Health Populi http://healthpopuli.com Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:31:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 There’s more to taste: a marketing lesson for health/care from a coffee ad http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/27/theres-more-to-taste-a-marketing-lesson-for-healthcare-from-a-coffee-ad/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/27/theres-more-to-taste-a-marketing-lesson-for-healthcare-from-a-coffee-ad/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:20:26 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13116 I switched from being a devoted coffee drinker to green tea several years ago, but once in a while I still love an excellent cup of coffee (especially when I’m in Italy – stay tuned for late October posts from the 2015 Milan Expo where I’ll be all-food-and-health, all-the-time). One of my long-time favorite coffee […]

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I switched from being a devoted coffee drinker to green tea several years ago, but once in a while I still love an excellent cup of coffee (especially when I’m in Italy – stay tuned for late October posts from the 2015 Milan Expo where I’ll be all-food-and-health, all-the-time).

One of my long-time favorite coffee brands is Lavazza, based in Italy. The company hadn’t allocated much resource to advertising in the U.S. But they are launching a new multimedia campaign in America; here’s a look at their initial video promotion…

This ad covers many features that are relevant to how companies that service health and healthcare can touch and motivate consumers…

Tell a story. And make it authentic. “This is more than a cup of coffee,” the tale begins. We learn about the Lavazza family history, a father’s sage advice, and a son’s journey to the new world and a new life.

Entertain, engage. The video is an adventure with high production values. It’s beautiful to watch, well-casted and -acted, with a Spielberg/Indiana Jones vibe. It accomplishes much in a minute.

Teach, educate, enlighten.  We learn that young Luigi Lavazza hopped a boat and headed to Brazil, where he learned about coffee. He learned, and we learn about how coffee gets blended, a sort of curation process, bringing a selection of beans together for the perfect blend in the eyes (and taste buds) of the blender.

Inspire a call-to-action.  In this case, it’s “In life, there is always more to taste.” This tagline operates on many levels: it’s aspirational, motivational, sensual. It certainly inspires vitality and living fully.

Lavazza is experienced at marketing, and has a well-designed portal describing the company’s 120+ year history. The company’s timeline also promotes a message of sustainability, with a direct quote from Luigi: “I don’t want to live in a world where nature is destroyed.” He said this in 1935.

MediaPost covers the marketing aspects of the campaign here.

Dignity health open enrollment starts nowHealth Populi’s Hot Points:  As health and healthcare morph into retail in the eyes of consumers, patients, and caregivers — who are taking on more financial and clinical responsibility — the industry’s stakeholders must learn from other industry sector companies that have been successful in going direct-to-consumer for products and services. Health/care can be informed by these successful organizations’ consumer-centered design ethos, after-purchase customer service approaches, and in the case of Lavazza, ad and marketing campaigns.

For health/care, we can learn from Lavazza:

  • Expressing patient stories that are authentic
  • Developing information and IT tools that are engaging, entertaining, based on the needs, wishes, values and capabilities of the user (patient, consumer, caregiver). Keep these “light” and make the user-experience easy and streamlined.
  • Inspire. For example, the recent campaign of Dignity Health inspires me, two screenshots of which are shown here.

Dignity health Our newest kindness feature online schedulingAs I’ve evangelized ongoing, health consumers trust large retail and digitally-enabled companies as much to help people manage their health as they do health providers. The new health consumer is…a consumer.

 

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Coverage and price before brand for health plan shoppers http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/26/coverage-and-price-before-brand-for-health-plan-shoppers/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/26/coverage-and-price-before-brand-for-health-plan-shoppers/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:57:05 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13106 When Americans shop for health insurance (and they do – more, later in the post), they look most for covering major medical expenses, prescription drugs, preventive care, and price. Less important is the brand of the plan, or its high ratings. Valence Health surveyed 524 U.S. consumers in June 2015 to learn how healthcare shoppers […]

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Consumers most important aspects of buying health insurance Valence Aug 15

When Americans shop for health insurance (and they do – more, later in the post), they look most for covering major medical expenses, prescription drugs, preventive care, and price. Less important is the brand of the plan, or its high ratings.

