David Burda

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Will 2020 Be the Year that Healthcare Gets More Affordable?


As 2019 draws to a close, the evidence continues to mount that healthcare affordability again will be the No. 1 challenge facing patients in 2020. What incumbent industry stakeholders, lawmakers, …

AHRQ Data Reveals Health System Search for Winning Formula


Pictures don’t lie. Neither do numbers. And these numbers paint of picture of U.S. hospitals and health systems remaking themselves in response to new economic forces challenging their long-term viability. …

Has Healthcare Lost Its Appetite for Value?


I get the feeling that the industry is moving on from this whole volume-to-value thing and will need to find a new analogy to replace that foot-in-two-canoes business that everyone …

healthcare, value-based care

Trying to Wake Up Patient Engagement


Your patient engagement strategy would have worked, too, if it wasn’t for those darn patients. That’s the sentiment from a new survey of 70 CIOs, executives and directors at 65 …

Patients Need More Muscle to Crush Drug Prices


Everyone complains about high drug prices. That is, when they’re not complaining about high hospital prices. So what are you going to do about it? Or, better yet, what can …

drug prices, patients, hospitals, drugs, healthcare

Embracing the Digitally Disconnected Patient


All the shrugs, shock and handwringing this week over the Google-Ascension patient data-sharing deal got me wondering about what patients thought of all this. So I scrolled through a bunch …

How Much Will It Take To Improve Patient Safety?


One of the best lines in Jaws comes from Brody after he sees the 25-foot great white shark for the first time. He slowly backs into the cabin, looks at …

The Rush to Move Patient Care Out of the Hospital


Everyone wants patients out of the hospital, where the costliest of costly care takes place.  Government payers. Commercial health plans. Patients. Doctors. Even hospitals want patients out of the hospital. …

Will Misuse of Antibiotics Respond to Regulation?


I got my flu shot on Oct. 21. (I’ll let you know how it worked out.) As I waited for my turn at our nearby immediate-care center, I explained to …

Finding the Value for Healthcare Consumers in Outcomes-Based Contracting


When you buy something and it doesn’t work, you take it back to the store (or more likely send it back to Amazon via your local Kohl’s) for a refund. …

Ranking the Regulations that Bother Doctors


I love healthcare industry regulatory burden surveys. From an academic standpoint, I’m interested in the topic of competition versus regulation and how each affects how healthcare markets function—or not—for patients. …

What Revolutionary Healthcare Leaders Are Reading: The Top 5 4sight Health Commentaries Over the Past Six Months


4sight Health’s writers and authors have published 57 blog posts, commentaries, podcasts and videos on 4sighthealth.com from January through June of this year. The topics are as varied as the …

Maybe It’s the Patients, Not the Prices. Is that Stupid?


In most markets for most goods and services, you get what you pay for. The more you pay, the better the goods or the services. Hence, the expression, you get …

Seeing Through Physician Participation in Value-Based Reimbursement Models


The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I get the point of the expression. But, I didn’t fully appreciate how it applied to healthcare until I read …

If You Scroll Down, You’ll Find Out What Employers Really Think About Healthcare


With open enrollment about a month away at most businesses that offer health insurance benefits to their  workers, it’s time to look at what employers are doing and not doing …

Has Room for Improvement


So, how’s it going? Do you think your hospital or health system or medical practice or health plan or pharmacy or life sciences company or post-acute care facility is providing …

Upselling in Healthcare? It’s Just Business


As wary consumers, we’ve come to expect upselling. Need an oil change? Looks like you need a new air filter and radiator flush, too. That sports coat looks fantastic on …

Healthcare Blocking and Tackling


Football season is upon us, and you’ll be hearing coaches at every level—high school, college and pro—talking about “getting back to basics” or “stressing the fundamentals” or “blocking and tackling.” …

Do You Trust Your Doctor?


