Innovation Digest – December 2018 vol. 1

It’s (way past) time to ask whether we’re getting what we want and deserve from our healthcare system. Here’s my wish list: Preventive care at reasonable cost that keeps me (and my family) well, access to caring, qualified providers from cradle to grave, the ability to lead a productive life with good physical and mental well-being, and a safety net of care if my genes beget illness or when accidents happen. And yet, the evidence shows how far we are from that reality. The business of healthcare has us obsessed with profits, with consolidation and its impact on networks, with the promise of new technologies, with prices and what level of profit is acceptable. Meanwhile, talking about the fundamentals is less enthralling. And here’s evidence of failure: nursing homes that neglect their duty of care to the most vulnerable; mental illness and addiction conditions that still go undiagnosed and untreated; and startling data about mortality in “the best healthcare system in the world.” Of course we can’t pay for Medicare for All, but it’s an important conversation about defining what our healthcare system should be about, first. If we all have access to the same basic services, can we then get to the (harder) conversation about how we prioritize, give access to and pay for the rest? Hope springs eternal…

In this issue:

  • Advocacy groups push back against CMS protected drugs claims
  • When Will We Solve Mental Illness?
  • Amazon software can analyze patient medical records: WSJ
  • Drug overdoses and suicides fuel drop in U.S. life expectancy
  • Lobbyist Documents Reveal Health Care Industry Battle Plan Against “Medicare for All”
  • Overdoses, bedsores, broken bones: What happened when a private-equity firm sought to care for society’s most vulnerable
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