01 Mar 2014
FeedbackRe: Mike Brown (MBA 1970); Dave Hunter (MBA 1981); Mitch Collins (MBA 1984); Jon Seder (MBA 1978)Topics:
Our New Look
Welcome to your new HBS Alumni Bulletin. Over the past several months, we've done a deep dive—polling you about your likes and dislikes, reconsidering both what we write and how we write it, and totally reinventing the way the magazine looks. We want this magazine to better reflect the innovative HBS community. • We also want this new magazine to be a conversation. You'll see more of your voices throughout the stories, weighing in on everything from business challenges to classroom revelations. And we want to hear from you. Comment on the stories online. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Write us a letter. This is your magazine. It needs your voice.
The story of Gene Williams (MBA 1987) and his new drug development model hit a nerve, with more than 450 readers sharing it on their Facebook page.
Re: Can the NFL win the long game?
It is a game for only certain types of individuals, physically and mentally tough, coached up and properly conditioned in season and off season. There is no finer game in a culture that could use more education in discipline, perseverance, and teamwork.
—Michael Brown (MBA 1970) via LinkedIn
Re: How can our health care system be fixed?
This is all very well and good, but technical solutions will only work around the edges until two main issues with the US medical industry are addressed.First is a cultural problem—we die very expensively. It is pretty well established that 30 percent of our lifelong health care occurs in the last year of life and the majority of that in the last 30 days. The second is that the medical profession is optimized around the doctors and not the patients. The time wasted and the testing that has to be repeated is enormous. There was a very interesting book published in the early 1990s called Competing Against Time. The central hypothesis is that about 90 percent of the time it takes to do something is wasted unless it is designed out of the system. One great example they gave was of a European hospital that changed scheduling to be patient-centric. The entire patient experience was vastly improved and did not hurt the hospital's income. Other than the airline industry it is hard to find an industry that treats its customers as objects and not people.
—David Hunter (MBA 1981) via LinkedIn
IN RESPONSE: David, I would go a step further. Yes, there is a lot that can be done to improve care delivery; your idea is a good one, though even that is just a Band-Aid on the bigger problem. When the larger ecosystem results in one-third of the population obese and one-third overweight, the sick care system (it has nothing to do with health) can't keep up. The fix for this is in the realm of public policy. In a country where one of the major political parties denies climate change and pizza counts as a vegetable in school lunches, I am sadly pessimistic.
—Mitch Collins (MBA 1984) via LinkedIn
We have removed almost all price signaling from health care. The only way to align supply and demand is by correcting this. A bureaucracy will never get it right. Only a political bureaucracy could have created the mess we have now.
—Jonathan Seder (MBA 1978) via LinkedIn