When a corporation pledges to raise $10 million to support a worthy cause, it rarely makes headlines. That was not the case when skin care company Philosophy recently announced that it will donate one percent of sales of certain products to organizations that help treat people with mental illness.
So why is this announcement newsworthy?
Is real-life health IT drama in Washington, DC, like House of Cards?
In anticipation of House of Cards Season 4, and with all due respect to the show’s creators, I think real life is giving us a perfect plotline that includes politicians, corporate interests, their lobbyists and a big fat government contract. Maybe Francis and Claire have me seeing conspiracies everywhere, but it seems a chain of recent health IT events have created intrigue in what is historically our staid, conservative industry.
Exclusion from federal funding makes no clinical, economic or policy sense
A show of hands: Who believes depression or bipolar disorder have no impact on the severity and treatment of a patient’s diabetes and COPD?
It’s an idea no practicing physician would support. Yet time and again, we act as though mental illness and care can be kept separate from physical ailments.
Do we finally have the spark?
Interoperability is the current health IT buzzword because it’s the essential ingredient in creating a system that benefits patients, doctors and hospitals. Almost everyone in healthcare is pressing for it and is frustrated, though probably not surprised, that Meaningful Use did not get us there.
The ONC says within three years we’ll have a roadmap for providing interoperability “across vendor platforms,” which should probably elicit a collective groan.
Take a step back from the challenges that surround health information technology (HIT) interoperability and you will recognize that market forces and a desperately fragmented health care system make hospitals and vendors act the way we do.
It calls to mind the fable of the scorpion and the frog, which is worth revisiting.
Lots of financial scrambling, but the numbers still don’t add up
Is healthcare a business?
In the United States, the question has been asked time and again but never satisfactorily answered. By virtue of publically financed healthcare systems, the rest of the developed world has decided, to a greater or lesser extent, that medicine and healthcare are not pure businesses—that citizens have a right to care, even when they can’t pay all associated costs.