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Showing posts from November, 2012

What's the Finance Function's ROI?

"Ads proliferate across St. Louis as hospitals push services, name-recognition" is the headline above this interesting article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's website.  Featuring all sides of the debate, the article includes this from Samuel Steinberg, decribed as a Florida-based hospital finance consultant who "...remains skeptical about the benefit of advertising."

“It’s very difficult to be able to demonstrate that these things are worth the investment,” he said. “Hospitals and health systems that put a lot of money into advertising say it is beneficial. But when you ask them to prove it, there’s a real shortage of good research that verifies that it’s worth it.” Yes, hospital marketers are frequently remiss in not building more value-driven metrics into their work.  Too many of these marketers (those with limited job prospects) devolve from saying that measuring marketing is difficult to concluding it's a waste of time to try.  And in my experience, f…

An Industry Bankrupting Its Own Customers Cannot Thrive

Wonder why you haven't gotten a raise recently?  Does it seem your income goes less far than in years past?  Blame healthcare inflation.  Or, as one economist said recently, "...healthcare stole your raise."

, blogging at KevinMD.com predicts that healthcare is in for a new organizational structure.

At our first meeting years ago, Tom Emerick, Walmart’s then VP of Global Benefits, told me, “No industry can grow continuously at a multiple of general inflation. It will eventually become so expensive that purchasers will simply abandon it.” He said it casually, as though it was obvious and indisputable. Health care is playing out this way. From 1999 to 2011, health care premium inflation grew steadily at 4 times the general inflation rate. During that same period, the percentage of non-elderly Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage fell from 69.2 to 58.6 percent, a 15.3 percent erosion rate. Health care’s boosters like to argue that it has buttr…

Social Media's Biggest Pitfall May Be All Those Missed Opportunities

Says Bryan Vartabedian, MD in this Healthleadersmedia.com article:
Speaking to the great responsibility point, Vartabedian contends physicians are complicit in the controversy surrounding the unproven, but social media-fueled association between the MMR vaccine and autism. "There are 65,000 pediatricians in the American Academy of Pediatrics," he says.

"If all of us just once a year had created a small piece of content, be it a blog post, even a comment, we would have ruled the search engines, and none of this really ever would have happened." "When we think about social media, and when your institution talks to you about social media, almost invariably it will be viewed from the perspective of risk. All we see is the risk associated with it, and all your orientation and your programs, everything will center on risk and nothing will center on opportunity."

Why Can't Healthcare Solve Its Own Problems?

An interesting question posed at HealthLeadersMedia.com. 4 health leaders offer wide-ranging suggestions, including building trust and collaboration, reducing the number of stakeholders yet finding ways to work together, and reforming the tort liability system.

Hard to argue against 'more trust' isn't it? Yet it's axiomatic in healthcare that one person's 'waste' is another person's 'income stream.' You mess with my income stream and I may have a problem trusting you.

"Go get some trust..." sounds a little like comedian Steve Martin's promise to teach us how to be rich. Says Martin, "First, go find $1 million dollars!" Umm, OK. I'll go find some trust while I'm at it and fix healthcare's problems too.

Maybe it's fair to consider the requirements for more trust. What preceeds trust? What creates the right conditions for trust to occur? There's no tried-and-true formula, no "add two parts water, …

An App That Tries to Predict the Future of Cities

From TheAtlanticCities  "The Harvard Graduate School of Design released the new Ecological Urbanism app last month. The interactive app, available at the iTunes store, adapts content from the GSD book of the same name, which explores how designers can unite urbanism with environmentalism. Combining data from around the world, the app "reveals and locates current practices, emerging trends, and opportunities for new initiatives" in regard to the future of cities." Imagine something like this for predicting the future of health systems and hospitals, combining measures of community health, strategic trends, financial viability, with experts from around the world adding data and context. Hmmm.