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  • Julie Barnes

February 20, 2020

Maverick’s Update

Only What Matters on Health Information Policy


  1. Rolling Stone has the best explanation about why Mayor Bloomberg did not have a good night during his first presidential debate. But Axios, Politico, NPR, Washington Post, NYT and WSJ are worth reading too. It is still early in the campaign season, but Bloomberg’s poor debate performance increases the likelihood of a contested Democratic convention if Senator Bernie Sanders continues his lead, as Ron Brownstein outlines here. Most of the support for Senator Sanders comes from the dissatisfaction with the current health care system -- see KFF polling here and Politico-Harvard polling here -- but voters are less for blowing up the system than for addressing high health care costs. Which is another reason why Mayor Bloomberg is likely disappointed about his first debate -- little discussion about his idea to cap hospital out-of-network charges and lower drug costs.

  2. Only 31 issues to tackle in the next 2 years, according to the federal advisory committee that helps direct the country’s health information technology strategy.

  3. The Center for Connected Medicine, jointly operated by UPMC, GE Healthcare and Nokia, issued "The Future of the Digital Patient Experience" report, concluding that if patients continue to be disappointed with the digital tool offering of traditional health care providers, they will turn to more tech-savvy competitors. Evidence of this truth may be found in Omada Health’s explanation for why it is a “digital care provider”, and more traditional digital tool trends are described here, here, here and here.


One Thoughtful Paragraph


Gist Healthcare has an interesting piece in its latest blog about the “attractive economics of Medicare Advantage.” While we were happy to share our thoughts on the Gist Daily podcast about interoperability, it is the Gist MA article that reminded us about the connection between the strong economic success of MA plans and data. The federal government is actively encouraging the better use of data through its initiatives to promote interoperability and value-based care in the MA market. Indeed, improved data exchange will gain even more traction when MA plans are required to disclose data to a patient’s app of their choosing (speculation continues that the final rules will be published in time for the HIMSS conference beginning on March 9). Disruptors like CVS Health Aetna and Devoted Health are doubling-down on technology in the MA market. Stalwarts of the Medicare Advantage market, like Humana and Optima Health, are investing in data and technologies to strengthen their competitive advantage. Increasingly, it is the big tech companies that are setting the expectations bar for health care innovations in the MA market and beyond.

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Julie Barnes, J.D. 

Phone: (703) 304-1756 

Email: julie.barnes@maverickhealthpolicy.com

P.O. Box 7117 2200 N. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22207

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