Valence Health surveyed 524 U.S. consumers in June 2015 to learn how healthcare shoppers feel about health insurance and health reform. The results are published in the report, U.S. Attitudes Toward Health Insurance and Healthcare Reform in August 2015.

Key findings in the study were that:

  • Price and coverage come before all other factors in evaluating health plans
  • 73% of people are satisfied with their current health insurer
  • 65% of people spent $500 or less on direct health care services their health plan didn’t cover
  • One-third of people avoided recommended health care or prescriptions due to cost
  • A plurality of health consumers (nearly 40%) spend at least 7 hours evaluating health insurance options for themselves or their families. About 3 in 4 people spend at least hours comparing health plan options

Consumer carrots versus sticks health outcomes Valence Aug 2015Valence Health gauged health consumers’ views on incentives and wellness. There’s a definite polarity when it comes to “carrots” versus “sticks:”

– Carrots: 64% of consumers think patients should be rewarded financially, or pay less, for health insurance premiums if they reach health goals like lowering cholesterol, losing weight, or quitting smoking.

– 23% of consumers think patients should be penalized financially or pay more for health insurance if they fail to meet certain health care goals or over-use health care services.

For the sticks, the poll found that 57% of people did NOT think patients should be dis-incentivized for NOT meeting health goals, or for be over-utilizers of health care.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  It seems that branding from a consumer-shopper’s point of view is less influential to the health insurance buyer than health-economic issues like coverage and price. As a result, consumers are open to new kinds of health plans, like provider-sponsored health plans (PSHP) that are made up of doctors, hospitals and other service providers taking on financial risks. This is the concept of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Consumers rate nurses pharmacists and doctors high Congress and car sales low 12-14 GallupIn this survey, 21% of consumers said they’d likely switch to a PSHP from a traditional insurance plan. 35% said they’d be unlikely to switch, and 44% were unsure.

Underneath that overall uncertainly about PSHPs is a lack of understanding of the concept of a PSHP and its potential benefits, such as continuity of care, population health management, and local ownership of the plan that could (could) bolster community accountability the way health consumers have viewed Blue Cross plans in the past (and where that local branding perspective persists currently, as well).

Because Americans have a high regard for doctors and much lower respect for health insurance companies, there is an opportunity for community-based ACOs to market health plan coverage based on trust, authenticity, and community. The chart shows the high trust equity enjoyed by providers (nurses, doctors, pharmacists).

Consumers trust hospitals but not health plansHealth plans? Not so much. The Harris Poll found that supermarkets and hospitals are highly ranked for trusted industries. Health insurance is in the low-trust tier with telecomms, managed care, Big Oil, and Big Tobacco.

While “branding” per se may not be motivating as a purchasing hot button, trust is. The trust equity among health care providers — doctors and hospitals — can help bolster ACOs’ and PSHPs’ market expansion and a purchasing benefit valued by consumers seeking health insurance.

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Wegmans tops pharmacy satisfaction – and it’s not even a pharmacy http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/25/people-really-like-pharmacies-for-health-care-services/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/25/people-really-like-pharmacies-for-health-care-services/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:42:40 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13096 Think of the word “pharmacy,” and what names come to your mind? CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, perhaps. But it’s Wegmans who’s #1 across all pharmacy brands and types, according to the 2015 J.D. Power Pharmacy Study. The big improvement in pharmacy satisfaction in 2015 has been among supermarket drug stores, up to an index score of […]

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2015 U.S. Pharmacy Rank Charts (FINAL)_Page_3 Grocers

Think of the word “pharmacy,” and what names come to your mind? CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, perhaps.

But it’s Wegmans who’s #1 across all pharmacy brands and types, according to the 2015 J.D. Power Pharmacy Study. The big improvement in pharmacy satisfaction in 2015 has been among supermarket drug stores, up to an index score of 851 (of 1,000), the highest consumer score. The satisfaction score for chain pharmacies increased a small 2 points, whereas satisfaction for two other channels for pharmacies — mass merchandisers and mail order — both fell from 2014.

