September 2019 | Volume 2
There are daily opportunities in the news to identify gaps, inequities and dysfunction in our health care. The articles in this edition that address industry consolidation and incentives that are misaligned with a health-first goal are more evidence of trends and actors we need to call out. More hopeful are the thought pieces about the goals of innovation, the role of social justice and the promise of equity and access as the primary drivers of change. Maybe we can’t have everything, but we can certainly establish better expectations for the kind of health care system we want to see in the future. 
Hospital market concentration on the rise, along with prices
Nearly three-quarters of metro areas had highly concentrated hospital markets in 2016 and 13% were very highly-concentrated, according to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute.
Researchers found metro areas where hospitals markets became more concentrated also had larger increases in inpatient prices and vice-versa.
Eliminating ‘tensions’ in health care: a litmus test for innovation
The term “innovation,” once considered an insult in religious sectors, has garnered a cult following in health care. Dozens of health innovation accelerators, incubators, labs, and centers now exist in universities, nonprofit institutions, and corporations across the country, and new ones are emerging all the time.
Social justice is the foundation of healthcare — and medical education
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, our medical school colleague at the University of Pennsylvania, published an essay in the Wall Street Journal last week titled, “Take two aspirin and call me by my pronouns.” Goldfarb argues for a return to “the traditional American model of medical training” — one that he believes delivered “a technically proficient and responsible physician corps for the U.S.”
Improving Access to and Equity of Care for People with Serious Illness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 40 million people in the United States suffer from a serious illness that limits their daily activities. These illnesses include heart and lung disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. However, significant disparities exist across different communities in the quality and access to care for these illnesses.
Trump, 2020 Democrats Take Different Tacks on Mental-Health Policy
The 2020 presidential campaign has revealed a clear split on the future of mental-health policy, with President Trump focused primarily on addressing gun violence and his potential Democratic foes making a wider variety of proposals.
Medicaid Expansion and Health - Assessing the Evidence After 5 Years
Studies have shown that Medicaid expansion has been associated with greater access to care, more preventive care, and improved chronic disease management.1 Medicaid expansion has also improved financial well-being among low-income families.2 While these are important findings, they are process measures that precede any potential changes in health.
Private Equity Tries to Protect Another Profit Center
Surprise medical billing has quickly become a small but critical flashpoint in health care reform. Because doctors and hospitals negotiate separately with insurance companies over reimbursement rates, it’s possible for a patient’s insurance to cover hospital charges while failing to cover the fees of some doctors in the hospital who are “out of network.”
Pete Buttigieg: Here’s a better way to do Medicare-for-all
Earlier this year, I lost my father to cancer. I make decisions for a living, but nothing could have prepared me for the kind of decisions our family faced as his illness grew more serious. But as challenging as that time was for my family, one thing we did not have to worry about was whether his illness would bankrupt our family. Because he was covered by Medicare, we were free to focus on what mattered most.

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