Relentless Healthcare Value

Relentless Healthcare Value

American Healthcare Entrepreneurs and Execs you might want to know. Talking. Relentless Health Value is a weekly interview podcast hosted by Stacey Richter, a healthcare entrepreneur celebrating fifteen years in the business side of healthcare. This show is for leaders in pharma, devices, payers, providers, patient advocacy and healthcare business. It's for health industry innovators, entrepreneurs or wantrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. Relentless Healthcare Value is the show for you if you want to connect with others trying to manage the triple play: to provide healthcare value while being personally and professionally fulfilled.

Episodes

June 30, 2022 35 min

I wanted to remind everyone about this show from last year because it’s becoming increasingly relevant. We have this weird thing going on where everybody seems to be talking about physician incentives and payments and financial implications but so often disregards patient incentives and payments and financial implications.

Consider that we’re at a place in the time-space continuum where it is inarguable that financial toxicity has ...

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So, this is a 400-level episode in specialty pharmacy options for plan sponsors, meaning here are your prerequisites: You gotta know what buy and bill is, and you gotta know what pharmacy bagging is, meaning white bagging, for example. If you do not, I would listen to Encore! EP282 with Aaron Mitchell, MD, MPH, where we go deep on buy and bill. And then listen to EP369 for the skinny on pharmacy bagging. If you already know what bu...

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I have been on a mission to figure out why some health systems, particularly in the oncology space but not limited to the oncology space, could manage to mark up the price of infused specialty pharmacy drugs up to 6x. Some employers and patients are paying six times the cost of a specialty pharmacy drug in markup for some already incredibly expensive specialty pharmacy drug at some oncology centers. Read more about this in a study ...

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Last week’s show was an encore episode with Dr. Aaron Mitchell (Encore! EP282), and we talked about buy and bill. To continue our exploration of specialty pharmacy intrigue, let’s talk about so-called “bagging.” I wanted to get an overview of all of the different kinds of specialty pharmacy bagging. Bagging is a big deal. If you have anything to do with trying to control pharmacy costs or the clinical outcomes of specialty pharmacy...

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After that recent episode with Scott Haas (EP365), where we talked about the real deal with PBM contracting, I kicked into high gear trying to untangle this whole apocalyptic honky-tonk we call benefits for prescription drugs. Notice I did not say prescription drug benefits because that would imply that pharmaceuticals are only charged for under the umbrella of pharmacy benefits. Ha ha, that would be just too easy. No, some pharma ...

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In INBW32, I talked about telehealth. In this episode, I’m talking about collaboration between healthcare stakeholders or the lack thereof.

My grandfather suffered from heart failure. This was many years ago now. But when I say suffered, I mean it. As many of you know, when heart failure is uncontrolled, it is painful to go through or even watch a loved one go through.

There was that one time when I accompanied my grandfather (and ...

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People are averse to change. It’s a thing. It’s a thing that affects even those of us who consider ourselves highly educated and/or very smart. Nobody likes disruption or, even worse, the prospect of disruption and the uncertainty that goes along with that. Nobody likes to feel like the rug just got pulled out from under them or that they’ve lost control of something, especially something important like their health benefits or how...

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Lots of talk about direct contracting going on these days. Many of you will be familiar with the term, but in short, direct contracting means when a self-insured employer directly contracts with a provider organization with no payer in the middle of that arrangement. And when I say “employer,” I mean the employer and all their peeps—their TPAs, repricers, other vendors, and consultants.

Most of this talk, though, seems to come from...

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First of all, this is a 400-level discussion. If you think you already know all about our dysfunctional healthcare benefits market, then this show is for you.

Before we begin, I just want to say something. I’m gonna refer back to David Muhlestein’s episode (EP364), where he talks about the first step toward healthcare transformation. It is, let’s just say, for incumbent health systems and payers, people who work there, to step back...

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One of my mentors often said price is irrelevant. He said he would sell anything for any price as long as he could define the terms of the deal. During this conversation today with Scott Haas about PBMs, that quote was playing in my head like an earworm.

