Notes & Links: November 4, 2013

What’s a Hospitalist? Thanks for Asking
The Healthcare Marketer has a post helping consumers know what a hospitalist is. I’ve wondered that as well so I was interested to see where this was going. Print ads for this campaign are included in the post but it is not the only effort, it includes digital, transit, blog, video, etc. A rather concerted effort lead from the pediatric hospitalist. But kids and dogs work well at getting the readers, viewers, etc. attention. 

The print ad does a good job of differentiating a physician from a hosptialist. But I wonder, will that drive consumers to think about how Boston Floating Hospital for Children in a new light? It strikes me that this is positioning the hospitalist as separate from a physician and why should a patient want to see just a physician. Why see a physician, or NP? I wonder what the department of medicine thought about this campaign?

Making Hospital Prices Matter
Peter Ubel in The Health Care Blog shares some insight and analysis of OpsCost. It is a web site to help people figure out how much various hospitals charge for a range of treatments and procedures. It’s database is from Medicare.

Ubel enters “Hip & Femur Procedures Except Major Joint Without Complications And Comorbities/Major Complications And Comorbities”.  He breaks down what is presented at three local hospitals and addresses what it may mean for the Medicare patient, the uninsured, and those with private insurance. All fair and accurate analysis. Ubel ends with

Will this improve consumer decision-making? That remains to be seen. With an increasing number of consumers signing up for high deductible health insurance plans, it’s easy to imagine a large number of people going to websites like this before deciding where to receive their care. And it may not take much of a shift in consumer behavior to force high cost hospitals to lower their prices, or to make sure to explain to consumers why their higher prices are justified.

For better or worse, mainly for better in my opinion, we are entering into a new world, where American hospitals can no longer expect to hide their prices behind a veil of secrecy.

I agree and further I think with all the attention healthcare is getting and the changes underway we will be seeing more in the way of improved outcomes and hopefully lower cost.

Healthcare Triage: What is health insurance, and why do you need it?
Aaron Carroll of The Incidental Economist (TIE) has just launched a new YouTube Channel called Healthcare Triage. He has two videos up. 

  • Obamacare and October 1st: Healthcare Triage #1
  • What is Health Insurance, and Why Do You Need It?: Healthcare Triage #1

Two observations,  TIE is well written and clearly evidence based in its work. Second, this is sorely needed in healthcare

I just viewed #2 and it was informative, high energy, and great quality. A great place to send friends, family, patients, etc.