It may come as no surprise to Health Populi readers that Wegmans supermarket pharmacy is #1 among the grocery drug stores. (Health Populi is an unabashed, unapologetic fan of Wegmans as a health destination, discussed here).

The J.D. Power study gauges U.S. consumers’ views on bricks-and-mortar pharmacies — in chain drug stores, mass merchandisers and supermarkets—as well as mail order pharmacies.

JD PowerKey findings from the study include the following:

  • Among customers who use health testing and wellness services at their pharmacy, 63% indicate they “definitely will” recommend their pharmacy and 46% “strongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy”
  • Among customers who do not use health testing and wellness services at the pharmacy, only 55% “definitely will” recommend their pharmacy and 37% “strongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy”
  • Offering health services can increase purchases of non-prescription items: 60% of consumers who use these services buy other merchandise at the pharmacy, while only 37% of patrons who don’t use health services do so.

wegmans_pharmacy_logoHealth Populi’s Hot Points:  Two takeaways from J.D. Power’s 2015 pharmacy study illustrate the growing DIY nature of healthcare, morphing toward health, and with the growing connection of food-as-medicine. First, the supermarket-based pharmacies earned the highest consumer satisfaction scores across all categories of retail pharmacy channels. Second, consumers who use health testing and wellness services in their pharmacies spend more on merchandise compared with store patrons who do not take advantage of pharmacy health services (beyond the pill).

Thus, consumers who use grocery store pharmacies are more intense users of the store for health-oriented goods. Furthermore, these folks feel “more loyal” to “their” pharmacy.

Wegmans, along with other grocery chains, have connected the dots between health, wellness, food, and now providing health services. Mass market retailers like Costco, Target and Walmart have the opportunity to do the same, and will be doing so. Note that CVS Health purchased Target’s pharmacies and will be operating them ongoing.

The interesting data finding is Walmart, rated lowest among those surveyed for mass merchants — falling below Target (#1 on this roster), Sam’s Club (Walmart’s family company), Meijer (prominent in the midwest), Kmart, Costco, and Shopko. In J.D. Power’s “Power Circle” ratings, Walmart earns a low 2 circles versus Target’s and Wegmans’ five circles — the maximum consumer sat grade.

Walmart will continue to grow as a health destination, so the J.D. Power survey will give the company an objective to work toward: becoming more consumer-valued as a channel for prescription drugs. In so doing, the retail behemoth could generate more sales in the front of the store, too.

 

 

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Health, Wearables and the IoT in the Windy City http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/21/health-wearables-and-the-iot-in-the-windy-city/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/21/health-wearables-and-the-iot-in-the-windy-city/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:15:14 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13064 Health is everywhere, where we live, work, play, pray and shop. So while I’m in Chicago staying off The Magnificent Mile in The Windy City, I took a several-thousand step walk along this shopping mecca and found health and wellness in the form of wearable technology, fitness, smart homes and the Internet of Things spanning […]

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Health is everywhere, where we live, work, play, pray and shop. So while I’m in Chicago staying off The Magnificent Mile in The Windy City, I took a several-thousand step walk along this shopping mecca and found health and wellness in the form of wearable technology, fitness, smart homes and the Internet of Things spanning the eastern end of Michigan Avenue to the western Gold Coast lakefront.

Here’s a photo of the Garmin store, whose windows feature wearable tracking device promotions and devices. It was surprising to see Garmin investing in this expensive piece of real estate, with its logo name in large font on the side of the building at Michigan and Erie. Garmin, well-known for its GPS technology, is a top brand of wearable fitness trackers.

imageFurther up Michigan Avenue is the Under Armour store. The company is growing its health data ecosystem through its acquisition of Endomondo, MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal, and boasts 140 million users across these mobile apps. Watch for Under Armour to morph from a strictly sports gear-and-textile company toward a broader health data-and-coaching mission.

imageYou’ll find AT&T flagship store on Michigan Avenue that features smart and connected home devices and apps in the growing era of the Internet of Things for health. There’s a connected car, smart medical devices, and of course a myriad of smartphones onto which mobile health apps can be downloaded to help users manage diet, exercise, mood, sleep, and healthcare conditions.

imageOne of the most mature health/athletic brands is Nike, whose “swoosh” icon towers high on its storefront on Michigan Avenue. Nike continues to be a leading force in fitness design, most recently launching the KD8 basketball imageshoe that’s been described like a “seatbelt for your foot.” Tech-infused athletic shoes were one of the original “wearables,” and Nike’s been a leader in bringing bling to well-designed footwear.

