Why shopping for health insurance is hard

The premise is simple.  Create markets, let consumers choose the products that fit them best, and the competition will lead to higher quality and lower prices.  That is the premise behind the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges.  A necessary condition for this to work, however, is that patients have visibility into the quality and…

What does “value” mean to patients?

There are numerous value frameworks being developed by an alphabet soup of organizations including ACC/AHA, ASCO, ICER, MSKCC, NCCN, and others.  These organizations generally represent providers or payer perspective on value.  But what does “value” mean to patients? The National Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) provides their thoughts in a recent white paper titled “The Roadmap to…

The value of adherence information

A study titled “Estimating the Value of New Technologies That Provide More Accurate Drug Adherence Information to Providers for Their Patients with Schizophrenia” was just published in the November edition of JMCP.  This is work with co-authors Taylor T. Schwartz, Darius N. Lakdawalla, and Felicia M. Forma.  The abstract is below.  Go check it out!  …

Will a robot conduct your next cancer screening?

Machine learning programs have made dramatic steps in recent years.  For instance, AlphaGo beat a world champion Go player recently.  Playing games is great, but can machine learning improve health care?  Science Daily reports that machine learning algorithms may help improve cancer screening accuracy. Every state in the United States requires cancer cases to be…

The future of mental health?

Nature has an interesting article on how mobile technology is being used to treat mental illness. Estimates suggest that about 29% of people will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime1. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that many of those people — up to 55% in developed countries and 85% in developing…

A super EMR?

Sources of health care data are proliferating.  The previous standard–medical charts–are being augmented with information from digital sensors, patient reported outcomes, and genetic information. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all that information in one place?  That is what Salesforce is thinking.  Fortune reports: Salesforce announced on Wednesday a new patient relationship management platform that…