• Alan Shoebridge

ICYMI: Five of November's must-read healthcare stories



We're all crunched for time and that means we might miss some great content from month to month. Here are five articles from last month that I found interesting and thought would be valuable to anyone working in healthcare, especially those of us in marketing and communications. From the running of the bulls in Pamplona to the CVS pharmacy in your neighborhood, November had a lot of interesting content to offer!


1. A nation of McHospitals? Why the health landscape might change more than we imagine Politico - Dan Diamond

Part of Politico's "Agenda 2020" feature on healthcare, The trajectory of how hospitals - and healthcare systems - will grow in the future always seems to be in flux. Declining reimbursement caused consolidation to slow down below expectations over the past few years, but we can expect it to continue in the future. Read the article here


2. Is this the future of health care? The Washington Post - Robert J. Samuelson

CVS and Aetna? It’s all about data and a sign of more M&A activity to come. This Q&A provides an excellent overview of why this merger would be a win-win for both companies. The impact on consumers is less clear as M&A activity like this could improve care, but reduce choice and raise prices. Read the article here


3. Apple COO Jeff Williams on Apple's next steps in health. CNBC - Christina Farr

What tech companies plan to do in the healthcare space has been an ongoing subject of speculation for at least the past five years. No surprisingly, one of Apple's first forays into healthcare will involve leveraging existing devices like the the Apple watch. However, most of us don't expect them to stop there! Read the article here


4. What Uwe Reinhardt taught me about healthcare Vox - Sarah Kliff

If you're not regularly reading Sarah Kliff's healthcare reporting for vox.com, I recommend you start immediately. Many of her stories, including this one, address pricing in healthcare and the barriers that sets up for getting adequate care.

Her view - influenced by the economist Uwe Reinhardt - in a nutshell: "The reason that American health care is so expensive is that, each time Americans do go to the doctor, we pay outlandishly high prices. We're not consuming lots and lots of health care. We're just paying higher price tags. This is a fundamental fact about American health care that often gets lost in our debate. We have a lot of discussions about "waste" in American health care or "overuse" in our fee-for-service system." Read the article here


5. What Being Gored by a Bull Taught Me About Healthcare Vice - Bill Hillmann

Warning: This article contains some seriously NSFW language. However, if you're not easily offended by that, it's a great article that deftly explains some of the challenges that our healthcare systems imposes on patients and explores area where other countries are doing better and worse. Read the article here

Bonus resource


6. Bridging Worlds: The Future Role of the Healthcare Strategist Second Edition SHSMD

I'm clearly cheating here as the publication was released by the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) at the end of September; however, it really is a must-read for all healthcare marketers, communicators and strategists. The 75-page, in-depth publication evaluates and explores the evolving healthcare landscape and offers useful suggestions for how we can respond. Download the PDF here


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