When people my age were kids, there was a good chance that their parents wanted them to be doctors. Some wanted their children to be lawyers. I don’t recall anyone …

Why Fee-for-Service Medicine is Bad for Your Health


The later in the day that you see your doctor you’re more likely to get the flu, get colon cancer and get hooked on prescription pain killers. OK, that’s a …

Higher Practice Skill Mix May Not Be What the Doctor Ordered


“Practicing at the top of your license” and “upskilling your workforce”are two popular healthcare buzz phrases right now. As account-hungry consultants breathlessly will tell you, when medical professionals spend their …

Spend More. Pay More?


Everyone in healthcare is “all in” on a lot of things these days, and two things that are at or near the top of that list are social determinants of …

Inconvenient Competition


When better customer service is a competitive threat, it really is time to rethink your business model.  That was my first thought when I read the results of a survey …

Who Will Rule Healthcare in 2030?


What will healthcare be like 10 years from now? Not a lot of healthcare executives toiling in our system have the luxury to think about that as they deal with …

The Rising Cost of Family Coverage Is No Joke


You might have heard about this on the news. A new study is out that says employer-sponsored health insurance is getting really expensive.  (How expensive is it?) Hmm. May your …

Desperately Seeking Market-Based Patient Safety Solutions – Burda on Healthcare


This Nov. 29 will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, the seminal work by the Institute of …

There’s No O (outcomes) in ACO


Medicare accountable care organizations say they’re doing a lot to manage and coordinate the care of sick beneficiaries. But a new study says the ACOs don’t have much to show …

Pets versus Babies: Who Offers More Health Benefits at Work?


Everyone, including me, is always on employers to do more to improve the healthcare system in the U.S.  We’re on them to use their healthcare purchasing power and insured-lives market …

Cardiac Conflicts Put Payments Ahead of Patients


It seems that the Healthcare Industrial Complex (TM) is alive and well in the cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology laboratories at the top heart hospitals across the country. At least that’s …

What Are Healthcare Executives Thinking? – Burda on Healthcare


I write a lot about what healthcare organizations and companies do, and I make educated guesses on why they do what they do based on my experiences, industry knowledge and …

States Foul-Tipping Regulatory Approaches to Control Healthcare Prices


A new Viewpoint in the Journal of the American Medical Association said states are trying, but largely failing, to control through various regulatory tactics the prices paid by private health …

Why Service Doesn’t Mean Services at Highly Rated Hospitals


What were you expecting, an ICU? A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that the hospitals patients rated highly for service were less likely to have the actual medical …

More on Why Employers Should Pay Attention to Behavioral Health


More on the what and the why of employers and behavioral health, and what both mean for remaking the nation’s healthcare system into one where outcomes matter, customers count and …

Doctors and the Laws of Supply and Demand – Burda on Healthcare


It’s a great time to go to medical school and become a doctor. Ignore all the manufactured angst from organized medicine and opinion polls of aging physicians who say they …

Hitting a Wall on EHR Interoperability, Patient Access


You know that moment when you “hit the wall” when you’re running a marathon? I don’t. But, I’m told that it typically happens around the 20-mile mark when your physical …

What Fish and Colonoscopies Have in Common


By now you know you should never order fish at a restaurant on a Monday. That’s because the fish likely has been lying around the kitchen since early Friday morning. …

What Businesses Say They’re Doing About Their Employees’ Mental Health


The National Institute of Mental Health says 46.6 million adults suffered from some form of mental illness in 2017. Of those, 57.4 percent didn’t receive any mental health treatment for …

The Deep State of Physician Prescribing Patterns


And you thought changing patients’ health behaviors was going to be hard. Try changing physicians’ drug prescribing patterns. That’s the lesson from a new study in Health Affairs that reported …

Why Millennials May Be Pushing Us Off a Healthcare Cliff


I’m not sure that US millennials are going to have a happy ending when it comes to their healthcare. If I’m reading things right, in less than 30 years, when …

Death by Healthcare Knockoff


Knockoffs usually aren’t as good as the originals, whether they’re golf clubs, purses or pressure cookers. A new study suggests that you can add healthcare to the list, especially if …

