Why Can’t Hospitals Stop Over-Billing Us? (Part 1/2)

In an article titled “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us,” Stephen Brill outlines a well-researched investigation on hospital over-billing.  In the article, Brill begins by highlighting the unreasonable mark-up MD Anderson places on every medication, service, and imaging that it provides.  He argues that this “hard-nosed approach pays off,” earning MD Anderson $531 million operating profit in 2010, and that this comprises a 26% operating margin.  $1.8 million of that went to the pockets of Ronald DePinho, the president of the cancer center.

Although Brill never outright states the connection, his implication is clear: general hospitals are the oft ignored mammoth in the health care debate, operating under the veil of legitimate non-profit business.  A general hospital funds its astounding operating income by making the uninsured and under-insured suffering patients an offer they cannot refuse.  It then funnels this unfairly earned profit into the pockets to the Godfather of the organization. Continue reading “Why Can’t Hospitals Stop Over-Billing Us? (Part 1/2)”

Why Can’t Hospitals Stop Over-Billing Us? (Part 1/2)

On Brainstorming and Group Work

[I]t was the curious power of electronic collaboration that contributed to the New Groupthink in the first place. What created Linux, or Wikipedia, if not a gigantic electronic brainstorming session? But we’re so impressed by the power of online collaboration that we’ve come to overvalue all group work at the expense of solo thought. We fail to realize that participating in an online working group is a form of solitude all its own.

Susan Cain, Author, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

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Take a Break, Make a Breakthrough

Most people realize that they tend to perform best when they’re feeling positive energy. What they find surprising is that they’re not able to perform well or to lead effectively when they’re feeling any other way.  Unfortunately, without intermittent recovery, we’re not physiologically capable of sustaining highly positive emotions for long periods.

Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy, Harvard Business Review, as cited.

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Can Dr. Watson Practice Medicine?

“Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity.” – Alan Turing

Sherlock Holmes is fictional expert in what he calls the “exact science of detection” (A Study in Scarlet). Despite his genius in deductive reasoning and intuition is unparalleled, much of the detective success relies upon the calm and composed guidance of his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson. In most of the canonical novels, Watson acts as the sanity check for Holmes’ storm of ideas and, of course, the meticulous chronicler of their adventures together.

After defeating its human opponents on Jeopardy, the supercomputer Watson by IBM will attempt to learn medicine. Despite its terabytes of storage and raw processing horsepower, Watson’s ability to make medical decisions remains unclear. Can IBM’s Watson truly understand the complex human body and make medical decisions, or will it – like Dr. Watson attempting deduction – prove to be an helpful sounding board but falling short of achieving true intuition?
Continue reading “Can Dr. Watson Practice Medicine?”

Can Dr. Watson Practice Medicine?

Why Everyone Should Chill Out

Any as­pect of life to which at­ten­tion is di­rected will loom large in a global eval­u­a­tion. This is the essence of the fo­cus­ing il­lu­sion, which can be de­scribed in a sin­gle sen­tence:

Noth­ing in life is as im­por­tant as you think it is when you are think­ing about it.

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning Economist, in Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Three Things Making Work Fulfilling

Those three things—au­ton­omy, com­plex­ity, and a con­nec­tion be­tween ef­fort and re­ward—are, most peo­ple agree, the three qual­i­ties that work has to have if it is to be sat­is­fy­ing. It is not how much money we make that ul­ti­mately makes us happy be­tween nine and five. It’s whether our work ful­fills us. If I of­fered you a choice be­tween being an ar­chi­tect for $75,000 a year and work­ing in a toll­booth every day for the rest of your life for $100,000 a year, which would you take?

Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

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