Editorial

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.
Like many persons who are concerned about the future of our healthcare delivery system, I have been carefully following the evolving literature and evidence on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). I would therefore like to share with you a “hunch” I have about the future of PCMHs, with a special emphasis on an assessment of the current evidence about their effectiveness and long-term implications.

When nearly a score of experts get together to decipher what it means to “practice” population-based health, we ought to pay attention. That is exactly what the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC, did this past summer. After their Population Health Leading Lights Summit, the Advisory Board Company issued a list of 8 insights that I believe are truly worth repeating.1

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law of the land, but its implementation so far has been fraught with serious problems. The initial launch of www.healthcare.gov was a disaster. It is unclear whether the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) or the office of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary told the White House that the October 1 deadline for the launch was not doable or highly risky, or if anyone suggested a delay.
All healthcare consumers want to achieve value, namely, best outcome at the most affordable price. Certainly, as readers of American Health & Drug Benefits know, we have talked about value in the past, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the future shape of our healthcare system.
October is the first time the public will see the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in action. At least that is what the schedule says.
On October 1, 17 state-run exchanges and 34 federal exchanges have begun accepting applications for health insurance. Things may not go well that day—or that month—but any bad news will be drowned out by a congressional uproar over the budget, the debt limit, and the war in the Middle East.
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