Over the years, I have experienced many things as a healthcare consumer that have made me want to rip my hair out (or let out a visceral scream). As a journalist, too, many a time I have engaged in frustrated head-shaking.
And yet when I look around at the kind of commentary there is out there about our healthcare industry — other than astute pieces of reporting from time to time about some injustice here or there — it’s largely self-congratulatory.
“We are the most innovative generation in healthcare bringing about revolutionary changes.” (ok no one said that)
I am simplifying here, but you get the gist — it’s a lot of happy talk.
In fact, my partner in crime, MedCity News’ publisher, Ken Montgomery, felt this so deeply that late last year he encouraged me to do an ongoing series that would provide the necessary dose of skepticism in a world rife with fawning over the next innovation and gargantuan fundraises.
Ken brought Samir Batra into my sphere in December. Batra, founder and managing partner of HIP (Health Innovation Pitch) was equally put off by the endless parade of podcasts highlighting innovation out there. When I discovered that he lived 6 minutes away from my home in the Bay Area, there was no reason not to do a show in the flesh sans Zoom. (not knocking Zoom, we may use it yet.)
Thus Debunked: Slaughtering Myths, Bad Practices and Sacred Cows in Healthcare was born.
What are we going to give our viewers that they aren’t getting anywhere else? Here’s Batra’s answer to that on the show:
“Well, everybody else has a lot of fluff. It’s good to celebrate successes and milestones and raises and all that stuff, but there’s no hard questions. There’s no ying to the yang. It’s just all about, oh, yay. Good job, great job. You raised debt. If you really think about it, when you raise capital, great job. You just added more debt to your table. What are you going to do with it? What’s sort of the good and the bad about it? So I think I want to get away from the fluff. I’m tired of the fluff. Maybe there’s others that are tired of the fluff, so let’s bring them nonfluff. How about that?”
This is our inaugural episode and we hope to publish a show monthly. In this episode we discuss: shameful billing practices related to my foot injury, FDA allowing Florida to import drugs from Canada and drug pricing overall, our experiences at J.P. Morgan and of course the news out of General Catalyst that it is buying Summa Health, a nonprofit health system in Ohio.
Companies and people named in the show are (in order of appearance): Golden State Orthopedics & Spine, Dr. Nicholas Abidi, Beyond Prosthetics, J.P. Morgan, General Catalyst, Summa Health, Hemant Taneja, Marc Harrison, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway.
Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with information about bad practices we should know about, interesting news and scoops, whether you liked (or disliked) our show and why. We would appreciate any feedback that might help us on this journey to constructively criticize — albeit with an irreverent tone — the healthcare industry. The goal isn’t gotta journalism but eye-opening conversations that will hopefully inspire/shame people to make changes with a goal of making healthcare work better for people.
And now — in full wannabe influencer mode — I will request each of you to subscribe to our YouTube channel, hit the “like” button and share the channel and the video below with others who might enjoy it.