending physicians and nurses, "I hope you are all Republicans." Everyone laughed. In fact, his surgeon was a liberal Democrat; but, of course, that did not matter.

My patients are dying. But it's their right to keep going.  

"Dr. Chan, please, please keep me alive a little longer and God will surely bless you."
I am watching a 68-year-old man fall apart. He has been through five different types of chemotherapies, yet his kidney cancer continues to grow and metastasize, spreading to different organs. He now sits hunched in his wheelchair. With his worsening diarrhea, and sores in his mouth, he no longer eats with pleasure. Sleeping a few hours without pain has become a luxury.

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