October 13, 2023
Houston, We Have A Massive Healthcare Cost Problem
Forbes Small Business Houston, We Have A Massive Healthcare Cost Problem Paul Markovich Forbes Councils Member Forbes Business Council COUNCIL POST Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. Opinions expressed are those of the author. | Membership (fee-based) Oct 13, 2023, 10:15am EDT | Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Paul Markovich - President and CEO, Blue Shield of California . getty After decades of failed attempts and political contempt that’s kept progress at bay, healthcare costs continue to rise, with catastrophic consequences ahead. U.S. health expenditures reached a whopping $4.3 trillion in 2021—triple the amount spent in 2000 and making up nearly one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) project the nation’s public debt will continue to rise over the next decade, driven in part by massive cost outlays from public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are set to reach historic levels in the next 10 years. As total healthcare spending (public and private) continues to grow faster than the economy, I find our country is on an unsustainable path forward. And yet, the healthcare industry and U.S. policymakers have seemed to accept the status quo. As we continue to borrow enormous sums of money to finance persistently large deficits to pay for healthcare, this complacency threatens to bankrupt the entire country. Houston, we have a massive healthcare cost problem. So where is the desire and outrage from industry leaders and policymakers needed to spur major transformation? MORE FOR YOU Kaiser Permanente Health Workers Reach Tentative Deal—Ending Largest Healthcare Walkout In U.S. History UnitedHealth Group Profits Top $5.8 Billion On ‘Double-Digit’ Optum And Health Plan Growth How AI Is Revolutionizing The Insurance Industry No Rage Against The Machine Instead of outrage, for example, we're seeing publicly-traded health plans see huge financial gains and market opportunities in the shadow of the pandemic, with Deloitte citing that U.S. health plan revenues grew faster than both the rate of inflation and GDP in 2022. Hospitals and physicians continue requesting more funds from both federal and commercial sources, citing higher reimbursement rates as the solution to their financial challenges. And the entire pharmacy value chain seems indifferent to the fact that they have been, and will continue to be, the greatest source of cost pressure in the system, remaining steadfast that any changes may compromise the ability to innovate in the future. Meanwhile, many of our elected officials are spending much of their time being outraged—mainly with one another. While both political parties may be convinced that shopping anger is the best path to win elections, I find it has impeded our ability to have a pragmatic, bipartisan dialogue on how we are going to solve our healthcare affordability crisis. Leading By Example: Partnerships And Policy Advancements In The Golden State In my opinion, the nation needs both significant policy changes and cross-sector collaboration to make healthcare delivery more affordable, accountable and sustainable. Policy interventions and progressive partnerships are happening now in California and can serve as models to be replicated in other states and nationwide, including: • Improving accountability and value: The launch of California’s Office of Health Care Affordability put in place a variety of policy mechanisms to address rising costs while simultaneously pursuing aggressive quality, equity and payment reform objectives. The program includes penalties and provisions to address high cost-outliers and curb unnecessary spending. • Enabling information sharing: It’s often financial reasons that stand in the way of real-time data sharing across the industry. But the price of health-system recalcitrance is borne by patients in expensive and burdensome workflows, duplicative testing and procedures, billions in unnecessary costs, unsafe medical practices and inappropriate treatment. California’s data-sharing mandate , which goes into effect in January 2024, will accelerate the exchange of health information and make care delivery more targeted, efficient and cost-effective. • Making drugs more affordable: One way California is combating high drug prices for diabetes patients is through a 10-year partnership with nonprofit drug maker Civica. The collaboration caps the price of insulin at $30 a vial, which can be a lifeline for the one in six Americans who must ration their insulin due to prohibitive costs. How Healthcare Leaders Can Make An Impact Financial sustainability in healthcare is predicated on the industry's collective ability to control costs, which will only be possible if there is both a willingness to change and a willingness to work together from all actors in the system. Healthcare leaders across stakeholder groups must forge new and novel partnerships, including those between the public and private sectors, in service of measurable, accountable cost control goals. In California, for example, a cross-cut of healthcare organizations and policy leaders came together to advance a cost control policy in 2022 that prioritizes transparency and holds individual sectors accountable for their role in healthcare cost growth. Only when sustaining the status quo becomes more costly than change will change happen. Beyond cost control policy efforts, healthcare organizations—from health plans and health systems to consumers, employers and labor groups—need to seek each other out, find common ground and find new ways to work together. The focus of these partnerships must be to solve the issues that our industry is struggling with most, including paying for value, better supporting primary care, improving quality, addressing health equity and enabling a more digitally-driven healthcare ecosystem. And at my company, we have been aggressively piloting major transformation efforts, several of which we will be scaling to our nearly five million members over the coming months and years. Importantly, none of these efforts would be possible without collaboration. This includes our new partners in the pharmacy supply chain, who are helping to demonstrate that system reinvention is not just possible, but required, to make medications more affordable and break through the forest of opacity in drug pricing. The current healthcare cost trajectory in our country might bankrupt us if we don’t introduce some material changes soon. I want future generations, including my children, to see a transformed healthcare system—one worthy of our family and Friends and sustainably affordable for everyone. But first, we need more outrage from the industry, action from our leaders and scalable examples of progress. Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify? Follow me on LinkedIn . Check out my website . Paul Markovich Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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