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December 19, 2019
David Burda
Consumerism Economics Innovation Policy System Dynamics
4-Minute 4sight Blogs Dispatches

What Revolutionary Healthcare Leaders Read This Year: The Top 5 Commentaries on 4sightHealth.com for 2019

Here at 4sight Health, we like to call it like it is.

We see and throw a flag on the things that prevent the healthcare system in the U.S. from serving its ultimate customer, the patient. We see and fist bump people and innovations that truly are creating a market-driven healthcare system in which outcomes matter, customers count and value rules.

We’re here to inform, educate and entertain. Most of all, we’re here to inspire change. We believe that the healthcare system can change, but it’s going to take a customer revolution to do it. It should be the patients who run the system, not the other way around.

We know that a lot of people like to say that. We also know few people take action to make it happen.
So what did revolutionary healthcare leaders read this year? Below are the five most-read pieces on our site this year, as measured by the website pages with the most page views.

In rank order, the five most-read 4sight Health commentaries from January through December were:

1. “Surprise! Surprise! The Surprise Billing Legislation Could Usher in Government Price Controls

Written by guest columnist Nathan Bays, a special advisor to 4sight Health, this piece speculated on whether legislative attempts to protect patients from surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers ultimately would lead to the government setting prices for medical care. For the moment, the answer is no. That’s because the hospital and physician lobbies killed any bill for the remainder of the year that would have limited their ability to charge patients whatever their insurance coverage would allow. The real question is whether the Healthcare Industrial Complex® will kill any bill for the foreseeable future.

2. “Forced Resignations at NCH Healthcare System Expose Medicine’s Dark Side

In a local example of what happened at the federal level, physicians who referred patients to a hospital system in Naples, Fla., killed a new hospitalist program at the system that was proving to produce better patient outcomes at less cost. The doctors forced out the system’s innovative president and CEO along with his chief of staff. According to this commentary by 4sight Health Founder and CEO David Johnson, the hospitalist program threatened the incomes of the referring physicians, and they weren’t just going to let that happen. “Revolutions generate casualties. Not all true believers in healthcare transformation can overcome the industry’s entrenched interests. American healthcare is fighting for its soul and just lost a battle in Naples,” Johnson wrote.

3. “Getting Urgent about Urgent Care: Health Systems Go Big on Retail

When innovation threatens some entrenched interests, those interests choose to innovate themselves rather than take out the opposition to maintain the status quo. This piece by Johnson and co-author Wyatt Ritchie, another managing director at Cain Brothers, highlighted the efforts by some hospitals and health systems to diversify into the urgent-care business as patients-turned-consumers seek more convenient, accessible and affordable options for their non-emergent medical care needs. “Increasingly, health systems recognize their own need to reduce patient leakage and enhance value by providing more convenient care to retail-oriented consumers,” they wrote.

4. “Interoperability Battle Lines: Data Freedom Fighters vs. Entrenched Data Blockers

This commentary by Johnson foretold the turf war over new federal regulations that advocates say will liberate patient health data from proprietary EHR systems and make that data available to anyone who can use it make care more effective. Who in the world would oppose that? For one, legacy EHR vendors who have deliberately dragged their feet on interoperability for years. For two, big healthcare providers who use and want to control the data to control doctors and patients. You can read more about that in this follow-up piece by Johnson, “Don’t Let Special Interests Block Pending Rules for Sharing Patient Healthcare Data” on 4sighthealth.com

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

With nearly $4 trillion in national health spending at stake, everyone wants to know where to put their money over the next year. In this commentary by 4sight Health News Editor and Columnist David Burda, we curated healthcare industry predictions and prognostications for 2019 from 21 different and credible industry experts, pundits, vendors, analysts, thought leaders, journalists, publications and think tanks. A lot of what they said was going to happen did or showed signs of happening. The problem is what didn’t happen. What didn’t happen was healthcare becoming more affordable, accessible, safer and effective for most patients. Incremental change isn’t working. For every step forward, incumbent stakeholders figure out a way to take us two steps back. That’s why we need a customer revolution in healthcare.

Thanks for reading this year. We look forward to instigating positive change in healthcare again in 2020.

To receive our weekly newsletter, 4sight Friday, sign up here.

Read more of our content on our website, 4sighthealth.com.

About the Author

David Burda

David Burda began covering healthcare in 1983 and hasn’t stopped since. Dave writes this monthly column “Burda on Healthcare,” contributes weekly blog posts, manages our weekly newsletter 4sight Friday, and hosts our weekly Roundup podcast. Dave believes that healthcare is a business like any other business, and customers — patients — are king. If you do what’s right for patients, good business results will follow.

Dave’s personnel experiences with the healthcare system both as a patient and family caregiver have shaped his point of view. It’s also been shaped by covering the industry for 40 years as a reporter and editor. He worked at Modern Healthcare for 25 years, the last 11 as editor.

Prior to Modern Healthcare, he did stints at the American Medical Record Association (now AHIMA) and the American Hospital Association. After Modern Healthcare, he wrote a monthly column for Twin Cities Business explaining healthcare trends to a business audience, and he developed and executed content marketing plans for leading healthcare corporations as the editorial director for healthcare strategies at MSP Communications.

When he’s not reading and writing about healthcare, Dave spends his time riding the trails of DuPage County, IL, on his bike, tending his vegetable garden and daydreaming about being a lobster fisherman in Maine. He lives in Wheaton, IL, with his lovely wife of 40 years and his three children, none of whom want to be journalists or lobster fishermen.

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