This Is a Story About Where Healthcare Regulations Come From – Burda on Healthcare


Healthcare is one of the most if not the most regulated industry in the U.S. While its businesses like to blame overzealous bureaucrats for all the red tape, the current …

Culture Change Isn’t a Natural for Healthcare Organizations


“We must begin by asking it, ‘What is losing?’  Losing is a disease. As contagious as polio.  Losing is a disease. As contagious as syphilis. Losing is a disease. As …

The Universal Patient Experience of Debilitating Healthcare Costs


The lack of affordable medical care isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. It’s a serious problem across Europe, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. WHO’s report identified …

Patients’ Growing Appetite for New Outpatient Care Models


If you believe in the adage “follow the money,” it would lead you to telemedicine. Analyzing billions of private health insurance claims, a new report said telemedicine is the fastest …

Opioid Variations and State Interventions


Like companies in any other industry, when providers misbehave, it opens the door to state regulation of their behavior. What’s interesting about a new study in JAMA Open Network is …

Why Healthcare is Spinning Its VBR Wheels


It’s like preparing and serving a seven-course meal that your biggest customer ordered only to have the entire menu change between the salad and the main course. That’s what it …

The Strained Relationship Between Doctors and Patients – Burda on Healthcare


What if you walked into your doctor’s office and there was a sign hanging in the waiting room that said: “Please do not confuse your Google search with my medical …

Why Proponents Are Finding Innovative Health Plan Designs a Hard Sell


When your phone company or your cable provider offers you a new and innovative service plan, your immediate thought is that you’re going to end up paying more for less. …

Shining a Light on the High Risks of Low-Value Care


Low-value care doesn’t just drive up healthcare costs without providing any discernable medical benefit to patients. It can kill you. That’s the takeaway and market lesson from the latest study …

Digital Disillusionment: Are We There Yet?


There are signs that digital health—the promised cure for everything that’s wrong with healthcare—may be slipping into the trough of disillusionment.  You may want to check your heart rhythm on …

When Hospitals Merge, Patient Satisfaction Gets Squeezed


When two competing companies merge and get bigger, a common worry of their customers is whether the quality of service will suffer as a result. Should patients worry about the …

Price Controls Take Root in Rhode Island. Will They Spread to Your State?


One state’s attempt to control healthcare costs by using “affordability standards” ended up limiting increases in commercial health insurance payments to hospitals and doctors without any changes in utilization or …

When Blue is the New Green


I mean, what did you think was going to happen? A new study says big Blues plans that went for-profit dramatically raised their premiums right after their ownership conversions. The …

Wither the Traditional Physician Office Visit


It’s not your imagination or the self-serving forecast of a healthcare consultant angling for your business. Fewer people are seeing their doctors in person in a physical office. It’s a …

The Immovable Force That Is Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance


Death, taxes and employer-sponsored health insurance. We know the first two are certainties in life, and new research again confirms the assurance of the third. Researchers from the School of …

Everyone Knows What’s Going to Happen in Healthcare in 2019. Do You?


What’s going to happen in healthcare this year is anyone’s guess. Not really. What’s going to happen in healthcare this year is everyone’s guess. Like most of you, from mid-December …

Everything in Healthcare is Changing—Except One Thing


Much has changed in healthcare over the past 25 years. A lot has changed in healthcare over the past 25 minutes. But one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the public’s …

Bundled-Pay Evaluation a Study in Hospital Market-Based Behavior


What would you cut out if you suddenly had to reduce your monthly household expenses by 5 percent, 10 percent, or even 25 percent? I’m sure that some of the …

Medicare Advantage Bends Cost Curve the Wrong Way


Everyone sees what they want to see in the latest figures on national health expenditures released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this month. Most people see …

The Slow Road to Value-Based Care


A new report is yet another sign that the march toward value-based care has bogged down. The Health Care Transformation Task Force, which is a Washington-based coalition of health systems, …

