Most recent posts

  • 09/11/18
    It was reported in March that U.S. consumer credit card debt exceeded $1 trillion for the first time. Just how big is one trillion? A trillion is one million million. It would take 31,709 years to count to one trillion if you didn’t stop to eat or sleep. Imagine your dad back in 1968, piling the family into the station wagon for a road trip to the Grand Canyon. As you pulled out of the driveway, he cheerfully suggested that you count to a trillion as a way to pass the time. Had you stuck...more...
  • 09/05/18
    I recently had the pleasure and privilege to represent Vizient and present at a public hearing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), focused on removing barriers affecting the uptake of biosimilars, which offer a cost savings for some of the most expensive drugs on the market. Given the steep price for medications in our country, the importance of conversations like this cannot be overstated.more...
  • 08/30/18
    My favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra, once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” It’s an easy argument to show that we continually end up somewhere else in our current health care performance improvement efforts, and most times that somewhere else is the land of no change. No matter the laudable efforts of many people, we seemed to get derailed in our improvement efforts by everything from unengaged clinicians to a lack of...more...
  • 08/29/18
    In the age of near-constant mergers and acquisitions, health systems are taking on tremendous costs in the form of third-party—or purchased—services. When a hospital or health system acquires additional facilities or a private practice, it inherits all of that entity’s contracted purchased services, including IT and telecom, clinical services, security, maintenance and more.more...
  • 08/22/18
    Something in the newspaper caught my eye recently, which triggered a sequence of free-association thinking that ultimately led to a mixture of concern and hope for the future of health care. It was an almanac reference to the last close encounter with Halley’s Comet in 1986. Named for an English astronomer who was born in 1656, the 6-mile-wide chunk of rock and ice hurtling through space at 158,000 miles per hour intersects Earth’s orbit every 75 years. Contemplating the fact that...more...
  • 08/20/18
    Nurses are often said to be at the heart of health care and recently, five other nurses and I went on a medical mission trip to Malawi, which is known as the “The Warm Heart of Africa.” It took five flights and 70 hours to travel the 8,000 miles from my home in North Carolina to reach Malawi. Once we arrived, it was then a two-hour van ride to reach our final destination for our week-long mission. Now that I'm back in the States and looking back on the trip, my heart is full...more...
  • 08/08/18
    With health care spending in the United States now exceeding $3 trillion, and a recent government report stating that Medicare could become insolvent by 2026, it’s critical health care providers have a clinical analytics program to measure and evaluate outcomes that leads to improvement.more...
  • 07/31/18
    Each year at the end of summer, just before the new school year starts, I make my way to South Bend, Indiana to play a round of golf with two old friends who are professors at the University of Notre Dame. One of the two, recently retired, is a renowned Dead Sea Scrolls scholar. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in limestone caves in the Judean Desert in 1946, are the remnants of biblical manuscripts written 2,000 years ago. My golf partner devoted an academic career to studying them while...more...
  • How hospitals can be ready for the next outbreak
    07/20/18
    In August 2014, fear struck the globe, when the Ebola epidemic breached the continent of Africa’s borders and reached the United States. While proving to be a formidable opponent, the Ebola crisis was ultimately contained, but not before infecting two unsuspecting health care workers in Texas and claiming the lives of two others; both of whom contracted the virus outside of the U.S.more...
  • 07/12/18
    The Overall Hospital Star Rating system from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is meant to give consumers an easy way to pick the best hospitals for them and their loved ones. Yet, due to the methodology that drives the ratings, consumers don't always have a complete and accurate picture of the quality of care being offered by the more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide noted in the CMS system.more...