 

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There’s also a wonderful campaign throughout Chicago of artfully painted horses in support of the Chicago Police. While I loved the horse sponsored by the rock group Chicago (“the band so great they named a city after it,” their mantra goes), my favorite in my own health-is-everywhere mantra was this one, brought to the imageAvenue from Assurance. This is a health-messaging horse, communicating the value of “minimizing risk, maximizing health.” This campaign is happening right on the streets where thousands of people walk, shop, and meet up every day, communicated in an artful and fun way.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Among the city’s many attractions, there’s one on which every visitor and resident can agree: Chicago’s got great food, some of the best in the world. There’s a whole Michelin map full of multi-starred joints, from barbeque to haute cuisine.

imageMy pick this trip is Eataly, the successful joint venture of Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich, two of my favorite foodie influences in my own home where Italian food meets up with the locavore passion. At Eataly, you’ll find products curated by Mario and Lidia and their experienced team, from wine from small Italian vineyards and olive oils from small producers, pastas the likes of which you have never seen in even the finest grocers in the U.S., and eat-in or take-out delights — rotisserie-roasted meats and poultry (yesterday was porchetta available by the pound or in a panini), cured meats, hundreds of artisanal cheeses, store-made mozzarella, and gelato (which had a long line of patient sweet-seekers).

Activity tracking and exercise is one part of a healthy lifestyle equation. The yang to that yin is healthy eating, and Eataly’s got my vote for the right approach to a rich healthy life: “Eat Better, Live Better.” Now – go walk, eat, and live well! It’s the weekend…

 …and a postscript. I’m waiting at O’Hare Airport to catch a plane up to the Upper Peninsula of my home state of Michigan, to our nephew’s wedding. And here’s another example of “health everywhere,” an urgent care clinic run by the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System right across from Gate F3 in Terminal 2.

 

 

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People Like Physicians, Food and Banks. Pharma? Not much. http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/20/people-like-physicians-food-and-banks-pharma-not-much/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/20/people-like-physicians-food-and-banks-pharma-not-much/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 14:09:17 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13054 Most consumers think favorably when they picture doctors, food manufacturers, banks, and airlines. But the pharma industry continues to be lumped with Big Oil and health insurance in the minds of U.S. consumers, industries for which more than 50% of people in America share unfavorable impressions. The August 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll focuses […]

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Most consumers think favorably when they picture doctors, food manufacturers, banks, and airlines.

But the pharma industry continues to be lumped with Big Oil and health insurance in the minds of U.S. consumers, industries for which more than 50% of people in America share unfavorable impressions.

The August 2015 Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll focuses a lot on the pharmaceutical industry. The link to the poll is here: http://kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-august-2015/

Key findings from the survey tell a story about a health citizenry highly suspicious of pharma:

  • 72% of Americans think that drug costs are unreasonable
  • 74% of people think patients in America pay higher prices for prescription drugs
  • 86% of consumers think drug companies should release information to the public about how they set drug prices
  • 83% of people would allow the Federal government to negotaite with drug companies for lower prices for Medicare enrollees
  • 76% of people like the idea of drug price controls for high-cost drugs like those treating cancer or hepatitis.

On the upside, most (62%) of Americans say that prescription drugs developed in the past 20 years have made lives of fellow health citizens better — marginally more people taking Rx’s feel that way.

But most Americans also believe that drug companies haven’t made a greater contribution to society than any other industry has.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Physicians, food and finance: these factors can all bolster health. So can pharma, when people take medications on-time and as-prescribed, and learn from pharma researchers’ findings and recommendations.

