John D. Bower School of Population Health

JDB LogoI’m honored to have been appointed as Graduate Faculty at the John D. Bower School of Population Health at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

The School is one of the few schools of Population Health in the nation and “their mission is to educate leaders who will transform health care delivery and the health of Mississippians.

This really resonated with me as I had previously done work in Mississippi when Specialty Disease Management Services Inc. (SDM) was involved in the Medicaid disease management initiative as a subcontractor to McKesson Health Solutions.  SDM provided on the ground RNs and community care coordinators located throughout the state seeking to improve the health and care for Medicaid beneficiaries with asthma, diabetes heart failure and COPD. I also have in-laws in Leland, Mississippi in the heart of the Delta.

beech,-bettina1The school is led by Dr. Bettina Beech, their Dean, who is a dynamo building the school and truly working to embed the schools expertise into the state by getting involved in programs to leverage population health in an effort to improve the health of all Mississippians.  Her areas of scientific inquiry focus on the role of nutritional factors in the primary and secondary prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes, with a particular focus on child health disparities.

The School has three departments, Data Science, Population Health Science and Preventive Medicine.  Offering an MS/PhD in Biostatistics and Data Science, an MS/PhD in Population Health Science and and their newly launched Executive MS in Population Health Management.

This semester I taught a course on ACO’s in their Executive Masters Program.

bower,-johnDiscussing the School of Population Health would be incomplete without mentioning John D. Bower, MD.  Dr. Bower was instrumental in establishing care for kidney dialysis and the federal legislation(H.R. 1) that made persons with end-stage renal disease eligible for Medicare. This was population health at its finest, embodying clinical practice,  healthcare system reform, program delivery and policy.  You can learn more about Dr. Bower and the work his foundation does here.

 

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PopHealth Week Interview with Dr. Anthony Slonim of Renown Health

This week’s episode of PopHealth Week had a broad ranging and fascinating interview with Anthony Slonim, MD the President and CEO of Renown Health. We cover their community efforts, ACO, the Healthy Nevada Genetic Testing initiative which already has 35,000 people enrolled, value based care and other topics.

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Listen to Anthony Slonim, MD on PopHealth Week

Dr. Slonim is an innovator and proven leader in healthcare at both the regional and downloadnational levels. During his notable career, Dr. Slonim has developed a profile as an expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health within the community. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine Critical Care and Pediatric Critical Care and is an academic leader with faculty appointments as Clinical Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He also holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in Administrative Medicine and Health Policy from George Washington University Center for Health Policy Studies and has more than 100 publications and 15 textbooks to his name.

Since joining Renown Health in July 2014, Dr. Slonim has reoriented northern Nevada’s largest locally governed, not-for-profit healthcare network. He launched a five-year strategic plan that is focused on the community’s overall health while embracing the national triple aim initiatives of improving quality care and patient satisfaction — all while reducing costs. Dr. Slonim also ushered in a new era of national collaboration to establish a medical training campus at Renown and expanded the region’s quaternary care services in collaboration with Stanford Medicine.”

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pophealth-week/2018/09/26/meet-anthony-slonim-md-drph-fache-president-ceo-renownhealth

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Ridiculous Healthcare Pricing

All over the country people are commenting on the ridiculous pricing from healthcare facilities and providers.  Here is a recent example I came across:

Lab Bill

You’ll note that the gross price for these lab tests is $837.74 and the person was told their out-of-pocket responsibility could be $109.85.  What is so amazing about this is I have heard of wellness companies that purchased lab services for their programs being charged $21 for a similar series, without the PSA, if the draw was done at a laboratory service center and $65 if the draws were done onsite at the employer.

So lets take out the PSA at $148.48/$19.47 and there you have it, gross pricing for these services is almost 33 times what they sell this service to wellness vendors on a wholesale basis (which obviously has a profit in it), and the person getting these tests could potentially pay four times that amount out of pocket with their PSA portion excluded.

I assume that the insurer, a major health plan, has a larger discount than that given to a wellness vendor. It will be interesting to follow this and see if the health plan pays any portion and what the final out-of-pocket is for the person. If it totals $21 I’ll eat my hat.

The markups in healthcare, which are driven by FFS pricing and payers who sell to employers based upon discounts off of charges has created a monster that is completely dissociated from reality.

 

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Webinar on Health Literacy

Health Literacy is a critical issue in the United States. Jane Sarasohn-Kahn in a blog post discussed some of the the major issues identified in a recent report by Accenture which you can read here.

To get some real world insights and ideas on how to improve Health Literacy, join Drs. Russell Rothman from Vanderbilt and Brian Primack from University of Pittsburgh  October 3, 1-2 pm for a Webinar entitled Improving Health Literacy: What Works and Why   .

I’ll be your friendly, neighborhood moderator.

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The Health Value Awards -My Interview at WHCC 18.

This past spring I was interviewed at the World Health Care Congress 2018 by Mabel Jong.  We discussed the Health Value Awards.

 

The Health Value Awards recognizes health care vendors, brokers and purchasers who consistently deliver high value that can be replicated throughout the continuum of clinical and financial risk management. Validated categories are evaluated by the Validation Institute, an independent certifier for performance and methodologies and all categories are then reviewed by a panel of nationally prominent judges for market viability, impact and innovation. The Health Value Team: World Congress, Validation Institute and Health Rosetta Institute, showcase these organizations based on their performance and illumination of issues of national importance.

I’m honored to serve as a judge again for the 2019 Awards. You can learn more about the Health Value Awards and apply here.

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