Healthcare improvement course (featuring Duncan!)

Coursera has a course on Healthcare Quality Improvement.

It’s free to audit, $49.00 to take for a certificate. And it’s just started.

Our own Duncan Neuhauser is a guest lecturer for one of the modules. Well, he’s not ours, but you know what I mean.

If you are interested, you can go to the course page, and sign up for Coursera and the course.

Week 1 is a bunch of preparatory quizzed that don’t count unless you are taking the course for credit.

Week 2 starts the actual course. There is an online forum for discussion.

I plan on following the course–at least for a bit.




The Miller Plan and some data that might support it

As our last meeting, Scott proposed that we could lower health care costs by motivating people–by an income adjusted tax or premium on health insurance payments–to follow good diets and to exercise. I thought it was a great idea, and dubbed it “The Miller Plan”

I thought this was a great idea, and dubbed it “The Miller Plan”

Below I’ve linked to a video giving a great talk about the reasons for the high cost of medical care. Brawley is Chief Medical and Science Officer of the American Cancer society.  (Profile here)

At the end of the talk, he provides some evidence in support of The Miller Plan. He tell us that obesity, high caloric intake, and lack of physical activity–it’s a three-legged stool–is the number two cause of cancer in the United States. Right now smoking is number one. And as smoking continues to decline, it will become the number one cause. It also causes many other adverse (and expensive) health outcomes. Elsewhere he points out that it disproportionately affects certain populations. About 50% of black women, he says, are obese.

The link is to the part of the talk that is relevant to the Miller Plan. If you are interested, you can move the slider to around 2:00 (skip the intro and watch the whole thing) I encourage you to do so. It does not suffer if you use the Settings (gear icon) to watch it at 1.5x speed or even faster if you can keep up.

Here’s another talk by Brawley. Covers some of the same territory, and some new as well.

h/t to Dr. Michael Murnik at BHMH for turning me on to Brawley.

Notes from 3/27

Comments on the VA hospitals in Reddit (mostly people who worked in the VA or are closely connected)

Atul Gawande article on unnecessary healthcare in the New Yorker.

Article in the New Yorker that Sarah referred to about the Republican position on healthcare.

US versus European Healthcare costs, data.

Value of exercise on health outcomes.

Evidence of health benefits of increased physical activity.

Article in the Lancet.

COSTCO employee health benefits. Wow!

COSTCO health marketplace.

Vehicle insurance in the United States


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