It’s some of the commercial aspects of pharma that people reject — and I use the word “commercial” the way inside-pharma companies do in terms of “commercialization” of products. THINK: unhelpful and irritating direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns, interrupting doctor’s daily workflow with highly-paid salesmen and -women wearing high-priced clothes, and what health consumers perceive as predatory and un-transparent pricing practices.

But DTC ads can be educational and informative to patients; and doctors — and patients! — love “free” medicine samples left by sales folk in Rx drug supply closets in doctors’ offices; and, people really love those $4 and $10 generic drug refills at chain pharmacies and grocery stores, from Walmart to Wegmans. 8 in 10 health consumers say that the quality of generic drugs is about the same as brand name drugs, the KFF poll found.

Until the pharma industry realistically wrestles with consumers’ concerns about the industry — price, transparency, quality, value, access, empathy — people will look to other health ecosystem industry segments like food, physicians and financial services to partner with them in personal health/care management.

For more insights into that growing holistic consumer sensibility, see here in Health Populi…

Fiscal and Physical Fitness

Blurred Lines: Health, Pharmacy, Food and Care

 

 

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Health consumers: in search of authentic consumer experiences http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/19/health-consumers-in-search-of-authentic-consumer-experiences/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/19/health-consumers-in-search-of-authentic-consumer-experiences/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:46:52 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13041 In the growing value-based era of health care, patients are looking for real consumer experiences: being treated well, with respect, and with a high level of service people find in other industries. PwC polled about 2,300 U.S. adults online in June 2014, resulting in the paper, Personal health management: The rise of the empowered consumer, […]

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PwC consumer study 1In the growing value-based era of health care, patients are looking for real consumer experiences: being treated well, with respect, and with a high level of service people find in other industries.

PwC polled about 2,300 U.S. adults online in June 2014, resulting in the paper, Personal health management: The rise of the empowered consumer, part of PwC’s research into The New Health Economy. In that New Health Economy, more consumers want to take control of their health, PwC discovered through the survey.

The three key parameters for this empowered health consumer are personal, proactive health management, service, and value, PwC says.

Proactive health management means people will go outside of the doctor’s office for health care advice and services, looking within the legacy healthcare system and increasingly to the growing array of outsiders providing accessible and convenient channels.

And for service, the second factor. New entrants are often more retail-styled: consider how Sephora brought the makeup out from behind the department store counter to allow customers to try out products in a DIY-testing mode. In healthcare, as people pay more out of pocket seeking transparency and support along the customer journey, new healthcare entrants, and switched-on health care providers, look to other industries for service mentoring.

That gets to value. There’s a cost-conscious consumer who’s splitting from other health consumers who will pay more for (perceived) high quality care. The value-shopping consumer is looking to pay for health care that’s “good enough.” Think: Costco, Walmart, Target shoppers.

PwC goes into great detail in the report about health plan member personae by consumer segment in each of four health insurance purchaser scenarios buying:

  • Private health insurance, for individual/singles
  • Private health insurance, for families
  • Medicare Advantage plans
  • via Health Insurance Exchanges.

For example, within private health insurance for single plan membrers, PwC identified Fitness-Focused Fay, Wary Walter, Trusting Terri, Preoccupied Paolo, and so on. Check out the report for descriptions on these and the other four consumer cohorts in the four heath plan segments.

PwC price matters mostHealth Populi’s Hot Points: While proximity, customer service, convenience, quality and aesthetics are highly-valued aspects of the new entrants in health care (pharmacies, retail clinics, urgent care, among other new services), price matters most as the second chart shows.

Note that price trumps quality for these surveyed consumers.

The nuance here is that, regardless of a “high end” health care purchaser or a value-shopper for health, all health care consumers seek respect and service levels they appreciate in other sectors where they are…consumers.

I point Health Populi readers to new consumer research from Mintel’s 2015 American Lifestyle Report whicih finds that consumers increasingly spend on experiences, not on accumulating “things.” While previous research has pointed to a trend among Millennials with this trait, Mintel finds that experiential buying is getting more common across different generations and socio-economic strata.

