January 2017                                                                                                                             Issue No. 1
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Fee-For-Service to Value-Based Payment Transformation: Landscape Overview - Part 1

Fee-For-Service to Value-Based Payment Transformation: Provider Strategies and Readiness - Part 2

Fee-For-Service to Value-Based Payment Transformation: Integrating Medicare and Commercial Payors While Embracing Medicaid - Part 3

Fee-For-Service to Value-Based Payment Transformation:  Successful Population Health Management - Part 4

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Happy New Year! 

As we begin 2017, we are hoping to launch a new series, " The Entrepreneur's Playbook," which will focus on entrepreneurs and start-ups across the spectrum of the industry. We would love to hear your story, so if you are interested in contributing an article please contact us at whc_e-magazine@whartonhealthcare.org and complete this template.

Thanks to all who completed the WHCMAA survey!  Your feedback and ideas will help guide the Association in its efforts to be constantly evolving to address your interests and meet your needs over time.   

More to come......

Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85
Managing Editor

To learn more about Colette, click here.

presidentThe President's Desk
Contributor:  John Harris, WG'88
If you are like me, time is your most precious commodity. With all of the options to spend time with family and friends, or getting one more work task done, why should your business school alumni association take priority? The reasons are many and the opportunities great!
openwide The Philosopher's Corner
Contributor:   Alessia Bhargava, MD'17 WG'17
This eclectic standing column features insightful musings, words of wisdom, life lessons, and stepping stones to business success. This month's philosopher is Alessia Bhargava, WG'17, MD '17.  Read more .
We'd love to hear from you and invite you to click here to participate in future editions.  Column Editor: Z. Colette Edwards, WG'84, MD'85. 

Column Editor:   Connie Mester, MPH
If you set a New Year's resolution, you are not alone.  Over half of the population admits to declaring a fresh start on the horizon of the New Year. The "Fresh Start Effect," as Dai describes could be a new year, birthday or holiday, which establishes a new mental time period.  These time landmarks signal the beginning of a new cycle and can "induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors."  Further evidence reveals that life changes and goal-directed behaviors are directly correlated to new beginning time periods. However, even with the new time effect that initiates changes, evidence also shows that less than 10% of resolutions are achieved.  Why?    Read more

Column Editor: Lisa W. Clark, JD'89

The ONC is specifically charged with the development of a nationwide HIT infrastructure that permits the exchange of EHRs and other health information between and among healthcare entities at the community, region, state, and ultimately national level.  This system depends on the sturdiness of the foundational provider-based EHR built by an EHR vendor.   Although the government generally avoids counseling parties on contracting matters, it weighed in under its mandate to advance the adoption of technology.  It is too early to tell whether the EHR Guidance will remain as is or be modified or withdrawn under the Trump administration.   Read more .

Contributor:   Linda Roszak Burton
Neuroscientist Dr. Antonio Damasio is quoted as saying ... "We are not thinking machines that feel, but emotional machines that think." Knowing what our brain looks like on gratitude is helping to improve employee engagement. An active practice of gratitude increases neuron density and leads to higher emotional intelligence.  Read more .

DIYWhy Don't They Just Call It That?   

The author witnessed a team of physicians who were extremely empathetic and had spent significant time speaking to a highly educated patient who was fluent in English. And yet they had not communicated with her.  Read more .

Contributor:  Peter Beilenson, MD, MPH 

In an attempt to encourage new competition and innovation in the health insurance marketplaces of the states, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enabled the formation of non-profit health insurance cooperatives (Co-ops) in each state. After Congress cut the initial $10 billion outlay by almost 75%, Co-ops started up in 22 states (Oregon had two). From the beginning, the Co-ops faced a tremendous uphill battle against the large, pre-existing dominant insurers in their respective markets. As a result, as of September 15, 2016 only six of the original twenty-three Co-ops that went to market on January 1, 2014 are still in operation. 

This is unfortunate, because by many measures the Co-ops were successful. They unquestionably brought greater competition and choice to their respective state insurance markets; and with that additional choice, they brought lower premiums: in states with Co-ops, the state average premiums were 7% lower than in states without Co-ops. Along with the benefit to consumers of reduced premiums and increased competition, many of the Co-ops brought innovative products to their markets, as well with a particular emphasis on delivering value-based care, with one such example being Evergreen Health of Maryland.  Read more .

 GrowthThe Internet of Medical Things

With regard to healthcare, there are infinite ways in which IoT tools can be used to improve patient care - and it's happening sooner than you might think. In the past few years, we've seen the emergence of connected medical devices such as smart heart rate monitors, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, asthma inhalers, thermometers and pill bottles. Let's call this "The Internet of Medical Things" (IoMT), which describes the emergence of Internet-connected devices to improve the lives of users. Read more.

Contributor: Matt Pickens, WG'03 
In 2017 it is far easier to get reliable information on the quality of a hotel than a hospital.  Granted the factors that go into choosing a hospital are more complex, but the information gap is concerning, given how high the stakes are.  Emerging sources are providing consumers with greater insight into hospital performance, yet it is still a sea of ambiguous, conflicting data.  One need look no further than the roadside billboards in any county touting the local medical center as top rated in some category by some anonymous source.  The convergence of safety, clinical, and patient experience data into unified ratings is a step in the right direction; however the limitations of these ratings leaves the field wide open for a disruptive innovator - the Hotels.com or Uber of healthcare perhaps?  Read more .


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and editors of the articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Wharton School and/or the University of Pennsylvania, and/or their respective organizations. Publication in this e-magazine should not be considered an endorsement. The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly e-magazine and WHCMAA make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this e-magazine and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.