Hot Topic: Skyrocketing Pharmaceutical Prices

Skyrocketing Pharmaceutical PricesHealthcare spending in the United States is now $3.5 trillion, or nearly $11,000 per person. While hospital care and physician services comprise the bulk of that cost, pharmaceutical prices are responsible for 10% of the total cost – to the tune of $333.4 billion or more than $1,000 per capita.

When we talk about ways to reduce healthcare spending, finding ways to reduce pharmaceutical prices is always a top priority. Why is this such a hot button issue? What steps are being taken? How can data and analytics help? Let’s examine in this week’s “Hot Topic” blog post.

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Hot Topic: Healthcare Price Transparency

The price of healthcare. It’s a hot-button issue for many Americans, and a costly one too. Statistics from the Commonwealth Fund show Americans pay a median of $3,700 each year in premium contributions and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses combined.

With the cost of healthcare so high, consumers should be able to make meaningful decisions about their care and the prices they are willing to pay. But the current system doesn’t allow for much price transparency. There are now many efforts to change that. Let’s examine in this week’s “Hot Topic” blog post. (more…)

Hot Topic: Big Brother or Modern Convenience?



Big Brother

Imagine driving up to the McDonald’s of the future: the screen at the drive-thru greets you by name – “Hello, Kathy” – and asks if you want your usual order. It would know I usually order a double cheeseburger and small fries, no drink. But on an unusually cold day, it would offer me a hot coffee (cream, no sugar), because it knows I would go for that. It also knows what items other customers are ordering, and it may offer me a trending item to see if I’d try it.

Does this future vision of McDonald’s excite you or terrify you? And would that opinion change if it wasn’t McDonald’s customizing your ordering experience, but an airline tracking your movements with facial recognition? Businesses have mountains of customer data at their fingertips, and now they’re starting to use it in myriad ways that are not only personalizing the customer experience, but are also raising privacy concerns. Let’s take a look in today’s “Hot Topic” blog post. (more…)

Hot Topic: The Student Debt Crisis

Student Debt

Student debt is continually in the headlines, and with good reason. In the U.S. alone, more than 44 million people owe $1.5 trillion in student debt, which averages to more than $34,000 per borrower.

The student debt crisis promises to be a focal issue in the 2020 presidential election, with Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren announcing her plan to cancel student debt for many borrowers. What do you need to know about this crisis? How can analytics help? Let’s take a look in today’s “Hot Topic” blog.

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Hot Topic: Using Alexa in Healthcare

Alexa in healthcareOver the last several years, Amazon has been wading out of the e-commerce realm and into other areas, including groceries, web services, and healthcare. Most recently, the company announced that its Alexa artificial-intelligence assistant is HIPAA-compliant.

What does this announcement mean for healthcare consumers? Are we ready for Alexa in healthcare? How will Amazon ensure patient privacy? Let’s examine this issue in this week’s “Hot Topic” blog.

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Hot Topic: How Analytics Can Help During a Measles Outbreak

Measles

Today on the blog, we are starting a new column called “Hot Topic” in which we’ll take a look at events that are making headlines and examine the data or analytics implications. We’re going to start with a health topic that has been front and center in the news over the last few weeks: the measles outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says measles was “eliminated” from the U.S. in 2000, but there have been an increasing number of cases lately – with hundreds in the first few months of 2019. Let’s examine the issue and see how organizations can use analytics to help manage the outbreak.

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