This has implications for healthcare as patients continue to morph into consumers. Connected, on-demand, accessible and customized experiences will be increasingly expected by more demanding health consumers.

One intriguing trend Mintel mentions is “Fight for Your Rights.” Technology is transforming citizens’ ability to crowdsource opinions across the continuum of passions and issues, and healthcare is primed for this. “Clicktivism” enables patient advocacy and patient-powered clinical trials, for example.

And consumers’ ratings of health care providers, plans, and products? We’ve only just scratched the surface. Kim Kardashian’s tweet which raised the hackles of the FDA is just a blip of what’s to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How value will impact the business of pharma http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/13/how-value-will-impact-the-business-of-pharma/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/13/how-value-will-impact-the-business-of-pharma/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 05:16:32 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13011 The top 25 life science companies grew a paltry 1% in 2014, and 70% of recent brand launches underperformed analysts’ expectations. The introductory page of a new report from KPMG describes, in a single sentence, the very challenging market environment for bio/life sciences: “The pharmaceutical industry is caught between a blockbuster-driven past and a future […]

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KPMG pharma challenges by the numbers 1 percent growth 70 percent underperforming launches

The top 25 life science companies grew a paltry 1% in 2014, and 70% of recent brand launches underperformed analysts’ expectations.

The introductory page of a new report from KPMG describes, in a single sentence, the very challenging market environment for bio/life sciences:

“The pharmaceutical industry is caught between a blockbuster-driven past and a future comprising precision medicine, curative therapies, and payment for outcomes. The years of consistent double-digit growth and unconstrained pricing power are fading into memory.”

The assertively titled, “Change in pharma? Not optional,” offers 10 “integrated imperatives” for the pharma industry to follow to best respond to the challenges of value-based payment and precision medicine. They are:

  1. Be more tactically commercial, less clinical
  2. Take pricing and contracting to the top of the organization
  3. Be more holistic in stakeholder mapping
  4. Base sales on a collaborative approach to improving patient outcomes
  5. Play a larger role in the industry moving from volume-to-value
  6. Support healthcare providers in improving quality and patient satisfaction
  7. Leverage data and analytics to support commercial strategies
  8. Allocate commercial resources better across markets and brands
  9. Evolving performance metrics and incentives to align with this new world of value
  10. Adopt these strategies through the enterprise.

Bio and life science companies must deal with the current commercial/market realities: declining physician access (namely, clinician prescribers closing doors to live, in-person meetings with sales forces; increasing regulatory (especially FDA) complexity; and, growing patient engagement in making clinical and financial decisions for themselves given their adoption of high-deductible health plans, HSAs, and self-payment.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  In the past two weeks, Number_of_Products_on_PBM_Formulary_Exclusion_Lists_2012-2016two major prescription benefit management companies (PBMs) announced their formulary cuts. These announcements make KPMG’s strategic imperatives all the more important and impactful.

As the Drug Channels Institute’s Adam Fein observed, “the lists keep getting longer.” The Institute published the bar chart which illustrates the two PBMs’ formulary cuts.

Express Scripts, the #1 PBM, announced its 2016 National Preferred Formulary on July 31 2015. It’s the most widely-used drug list in the U.S., covering 25 million Americans. The company wrote, “out of more than 4,000 drugs available on the market, we will offer a formulary that excludes 80.” These include the Hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni (discussed here in Health Populi), AstraZeneca’s Onglyza (for diabetes), and Qysimia (a weight loss drug). Express Scripts estimates they will save $1.3 bn with these cuts.

CVS Health, which owns Caremark, the second-largest PBM, cut 31 prescription meds from coverage for 2016. The biggest name brand eliminated from coverage is Viagra, along with some popular therapies for diabetes and multiple sclerosis. (BTW, Viagra, which sold $1.8 bn in 2014, is expected to go generic in December 2017).

While PBMs will continue to play a role in building the menu from which patients can benefit, patients-as-consumers will grow as a force in determining what therapies they want to benefit from. As specialty drug prices present sticker shock to consumers who pay a growing share of higher-and-higher priced therapies, we will see growing tension between the quadrangle relationship of patients, doctors, PBMs and life science companies.

