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caduceus dollar sign scaleI attended the 2nd edition of the bill conference in Richmond VA today (for the record, that’s Saturday, April 6, 2013), and wound up kicking off the talks with what’s become my core topic: #howmuchisthat, healthcare edition. That link goes to the hashtag’s home on Symplur, the healthcare hashtag registry that’s also a veritable time-sink of terrific healthcare thought leadership. Including healthcare data visualization. You’re welcome.

Why is this a topic I care so much, and know so much, about? I believe that in all the hot air that’s been expended in the discussion about healthcare and healthcare reform in the US – and boy, howdy, is that some hot air! – very little shrift is given to how consumers (commonly called “patients”) can effect grassroots change themselves. The firehose below takes a wander through the history of US healthcare, particularly from the cost angle, and resources that the average human can use to start figuring out, ahead of time, how to assess the value (medical and fiscal) of their healthcare options.

Here’s the firehose.

Steve Brill’s epic TIME piece, Bitter Pill  pack a lunch, it’s the longest article TIME has ever published

My take on where Brill missed the mark on his “fix this mess” recommendations

A Feb. 12 post that raises Brill’s issue in what I think of as a great-minds-thinking-alike synergy

My health econ guru Uwe Reinhardt’s Chaos Behind a Veil of Secrecy article in January 2006 edition of Health Affairs

A post that includes intel on the RUC and the LA Times piece – both of which I mentioned in my verbal firehose

A NY Times story on the unintentionally hilarious 2013 report in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Assn.) on the wide disparity in pricing for hip replacements in the US – the RUC is an AMA committee!

Society for Participatory Medicine $30/year, very passionate and engaged membership which is driving real change

ClearHealthCosts.com, NY startup that’s crowdsourcing healthcare costs

Costs of Care, a 501(c)3 dedicated to helping patients drive down healthcare costs

Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score database

AHRQ (Agency for Health Research and Quality), part of the US Dept. of Health & Human Services

My 1st Disruptive Women in Health Care post, wherein I make some recommendations about break/fixing the health insurance model in the US (and yes, its headline is totally a shout-out to Jonathan Swift)

A year-later post from the Mighty Mouth blog with some additional suggestions on that break/fix, and why not doing it could be the hidden killer of the US job market

If anyone wants to ask questions, or know more, contact me! Honey, I got answers.

 

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