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Health care must-reads: Threats, opportunities and models for the future

What’s trending? From home care to Health and Human Services, don’t miss these most-read stories.

3 min read




This week’s most-read stories among health care leaders struck a common theme for news in the changing health care sector: The challenges and the opportunities for moving forward are bound so tightly together that they can’t be separated. Home care is growing, which is attractive to health care systems, but the goal of payers is to move care to settings where reimbursements are lower. Apple is among the tech giants that foresee a growing and likely disruptive role in health care. And debate about “Medicare for all” appears to be a drag on health care shares despite monumental obstacles to passage and implementation. Readers were also interested in why Singapore may be an unrealistic model for the US health care system and how HHS is moving toward value-based payments.

Home care an opportunity but also a threat to hospitals

Payers and patients are pushing the home care trend — a trend that has hospitals worried about the revenue losses. John Bodine of Huron Transaction Advisory said providers can get into the mix by building partnerships, diversifying portfolios and starting home care services.

Full Story: Becker’s Hospital Review

Cook: Apple’s greatest contribution may be in health care

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the big idea in health care is having people monitor their health on a real-time basis rather than seeing their physician once a year. Cook says the company still is developing Apple Watch’s potential but sees the day when it will be said that “Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind has been in health care.”

Full Story: MacRumors

“Medicare for All” debate rocks health care stocks

The “Medicare for All” proposal may have just a slim chance of passing Congress but that did not stop the debate over it from sending health care stocks plunging. Health insurers and hospitals were among the big losers, but Evercore ISI analyst Ross Muken said pharmaceuticals, dental stocks and device makers also may be vulnerable.

Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)

Why Singapore’s health care model won’t fit the US

Health care in Singapore is in some ways the opposite of the system in the US, with a public system of delivery provided with private financing, a large government commitment to improving social determinants of health and lack of protections for guest workers that gives health care costs and outcomes a rosier appearance, writes Aaron Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Singapore’s system is remarkable but likely not reproducible, Carroll writes.

Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

HHS develops value-based payment models for primary care providers

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Monday announced a new initiative to transition primary care practices from fee-for-service payments to a voluntary, value-based model. The CMS Primary Cares Initiative, which will be piloted next year, will offer providers five payment models under two paths that focus on chronically and seriously ill beneficiaries.

Full Story: Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model)


Tom Parks is a health editor at SmartBrief who focuses on health care, leadership and nursing as well as care at the beginning and end of life. He launched and edits the SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders newsletter.


This “most read” feature reflects the most read items in SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders from the previous week. Sign up for SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s health care newsletters, covering health IT, news for insurers, news for providers and more.