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Women and the Internet of Things – Learning from the IBM Selectric http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/12/women-and-the-internet-of-things-learning-from-the-ibm-selectric/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/12/women-and-the-internet-of-things-learning-from-the-ibm-selectric/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 12:20:21 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=13014 What happened when Rosie the Robot started ordering Jane Jetson around? Not a happy scenario for the Jetsons family. The same scenarios can be played out in the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) without attending to people-centered design principles, and for the home — women-centered design and ethos. The design process can play […]

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Polly with IBM SelectricWhat happened when Rosie the Robot started ordering Jane Jetson around? Not a happy scenario for the Jetsons family.

The same scenarios can be played out in the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) without attending to people-centered design principles, and for the home — women-centered design and ethos. The design process can play out future scenarios and anticipate unexpected consequences that can, ultimately, inform delightful user experience.

Women are tJetsons push button blueshe Chief Household Officer, making the majority of home-based financial decisions. In fact, increasingly, women are taking on the job of Chief Financial Officer at home, too.

To learn more, and how my mother’s early adoption of the IBM Selectric gives us useful lessons for our future living with the IoT, read my latest column in the Huffington Post — Mom, the Selectric, and the IoT for Health. (Mom, Polly Sarasohn, is seated at left, her IBM Selectric at the ready).

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  I’ve covered related issues on smarthomes and connected health-at-home in Health Populi here in the post, How Smart Do You Want Your Home to Be? and in the Huffington Post special section on IoT for the 2015 SXSW conference here – The Internet of Things for Healthcare – Technology for Good in the HuffPo.

The health and personal data privacy and security implications are only beginning to be explored. For a peek into what HIPAA-un-covered data leakages can mean, see my paper written for the California HealthCare Foundation, Here’s Looking at You.

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Pocketbook Health Economics In One Chart http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/07/pocketbook-health-economics-in-one-chart/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/07/pocketbook-health-economics-in-one-chart/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 12:32:20 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=12998 Covering the uninsured changes pocketbook problems, this chart demonstrates. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) surveyed Californians between February and May 2015, and found that people newly enrolling in health insurance had less financial stress, and more health needs met. KFF asked previously uninsured Californians to rank five household “pocketbook” spending categories which they said were […]

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Affording_Health_Care_Remains_Top_Financial_Concern_For_Remaining_Uninsured-1Covering the uninsured changes pocketbook problems, this chart demonstrates. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) surveyed Californians between February and May 2015, and found that people newly enrolling in health insurance had less financial stress, and more health needs met.

KFF asked previously uninsured Californians to rank five household “pocketbook” spending categories which they said were difficult to afford: health care, housing (rent/mortgage), gasoline, utilities, and food. Among the five, people gaining insurance worried much less about health care costs (49%, slipping to fourth place), and more about paying for shelter (58%), utility bills (54%), and gas (53%), shown in the first chart.

Those people remaining uninsured placed health care cost worries at the top of the list, cited #1 by 85% of the still-uninsured. Rent/mortgage fell to second place, followed by gas, utilities, and food.

Recently_Insured_Feel_Less_Financial_Stress_and_Are_More_Likely_to_Say_Health_Needs_MetWhile three-quarters of the newly insured people in the California poll said they’ve had positive experiences with their health plans, able to access doctors and hospitals, some people did have access problems: 16% of newly-insured people were told by a doctor’s office that they would not accept them as a new patient.

The bar chart shows he changes in the newly-insureds’ changing status when it comes to health cost affordability, problems paying medical bills, and health needs being met. On all three measures, newly insured people see improvement in their financial wellness and access to needed health care services.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  The Health Populi blog’s first post was titled Health Care Is The #1 Line Item in Our National Economy…and Taking More out of your Pocket, published on September 11, 2007, nearly eight years ago.

shell_sign Arm Leg First Born

Back then, Tom’s Shell gas station was selling regular petrol for the price of an Arm, plus for a leg, and premium for your “First Born.” During the week of September 10, 2007, California gas prices were in real dollars $2.84, $2.95, and $3.06 respectively.