HHS Goes All In on Competition as the Way to Fix Healthcare Woes – Burda on Healthcare


Competition good. Regulation bad. That’s my caveman summary of HHS’ manifesto released on Dec. 3 on how to improve the quality and safety of patient care while simultaneously lowering healthcare …

Med Tech Bets on Value as Its Future Business Model


If you’re looking for a sign that we’re truly approaching a watershed moment in healthcare innovation, look no further than the people whose job is creating new medical technologies that …

Sponsored by Cain Brothers

Want Better Cardiac Outcomes? Just Follow the Money


The line between financial incentives and clinical outcomes just got a little straighter. A new study says money may have erased the difference in readmission rates between the top heart …

Man or Corporate Culture: Who Has More Power to Disrupt Healthcare? – Burda on Healthcare


We’re at a branch point in healthcare’s evolution. We’ll learn soon whether disruptive innovation is the product of individuals or organizations. When we find out, we’ll know the best path …

New Primary Care Provider, Same or Better Outcomes


Expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and physician assistants may be a cost-effective way to manage the health of patients with chronic illnesses. That’s the market-based reform takeaway …

New Primary-Care Provider, Same Old Price


Patient office visits to primary care physicians are down. Patient office visits to nurse practitioners and physician assistants are up. But switching to NPs and PAs from doctors isn’t saving …

Few On The Same Page When It Comes To The Value of Value-Based Reimbursement


Yet another report shows that fee-for-service medicine is hard to kill. This time the culprits are a lack of faith in value-based reimbursement by clinicians and a lack of trust …

Pointing the Finger at Health Plans for Providers’ Price Variations


Wide variations in what providers charge for the same medical services are notorious. But providers are not acting alone. They’re aided and abetted—and some would say coerced—by health plans whose …

It’s Commercial Health Plans That Are Keeping Fee-for-Service Alive


Far from pulling the plug on fee-for-service medicine, commercial health plans continue to give it CPR. A new report says well over half of commercial health plan payments to providers …

Study Refocuses ER Coverage Debate on Patients


A new study reminds us that the squabble between providers and payers over coverage of unnecessary emergency room visits should be more about patients and less about who pays who …

Employees’ Premiums Actually Dropped This Year and Nine Other Untold Employer Health Benefits Stories – Burda on Healthcare


Every picture tells a story. So does every chart in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual employer health benefits survey. Here are 10 small stories from Kaiser’s latest survey that collectively …

Reducing Low-Value Care Gets Personal


It’s like FBI profiling but for doctors—doctors who order too many unnecessary diagnostic tests. Researchers from Canada have escalated the fight against low-value healthcare services by focusing on the doctors …

TOP HOSPITALS MAKE IT TOUGH ON PATIENTS WHO WANT TO SEE THEIR OWN MEDICAL RECORDS


All hospitals say that they want to engage patients in their own medical care. But even the best hospitals are making it difficult for patients to access their own medical …

Healthcare Worker Flu Vaccine Rates Offer a Lesson in Self-Policing


Short of making flu shots mandatory for healthcare workers, healthcare employers need to do much more to immunize their staffs from a virus that threatens their health and the health …

DIY Hospital Ratings: Do Your Stars Align for What’s Most Important to Patients? – Burda on Healthcare


What’s the most important thing to you when you or a family member has to go to the hospital? (That question assumes you have a choice.) For me it would …

The Early Patient Gets the Flu Shot


Unnecessary variation in patient care is a quality and cost killer. And it’s not just a problem for complex medical cases. It’s a problem for even the most routine services …

An Urgent Message for Those Who Want Care on Demand


The news cycle in healthcare seems to be following the news cycle in politics. Twenty-four hours is now 24 minutes if not 24 seconds. With that in mind, let’s hit …

A Lesson in Value-Based Payments from Across the Pond


If you paid your kids to clean their rooms and keep them clean, would they? If you stopped paying them, would they keep cleaning their rooms because they realized that …