Selected Twitter Storms - Hmmm

On the “To Be Considered” List…

How We Spend Our Money – Healthcare spending on administration has grown to 73% of the health care dollar.  Notable contributions include: 1) Cigna CEO salary $18.9 million (2018); 2) United CEO salary $21.5 million (2018); 3) Aetna CEO salary $18.7 million (2017). Percentage of healthcare spending on physician salary: less than 8% (pic.twitter.com/N6DmjXLZAi).

Getting PPE To The Right Places – Mike Gula (a GOP fundraiser) and John Thomas (a GOP consultant) formed Blue Flame Medical on 3/23/20. Four days later, they were readying to fill “100 million-unit mask orders.” But, they refuse to disclose how they obtained supplies that states can’t even get ( pic.twitter.com/pl8J4koJKo).  But the troubling part is that FEMA is sending 50% of items directly to states and Blue Flame Medical is evidently responsible for getting the other 50% to the states with a mark-up with the states competing for PPE supplies. Now, full disclosure – I tried to do something similar; however, at no mark-up but simply negotiating the price down to the lowest level so supplies could be distributed to health systems and, with no payment to me. I simply wanted to help…

The Occasional Consideration or Perspective…

Periodic Meanderings and Ideas Deemed Important by the Author…

An Alarmingly Prescient Material – A colleague recently pointed me in the direction of an article published in The Atlantic entitled, “How the Pandemic will end” by Ed Yong. It was published on March 28th, 2020 – just over one month ago – and, it is alarmingly prescient.  It is a rather long piece but definitely worth reading and not only provides an overview of the current state but also the longer-term implications of how we will need to proceed into the future.  Then, someone suggested I should read The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis’ most recent book published in 2018 about the transition from the Obama to the Trump Administration with a special focus on the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Agriculture. Pandemic is weaved in there in a couple of places with disheartening comments about how it was ignored.

On A Lighter Note – The lampooning of our current situation by any number of singers from professionals to neophytes on YouTube is quite amazing. Here are just a few of the notable memes on the current situation (and, they don’t include Randy Rainbow):  

But, If You Want To Bring Tears To Your Eyes – You’ve got to listen to young Mariam Urushadze from the country of Georgia located at the intersection of Europe and Asia. I was originally pointed to this video by someone who indicated that it was Luciano Pavarotti’s granddaughter.  As a lover of the tenor voice, I wanted to check it out but then realized after listening that I probably need to check out the veracity of the origin.  In fact, young Mariam sings “Caruso” – a well-known opera solo tenor tune (when you hear it, you’ll recognize it immediately) – that was performed on “Nichieri” or Georgia’s Got Talent in November 2016. Regardless, I dare you to keep a dry eye when you year this eight-year-old sing!!!  

And, If You Have Extra Time On Your Hands – you’ve got to check out this in-door golfing exercise put together by some folks who were clearly going stir crazy from hunkering down.   

And, On A More Serious Note – For those of us who are trying to stay abreast of the pandemic, consider signing on to the London Business School Pandemic Webinar Series.  They have taken on the task of providing regular updates in the form of webinars that are quite informative.  It’s a quick way to gain the insights and expertise of the leaders in the field of epidemiology, infectious disease and the like related to new and evolving findings related to the pandemic. 

Readings and Such To Consider - 4/17/20

Books and Articles worth a Review… 

Step Back for A Moment – It is times like these where we need to step back and reflect on all of the changes occurring across the entire world and in all societies.  We’ve just passed through the celebration of Easter and Passover with Ramadan coming upon us as well in the next few weeks. These are times when we stop and reflect. But, it’s not only the religious holidays that bring about reflection. It is also the gaps in time we are experiencing, in large measure, because we are now hunkered down (or, at least many of us) with irregular schedules. Amidst all of the news cycles and the back-and-forth of political machinations related to the pandemic, I wanted to pass along an absolutely wonderful moment of reflection.  Andrea Bocelli – from my perspective – is the most wonderful tenor in the world.  I love his voice and his presence when he sings.  He recently gave a concert on Easter Sunday from the Duomo di Milano – an absolutely wonderful cathedral in central Milan – with no one in attendance except the organ player who was appropriately engaged in social distancing.  It’s worth your time to hear him sing Music For HopeTake one of those moments you’ve been given and listen to him.  Close your eyes and reflect.  The pandemic will pass.  We will survive.  There are many challenges that lie ahead.  But, we can and will be resilient.  It is the American way.  In fact, it is the human way. Enjoy!

Grief and the Era of Unrelenting Change – David Kessler recently gave an interview with the Harvard Business Review on the different types of grief we are experiencing as we proceed through the pandemic which has engulfed all of us. As noted in the quote above, we’ve lost the “normalcy” of life.  There’s the financial concerns we all have!  And, we’re disturbed by the radical changes in how we connect with people.  No more hugs. No more handshakes.  But, boy is there Zoom – lots and lots of Zoom!  Emotions are running high for everyone, in all groups, for all families.  Kessler talks about the fact that we tend to gravitate in period of significant grief toward the future…towards loss…towards death.  Life starts to seem like an endless storm on the horizon – just like the tornados that swept across Arkansas and Missouri this past week.  We are no longer safe so it seems. We see crowds forming in Detroit where angry folks from small towns gather to protest a Governor’s decision to continue shelter-in-place programs. But, more than the protests – these angry folks are shouldering rifles and waving guns in protest as well.  Then, there are the death threats to Anthony Fauci, MD – a leader who is simply trying to share the truth and give us guidance in the midst of chaos.  Why, oh why would people threaten him?  This is crazy…and, the grief worsens. But, we are safe!  Now is the time when we need to come together – perhaps in different ways but come together nonetheless. During World War II, when we came together – we mobilized, we responded, we supported one another – despite the fear, the disruptions, anxiety of invasion.  And, it happened again during the crazy time of the late 1950s and early 1960s when many of us learned to hunker down under our tiny desks in classrooms all across American in the event of nuclear war (BTW, that was a crazy response to teach us). Then, there was the destruction of the World Trade Towers – a time that is emblazoned in my memory as it is for many Americans.  Yes, all of the changes are hitting us but we will persevere if we come together.  Now is the time. The best thing that has happened for me is when my book club guy friends decided to meet once a week on Zoom to simply connect.  We gather. We commiserate.  We share. We joke. We talk politics. We put it aside and talk food of the week. We connect.  We should all reach out and connect.  Now is the time to come together.  Grief hangs in the air but it is a passing phenomenon. Keep your head high and your thoughts clear.  BTW, the Kessler article is very good.  Take a read…

The Occasional Consideration…3/30/20

 Periodic Thoughts Deemed Important by the Author…

A colleague sent a short video (2 minutes) that her daughter, a filmmaker, prepared about health care workers in the current environment.  It’s important to step aside and take note of all that each of you who are doing in support of your hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, homes and other places where care is being delivered.  The film – The World Needs You – produced by, Ansley Sawyer, is such a tribute.  In sharing the video, she said,

"I made this video as a tribute to healthcare workers. To the people who risk their lives to protect us, even in the face of uncertainty. We have a chance to stand together to support each other -- so I thought the best thing to do would be to say thank you for fighting every day to keep us safe."  

Ansley noted that it is fine to share far and wide.  I suggest you send it to all of your employees who are working in health care both as a part of and apart from the pandemic.  Keep the faith…

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