Hello,

Welcome to Dispensed, Business Insider’s weekly healthcare newsletter. Are you new to the newsletter? You can sign up here. 

This week we’ve had DC on our brains (not just because of the impeachment hearings). 

That’s because the healthcare team, Clarrie Feinstein, Joseph Zeballos-Roig, and our editor Zach Tracer have been hard at work compiling a list of 34 leaders who have a big hand in developing healthcare policy. 

Without further ado…

Power Players of DC Healthcare 4X3 v_2


Image courtesy of Larry Levitt, Ceci Connolly, Dr Nicole Cooper, Scott Whitaker, Mara Kim Youdelman; Ruobing Su/Business Insider


Meet the 34 DC healthcare power players who shape the rules for a $3.5 trillion industry that touches every American

Here’s Clarrie on what it was like pulling together the list: 

It was exciting to be tasked with Business Insider’s first-ever DC Healthcare Power Player List. As healthcare becomes a primary focus in the Democratic 2020 presidential debates, this list could not be more timely.

As nominations came in, it was incredible — and very educational — looking at the collective body of work from lawyers, doctors, CEOs and policy experts from both sides of the political aisle. From nonprofits to established medical institutions, the DC Healthcare Power Player List showcases work being done across the healthcare policy spectrum.

It seemed important to let our readers know the people behind the healthcare policies that directly affect them and everyone across the US. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing and putting this list together!

– Clarrie

Click here to read all about the DC power players shaping the rules for the massive, massive healthcare industry. 

Plus: Check out the book recommendations each of the power players passed along. Could make for a good holiday gift for the healthcare wonks in your life!

Also — be sure not to miss Clarrie’s post about all the misconceptions she’s come across — as a Canadian reporter — about Canadian healthcare.

It’s been fun to watch her over the past six months learn all about the quirks of American healthcare, and there’s certainly some lessons the US can learn from its northern neighbor. You can read her piece here

While the team was busy putting finishing touches on the list, I dug through filing upon filing to get a picture of how the health insurance startups we cover are faring as of the third quarter of 2019. 

We just got a look at the latest financials for health startups like Bright and Oscar. They reveal the challenges facing the insurers as they keep growing their footprints.

By this point in the year, we have a good idea of where the insurers are moving into in 2020, and the financials mainly serve as a set-up of what to expect when full-year results come out (which, unfortunately, won’t be for quite some time). In the meantime, some of the most interesting bits: 

  • Oscar, Bright, and Clover each posted steeper net losses than a year ago, while Alignment’s results improved sharply.
  • It’s not going to be easy to pull off the ambitious growth plans many of the companies have in mind for 2020. It’ll be interesting to see if they can gain more members during enrollment season.

Want to read this story and don’t yet have a BI Prime membership? Use my link here to get 20% off your BI Prime subscription.

My colleague, senior advertising reporter Tanya Dua has the scoop on the Juul layoffs — she spoke to some of the employees affected about how the layoffs were handled.

Juul


Associated Press


Juul just laid off 650 workers after federal investigations rocked the company. Workers who were affected describe how it was handled and what they saw leading up to it.

  • Juul Labs just fired 650 workers — 16% of its global workforce — and plans to cut costs by $1 billion next year as the embattled e-cigarette maker faces growing regulatory scrutiny and federal investigations.
  • While many workers first learned about the layoffs from news reports, others were not surprised as morale at the company had been low for months, former employees said.

What tech chiefs at top hospitals thought of the Google-Ascension deal

Finally, I spent some time this past week chatting with the tech chiefs over at hospitals to get their reactions to the Google-Ascension news (Quick recap: Last week, outlets including ours reported how the two are working together to gather data on millions of patients and use that information to build tools for doctors). 

I’ve been meaning to fully understand the considerations that go into moving patient data from data servers on-site at hospitals to cloud providers like Google (and Microsoft and Amazon). As one might expect, those include considerations of privacy, security — and genuine questions of whether this will actually save health systems money. 

Read on to hear more about the realities of how patient data is stored, and where we go from here. 

What were the biggest healthcare developments of the past decade? 

That’s a question we on the healthcare team need your help answering! Yes, there are the obvious ones like the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We want to know what else made a difference — big, small, forgotten — in healthcare over the last decade.

Candidly, I’ve only been covering healthcare since 2015, so any noteworthy developments to fill in the gaps of the first half of the decade would be much appreciated. 

Please send your ideas to the team at healthcare@businessinsider.com! 

Also, we’re still hiring! We now have three positions opened, one for a pharma/biotech reporter, one for our health policy reporting gig, and now one for a San Francisco-based healthcare reporter.  

We’ll be back earlier next week ahead of the holiday to bring you some posts to get you through your imminent food comas. In the meantime, send me your post-Thanksgiving tips and non-pie dessert recipes to me directly at lramsey@businessinsider.com. 

– Lydia 



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