A Few Suggestions to Simplify Healthcare

Path or way from A to B - solution strategy concept

I keep waiting for Bezos-Buffet-Dimon to call me (I know they will one day) but in the meantime, cyberspace is a good place to share my thoughts on healthcare redesign. The front door to healthcare delivery should be an easy-to-use smartphone application which is pre-populated with a healthcare calendar, set up with you and your doctor, to remind you… [Read More]

Can You Believe What Happened to Me at the Pharmacy?

pharmacy counter with blur shelves of drug in the pharmacy drugstore background

This is going to be a rant blog. I happen to know that a lot of people from Aetna (which is my insurer) read this. But, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s Aetna or another medical insurer – they all have the same issues. Thankfully I am reasonably healthy. As with most people, my most frequent encounter with the… [Read More]

CVS-Aetna – a Few Weeks Later

Doctor sitting at table and working with tablet. Medical icons in hexagonals in front. Only hands seen. Concept of medical help.

So the CVS-Aetna deal has been seasoning a bit and I really haven’t heard of any major roadblocks to approval. And early integration planning is starting. Not that integration teams are that much of an indication as they didn’t portend a good result for the Aetna-Humana or Anthem-CIGNA mergers. It would seem that horizontal integration is… [Read More]

A Call to End Drug Rebates

Drug Cost  Specialty Pharmacy

Healthcare can be transformative and the ability to extend and improve life continues to rapidly roll in. But while medical advances are explosive, our creative skills in controlling costs proceed at a snail’s pace. I realize that change is hard, but it boggles my mind that we can’t take simple steps to reduce cost trends. Regulating drug… [Read More]

Are Drugs Cheaper Using Cash?

The concept of paid medicine with pills on a money background

This past weekend, a far-reaching exposé was published by the New York Times and ProPublica highlighting how, in many instances, individual members can save money paying cash when compared to using their insurance for their generic prescriptions. While this is not a new issue, the investigation reviewed the top one hundred prescribed medications, finding that 40% of the time… [Read More]

Will the Urge to Merge Help Healthcare?

Businessmen connect puzzle lamp. Joint efforts, success, union, idea. Vector illustration Eps 10 file. Success Cooperation

The announcement this week that CVS would be acquiring Aetna is the latest effort to remake U.S. healthcare. Costs are still spiraling upwards at an unsustainable rate and try as we can, inertia makes efficiency and cost reduction battles difficult to win. “Bigger” hasn’t done much to reduce costs. The health insurance market is down to… [Read More]

Reviewing Contracts: An Essential Part of Health Plan Management

Reviewing Contracts An Essential Part of Health Plan Management

And you thought it was tough to decide on plan design, communication strategy and contributions for your medical benefits plan… Once the crush of implementation begins, the plan documents will start coming to your inbox and it’s critically important that you understand them completely. The obvious first steps would be to check the principal plan… [Read More]

Is Government-Provided Healthcare Better?

Cuban Healthcare Reform pic

I recently returned from a cultural excursion to Havana, Cuba. As a healthcare geek, of course I wanted to know about accessing care in a communist country. First, I must say that I was surprised to find that the country did not live up to the third world impressions which many people may expect –… [Read More]

Pharmacy Shenanigans

Prescription Drug Cost

In evaluating the cost of a medical benefits program, prescription drug costs and in particular, specialty drugs, stand out as the fastest growing and the most difficult to manage cost. As I review programs with clients, I find myself often pointing out that pharmacy is where all the profits are hidden. This has been no… [Read More]