Monthly Archives: September 2014

Time for Action Beyond Studies of Health Disparities

“We’re at a critical juncture in health care where there are diminishing returns on investments in studies that only enumerate disparities and differences. In order to advance the discussion and shrink gaps in health disparities, we must turn to action-oriented innovative approaches.” –


Healthcare Rapidly Becoming Key Driver Of Even Where Non-Healthcare Industry Jobs Get Located

Special Thanks To Dave Chase, Senior Vice President at WebMD for sharing these important insights on LinkedIn Pulse at:

“The old model of economic development for communities is to put a marketing veneer on their community and perhaps throw some tax breaks at corporations to entice them. The new model includes a recognition that all the tax breaks in the world are dwarfed by differences in healthcare value from one community to another.

After payroll, the largest cost for knowledge-based industries (i.e., those most likely to drive economic vitality) is healthcare benefit costs…For instance, IBM is making decisions on where to locate new technology centers based on the healthcare value equation…

(I)t is employers who foot most of the healthcare tab and are starting to flex their muscle. For example, IBM has shifted from thinking about healthcare as an employee benefit to a large cost driver that will impact their profitability. IBM recently made a decision as to where to locate 4,000 new hires based on their analysis of where they received the best value from their healthcare expenditure…With wide cost differentials, one could argue that CFOs and CEOs are failing in their fiduciary responsibility to shareholders if they aren’t following IBM’s model. This is a scary prospect for communities that are high cost locations for healthcare…This may shift how communities think about economic development. It turns out that having a great ROI for healthcare may be of greater benefit than a tax break. Conversely, communities with expensive healthcare have what amounts to a healthcare “tax” that will push businesses away…

P4 Medicine is the convergence of systems medicine, big data and patient (consumer) driven healthcare and social networks…

  • Bogota, Columbia opened 120 kilometers of roads in the city to walk or bike on Sundays. It has been found that for every $1 spent, it can save $3-4 of healthcare costs per citizen. Over a million people take to the streets every Sunday.
  • Rochester, NY has healthcare costs that are 30% lower than national average and 21% lower Medicare costs. Kodak’s demise was the spark of a collaboration of 7 major employers, academia, community, city, state and non-profits came together on what they could do to improve healthcare since they felt it could impact economy. By making their community healthier it could attract employers. They took a broad view of health including a focus on healthy eating.

Are you aware of other locales doing unique things to make improve the health of their (your) community?