Freeing up household budget dollars from health spending enables consumers to re-work their pocketbook economics to pay for shelter, energy, and food. From the start of Health Populi, we’ve focused on the microeconomy of health care as integral to the overall macroeconomy — and how that impacts individuals and families.

The growth of consumer-directed health plans and people stretching new muscles to manage deductibles, out-of-pocket copayments and coinsurance, and health savings accounts only makes the theme of the household health economy more salient. Getting access to necessary health care services, coupled with good daily lifestyle decisions that focus on the right side of the social determinants of health (like nutritious food, early and ongoing education, safe streets, financial wellness, mental health), bolster the home healthcare economy, the community’s, the larger macroeconomy, and the public’s health.

 

 

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Yelp For Health Grows With ProPublica http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/06/yelp-for-health-grows-with-propublica/ http://healthpopuli.com/2015/08/06/yelp-for-health-grows-with-propublica/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 00:16:14 +0000 http://healthpopuli.com/?p=12984 In addition to checking out local restaurants, auto repair shops, and dry cleaners, you can check out health care providers on a new-and-improving consumer review portal on Yelp. While Yelp has been serving up consumer comments on doctors, hospitals, clinical labs, nursing homes and dentists for several years, the review site is partnering with ProPublica, […]

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Yelp logo

In addition to checking out local restaurants, auto repair shops, and dry cleaners, you can check out health care providers on a new-and-improving consumer review portal on Yelp.

While Yelp has been serving up consumer comments on doctors, hospitals, clinical labs, nursing homes and dentists for several years, the review site is partnering with ProPublica, the journalism portal, to complement the data collected on health in local communities. Yelp’s CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, made the announcement in the company blog on August 5 2015.

Yelp has amassed over 1.3 million health reviews, and ProPublica will have access to those as part of this alliance. Yelp gets to access and publish from ProPublica’s databases on health providers which has been culled from information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes, and 6,300 dialysis centers — in addition to ProPublica’s original research like the recently-developed Surgeon Scorecard.

Yelp-Health-ReviewsThis morning, Charles Orenstein of ProPublica posted this blog titled “Stay Far, Far Away,” based on one patient’s review posted on Yelp. The review was for a dental clinic and the title snipped was taken from an entire sentence-warning the consumer wrote: “Learn from my terrible experience and stay far, far away.”

As the bar chart illustrates, the vast majority of Yelp’s healthcare reviews over all types of providers receive 4 or 5 stars. Reviews of physicians are more distributed across the 5-star ratings, with 6 in 10 getting 4 or 5 stars. 1 in 4 (23%) receive only 1 or 2 stars.

Poor reviews on Yelp have led the AMA and individual physicians to protest the concept: you can read coverage of this discontent in a 2010 column in American Medical News here. JAMA, the Journal of the AMA, published a study on consumer awareness, perceptions, and use of online physician rating sites in 2014. The study found that 60% of patients believe physicians’ ratings on websites are important when looking for a primary care physician. Furthermore, of those who used such a site to see a physician, 35% picked a doctor based on good ratings, and 27% avoided doctors with bad ratings.

Here is Jeremy Stoppelman’s 2003 interview with Mashable on his motivation for starting Yelp in the first place: “solve my own need of finding a great doctor.”

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  The growth of consumer-directed health plans, and especially high-deductible insurance plans and health savings accounts, is driving patients’ demand for information like Yelp’s healthcare reviews. Health provider report cards and ratings organizations have provided some of this information for the better part of a decade (and even longer for HealthGrades). But consumers have had trouble locating these sources, finding the kinds of data points they’re most interested to know about, and lacking comprehensive information enabling fully-informed decision making.

Yelp’s joining with ProPublica will help to fill in this information gap so crucial to realizing true consumer-directed healthcare. Physicians and other health providers will have to get used to being compared, reviewed, dissed and “liked” in the public forum the way restaurants, washing machines, and hotel rooms are rated.

Consumers are social, health is social, and peer-to-peer healthcare is the new normal for patients, caregivers, and consumers.

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