I’m henceforth gonna struggle with the term rebate to define dollars that the PBM gets back from Pharma, because, according to my guest in this healthcare podcast Scott Haas, it tu...

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In this healthcare podcast, we’re gonna zoom out and look at the entire healthcare industry. I am very confident that you know a lot about the healthcare industry and its basic stats. It’s huge. The healthcare industry is approaching the $4 trillion mark, and it employs more people than any other industry in 47 states. Think about that momentarily. More people work in healthcare than in any other industry in every state except for ...

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Administrative costs in the United States have a bad rap. You don’t have to look too far to find an article about how there’s now, like, 10 administrators for every 1 physician in this country. Or 3 to 4 billing people for every physician. Or find someone complaining about arduous prior auth processes and how long specialists sit on phones trying to get a prior auth approved while having a frustrating “peer consult” with a “peer” w...

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Let’s talk about provider organizations and telehealth. It’s just too common a refrain amongst provider organizations who say some combination of:

  • Our patients and/or clinicians don’t like telehealth.
  • Telehealth is too expensive for us to do ... unless maybe we should charge facility fees for telehealth visits.
  • Telehealth is risky to invest in because as soon as payers start paying less than 65% of in-person visits, we’re gonna drop ...
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    David Contorno the other day posted the life expectancy chart comparing the US to comparable countries. Spoiler alert: It’s horrifying.

    You see Japan; you see Switzerland, Israel, Spain, Italy … basically everybody else in a cluster of pretty darn vertical lines: increasing life expectancies year over year without much cost increase at all. And then—wow!—off to the right, all by itself, you see the USA, costing nearly double the ...

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    Before I get into the show today, let me just remind everybody about our mailing list, which you can sign up for on our Web site, relentlesshealthvalue.com. You might follow Relentless Health Value on LinkedIn or Twitter, which is a great option, for sure; but I wanted to point out that what you see there is abridged at some level. Meanwhile, if you subscribe to our mailing list directly (again, by going to our Web site, relentless...

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    Last week’s show was with Wayne Jenkins, MD, from Centivo; and we talked about how insurance design, when not done well, can lead, in a nutshell, to mental and physical health problems for employees. This is a great lead-in to the conversation in this healthcare podcast with Dan O’Neill. And before I get into why it’s a great lead-in, let me just start here—and don’t roll your eyes.

    What is value-based care? Consider this delineati...

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    First of all, anybody who thinks that your average citizen in the United States today is unaware of the financial double jeopardy of going to a doctor, going to an emergency room, getting a procedure is sorely mistaken. Americans today are well aware of the financial risk that they are taking by seeking healthcare in this country.

    To illustrate this point, let me read the first couple of sentences from a New York Times best-selling...

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    Here’s the biggest problem with a lot of telehealth endeavors: Someone decides that they need to be doing telehealth, for whatever reason. Maybe there’s a pandemic, for example. And the basic plan is this: Install some technology, give everyone a username and password and a link for patients, check that box, and move on to the next thing.

    My guest in this healthcare podcast, Liliana Petrova, has seen and talked about how, far too m...

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    So … let’s start here. Mostly this whole episode is about the so-called “Big Three” PBMs that provide between the three of them pharmacy benefit services for 95% of insured Americans. PBM stands for pharmacy benefit manager, and the Big Three PBMs being ESI, otherwise known as Express Scripts; OptumRx, which is a part (a big profitable part) of United Health Group; and then also CVS. Yes, CVS is not just for your retail pharmacy ne...

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    My guest in this healthcare podcast is Nikhil Krishnan, who is the founder of the Out-Of-Pocket newsletter. I was talking with Nikhil, and we identified—or, more accurately, he identified—five business models of digital health. What makes each model distinct is a few factors. If you weren’t in the healthcare industry, you’d probably expect that I’m going to say that the biggest factor a business model must hinge on must have someth...

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