Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Did The Disease Management Care Blog Do With Its Predictions for 2011?

In the beginning of 2011, the Disease Management Care Blog amazed, astounded and impressed itself with a series of health care system and industry predictions.  Unlike those lesser blogs that post predictions and conveniently neglect to report back to its readers, the DMCB's commitment to being transparently outcomes-based prompted it to pose the awkward questions that few in the blogsphere are brave enough to ask:  how did its prognostications perform? What accuracy did its augury attain? How did it's foretelling function?

Here are the DMCB hunches and brutal self assessments:

1. CMS will delay the January 1 start date for the CMS Shared Savings Program.  The DMCB got that one right.  The usual bureaucratic inertia plus having to respond to the consternation over the initial proposed rule pushed the start date back to April 1.  By the way, this is only one of many missed Affordable Care Act deadlines, so this wasn't all that hard.

2. Despite its luster, adoption of social media in health care settings will not attain a tipping point:  The DMCB got that one right. It knew that front line administrators in clinics and hospitals don't see a financial return on investment for social media and remain notoriously paranoid over HIPAA.

3. Berwick will be confirmed as CMS Administrator.  The DMCB blew this one but should have known that too few U.S. Senators and their staffers regularly read Disease Management Care Blog.  With time, that should change.

4. Naive enthusiasm over the electronic health record and PCMH will bump into painful reality: The DMCB will call this one a draw because use of the EHR has been boosted by the CMS' "meaningful use" bribes payments.  Without them, the EHR business case would have to be based solely on spotty quality and phantom claims of cost savings. The PCMH, still lacking any consistent and statistically significant proof that it reduces costs, is still very much alive because of its growing link to ACOs. That's appropriate, because ACOs likewise lack any proof that they reduce costs.

5. Despite the advent of a new health care era courtesy of Mr. Obama and the ACA, health care costs will depressingly continue to go up.  Bingo says the DMCB.  According to this report on how things are looking for 2011, medical costs are expected to hit 9%.  That's less than 2010 but still far outstripping the general rate of inflation and evidence that more and more of our GDP is being gobbled up by health care.

6. The population health management industry will continue to thrive:  The DMCB got this right too.  The Care Continuum Alliance is as big as ever and there has been no abandonment by commercial insurers of their commitment to patient coaching and support. 

7. The term "disease management" will refuse to die.  To the many experts and consultants the DMCB interacts with, purchasers and buyers know that a rose by any other name still smells as sweet.  Call it "care management" or "population health" or "disease management" and no one really seems to care. because they know "disease management" has matured.

8. The political stalemate will continue.  Talk about a no-brainer but even the DMCB underestimated Mr. Obama's reliance on his liberal progressive roots to the detriment of bipartisan compromise.  Yes, there's plenty of blame to share on both sides of the aisle and while it may not be the President's fault, the DMCB thinks he's still responsible.

9. Greater interconnectedness will make us more vulnerable and unpredictable "black swan" events will preoccupy Washington DC: while there were no unexpected health care events, who would have foreseen the Arab Spring, the near death of the Euro, the impact of the Tea Partiers and the downgrade of U.S. debt?

10 The DMCB will reach a critical mass - more on that in a future post but it's 2011 annual report suggests the DMCB juggernaut is well on its way.

1 comment:

BobbyG said...

Interesting place you have here. I will have to add you to my blogroll.