Editorial

Now that we are solidly into 2015, we should take some time to reflect on a recent special silver anniversary and contemplate what this means for health and healthcare in the next few years. The birthday of the Web is often cited as March 12, 1989. On that date, Sir Tim Berners-Lee produced a document that became the foundation for the Web.
The regular readers of this column know that I am a voracious consumer of private sector reports regarding the healthcare industry. Several recent reports and insights gleaned during my travels across the country have led me to think differently about the ways in which we will purchase healthcare services in the future.
I have had the privilege of serving on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) committee at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for nearly a quarter of a century, and I serve as Chair for its Medication Quality subcommittee.
I am frustrated. Despite more than 2 decades of personal involvement in the public reporting of healthcare outcomes and the widespread dissemination of these reports, there remains very little uptake by consumers of the information reported.
I am privileged to still be seeing patients in our primary care practice within the Division of Internal Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (formerly Jefferson Medical College).
You never know when something important will just “fall out of the sky.” I had this experience while speaking at the St. Luke’s Health System retreat in Boise, ID, several months ago.
Most readers of American Health & Drug Benefits are leaders across the spectrum of the healthcare industry. We proudly represent nearly every stakeholder, including consumers, payers, providers, pharmaceutical executives, and others.
Undoubtedly, 2014 will be characterized by the ascendency of a new type of healthcare consumer. “Consumers are no longer passive patients, but rather engaged—and more discerning—customers wielding new tools and better information to comparison shop.
When 2 leaders in the healthcare field, coming from entirely different perspectives, arrive at the same conclusion, it’s time to pay attention. Please allow me to explain. Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, is the Livingston Farrand Associate Professor of Public Health and Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
The Internet age has afforded anyone with a cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device access to more information than most people are able to manage comfortably. Conversely, those devices, which are such an indispensable part of modern life, also provide unprecedented, ongoing access to countless pieces of personal information.
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