Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fixing health care on the back of a napkin - Or not.

I love the guys at digital roam's "back of the napkin" blog. Their mission is to visualize issues and to eliminate jargon and technobabble so that the average person can make sense of complex issues. And that's a great mission.

But with all the talk about health reform lately, I am concerned that there are an awful lot of people trying to simplify the problem. And it just isn't simple. The back of the napkin gang has gotten one thing very right: That health reform isn't about health reform anymore; it's about health insurance reform.

Full disclosure; I work for an insurance company. It'll be no surprise to you that I think my company does a lot of good and adds a lot of value for a lot of people. I wouldn't work there otherwise. And there are clearly things that need to be reformed in the insurance (payor's) part of the healthcare equation just as there are on the parts of the doctors and patients (the napkins address the docs and payors in their analysis, but not-so-much on the patients). But the picture above shows how the back-of-the-napkin guys have simplified an issue so much that they have fundamentally changed reality.  I'm going to assume that this is an error rather than a subtle way of using their bully pulpit to support their own viewpoint.  But insurance didn't "jump between me and my doctor" to ration care.  Your employer told your insurance company what it was willing to pay for.  And that's just one, obvious example.

There's a quotation on this subject that I really like, and I wish I could remember who said it: "For every complex problem, there is a simple solution. And it's wrong."

That's where we are here. Both in the health reform "debate" [read: propaganda wars] and in the (presumably well-intentioned) back of the napkin summary, we're dumbing down a complex problem to the point where we're not actually educating anybody on anything.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Humana Takes Health to the Streets With B-cycle Bike Sharing | Fast Company

Humana's Innovation Center has been on a mission for the last two years - a mission to create a social revolution in health And that revolution isn't focused on making healthy stuff more fun - it's focused on making FUN stuff more HEALTHY.

Bcycle is our most mature effort to date in this regard. The joint venture between Humana, Trek and Crispin Porter + Bogusky has already sold a major bikesharing system in to the city of Denver (which will launch in 2010).

We've always felt confident that what we were doing was going to make a difference - but it's nice to get validation from a publication that most of us read religiously (Fast Company).
Hopefully, this exposure will inspire others to get into the game, and to join the Health Revolution.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Science Girl

"Can I keep these pennies, Dad?" We have a standing rule in our house that if you find loose change lying around, you get to keep it. Big A found a couple of pennies in my car while we were on our way out to breakfast, and decided that today would be a great day to do some science experiments. Her sister is visiting my parents for the weekend, and she's been having a lot of fun being the center of attention. She had done an experiment at preschool that involves mixing water, white vinegar and salt into a solution, and dropping in a bunch dirty pennies. Turns out, it works! We were able to make some nasty old pennies look brand new! And big A, who is usually relegated to the "Igor the Assistant" role in her sisters science projects, got to be the lead scientist. And everybody needs that once in a while!
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous