ER Visits Rise Under the ACA

One of the main selling points of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the contention that it would reduce the number of people going to the emergency room (ER) for non-emergency services.  When a patient does not have health insurance, these costs are often subsidized by taxpayers.  And even when there is insurance coverage, an

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The Joy of Hitting the Numbers

I just started ANOTHER weight loss regimen. It is tough for me. My lifestyle is inconsistent. I eat out and entertain A LOT. Last week, I had dinners planned for six nights in a row, not to mention business lunches. It takes a toll on the body. Still, I go up and down, and I

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If You Can’t Beat Them, Buy Them: Why Some Drug Costs Are Going Up

I have done some analysis on pharmacy costs for clients recently. During that time, I noticed an increase in the cost per prescription for some drugs. Our pharmacy partners have shown the same trend in their data. This upsurge made no sense to me. Many drugs are coming off of patent, meaning generics of those

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A Few More Observations on the ProPublica/NPR Debate

Last week, I shared my thoughts in Risk & Insurance on the hot debate ignited by the recent ProPublica/NPR series, “The Demolition of Workers’ Compensation.” While I focused on “big-picture” questions that we must ask ourselves as we examine the points raised, I did want to follow up with some additional commentary. The authors took

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Whether You Believe You Can or You Can’t — You Are Right

The other day on the drive home, Mike Ditka was being interviewed on the radio. He had some good quotes. Commenting on teams or players, he quoted Henry Ford and said, “If you believe you can do something or you can’t do something, you are right.” Such a simple statement, and yet so profound. People

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Leadership Navigation: Resourcefulness vs. Process

I recently went on a long boat ride to the middle of nowhere. The ship was very well run. Because of the tight space, everything had a clear place. Everyone knew their jobs well. Whether pulling into port or fishing, the crew all knew what had to be done to run the process. They fixed

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Attitude—It Affects Surgery Outcomes

A recent Mayo study reinforces what we have always believed.  A person’s attitude and happiness really affect how quickly they recover. “The study, which looked at 431 colon cancer surgery patients, found that the 13% of patients who had quality-of-life scores below 50 on a 100-point scale were almost 3 times as likely to have

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