Mobile Health a hot topic on Capitol Hill

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on 5 May 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized

Capitol Hill is keen to know more about telehealth and health care information technology. Today, I am participating in a roundtable discussion on mobile health as part of an event hosted by Qualcomm and the American Telemedicine Association. Why “mHealth” anyway? It’s because we’re a mobile society. As B.J. Fogg, the director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, wrote, “We don’t merely adopt cell phones; we marry them.” In our 24×7 lives, we’re project managing our entertainment, financial management, travel services, and shopping via mobile devices. Engaged health consumers ask, “why can’t I ‘DIY’ my health the way I manage other


Save the Children…and the Mothers

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on 4 May 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized

It’s good to be a kid in Norway, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark. The worst country to be a kid on the planet is Afghanistan, which ranks lowest based on the Mothers’ Index Ratings in Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2010 report, the 11th annual version of this project. You might notice the United States hasn’t yet been mentioned. That’s because it’s not in the top 5 best places to be a woman or a kid; but the U.S. is also far, far from the worst nation in terms of childhood and maternal health metrics. The U.S. ranks


Health care confidence crisis worsens among Americans

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on 3 May 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized

Americans’ faith in their ability to obtain and pay for health care has eroded in 2010. Notwithstanding the fact that a health reform bill has passed and the nation’s macroeconomic measures appear to be picking up, people in the U.S. are losing confidence in their ability to access and pay for health care. The chart illustrates the downward trend in Americans’ perceived ability to access and pay for health care both in the past 3 months and in the next 3 months. Thomson Reuters bases the Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index on looks back 3 months and ahead for 3 months.


The state of the States and health reform

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on 30 April 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized

The impact of health reform could be devastating to the budgets of states by 2014 — the year that Governors must kick in substantial additional expenses that will cover the uninsured who are absorbed into existing health care programs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 builds on existing state health programs (read: Medicaid and CHIP for children) to provide coverage for uninsured Americans in 2014. Moody’s, the credit rating agency, has issued a report, Healthcare Reform Expected to Create Longer Term Financial Pressure for States, which finds that the states with largest gains in Medicaid enrollment will have the most


Administrative simplification as health reform

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on 29 April 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized

Physicians spend 12% of their net revenue to cover administrative waste in the course of practicing medicine over a year. Simplifying payment and billing through a universal form would save doctors in the U.S. $7 billion (yes, “billion” with a “b”). This sad story of waste is detailed in a Web First article on the Health Affairs website titled, Saving Billions of Dollars – And Physicians’ Time — By Streamlining Billing Practices. The research comes from a team from Massachusetts General Hospital, and includes the institution’s CFO — to whom $7 billion is surely ‘real’ money. The authors point out that


The cost of cancer care – too costly to consume?

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on 28 April 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized

In the current paradigm of Too Big To Fail, are cancer drugs and care Too Costly To Consume? A plethora of evidence says that, for a growing number of health citizens, the answer is “yes.” First, think about the scope of the cancer challenge in the U.S. The March 17 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association focused on cancer: prevalence, treatment, and cost. Elkin and Bach’s article talks about addressing cancer’s next frontier – not treatment innovation, but costs. In their article on caring for patients with cancer, Pasche et. al. write, “With the current lifetime probability of being diagnosed