Search

Keywords
11 June 2009 • 6:22 pm

Required Reading in the White House

The New York Times reported this week that a recent New Yorker article on health care spending has become required reading in the White House, and that President Obama referred to the article in a briefing on health care reform with Democratic senators. The article, which is a lengthy but very worthwhile read, was written by Atul Gawande, who is both a staff writer for the New Yorker and general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Along with President Obama, I recommend this article to anyone interested in the likely changes to U.S. health care policy that is on the political horizon.

Gawande’s article follows his curiosity and research into regional disparities in health care spending; why some places spend far more (per Medicare enrollee, an approximation of overall spending) than others, without significant differences in overall public health or patient outcomes. His research focused on the town of McAllen, Texas, “the most expensive town in the most expensive country for health care in the world,” where annual Medicare spending per enrollee (in 2006) was around $15,000, almost twice the national average.

more

8 June 2009 • 11:36 am

The Motivating Power of Measurement

Practitioners and fans of the balanced scorecard concept understand that measurement has the power to motivate behavior. The great challenge in driving change in any organization isn’t just to change the culture, but to change the behavior of individuals and groups inside the organization. Performance measurement doesn’t just tell us how well we’re doing at achieving a desired outcome, the very process of measurement and communication of measure results actually changes behavior.

more