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Recent topics have included:

  • Doug Jones and the ACA, Epic misses a White House meeting, and man caves for man-flu sufferers
  • CVS-Aetna deal may trigger merger mania, Johns Hopkins criticized for lack of asthma prevention, & Columbia sees free-ride future for all of its med students

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Viewpoints

Peter Boland
Elisabeth Rosenthal has a unique perspective on what ails the American health care system. She is a physician turned journalist who has some firsthand knowledge about what takes place in American hospitals and doctor’s offices, although her Wikipedia entry makes a point of describing her as a “non-practicing physician.”
Nicolle Rychlick
Because physicians and health plan members both value choice, the current weak market for Inflectra and Renflexis could be a passing phase. Attitudes could change once there is more data that show people do well after switching from Remicade to the newcomers.
Zachary Hafner
Population health should be about collective societal benefits like disease prevention and better health—better behavioral health included. Substantial investment is admittedly hard to make with no line of sight on where and when the cost benefits will come. It will take a leap of faith. Are you ready to jump?
Frank Diamond

Some of the greatest people who’ve ever lived not only overcame pain and suffering, but achieved their greatness because—rather than in spite—of those conditions. That includes behavioral health as well.

Economics is called the dismal science. Uwe Reinhardt was anything but dismal. When the Princeton health economist died last month at the age of 80, the remembrances were of a lively, funny, and approachable man with important things to say and clever ways of saying them.

Jeremy Schafer
Starting this year, many PBMs rolled out a new type of cost-share program that will not count copay assistance dollars toward a patient’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. This might put some patients in a bind. Patients face big, unaffordable drug bills when the assistance maximum is reached, but before they have met their deductibles. Adherence to the specialty drug could fall off sharply if patients hit the copay program limit and cannot afford therapy.
Bruce Pyenson
Some providers will resent less obedient patients, but others will enthusiastically support more individually appropriate solutions and take risks with their patients. It’s likely that the early adopters (most likely the more affluent and educated) will soon become a noticeable minority in some physicians’ offices.
Zachary Hafner
A trend that is likely to continue in 2018 is the rise of consumerism and expansion of the consumer-driven marketplace. But investing in this is pricey and in an era of shrinking margins is “better for patients” always “better for business?” The Advisory Board’s Zachary Hafner answers with a resounding “yes!”