... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Whole Foods Health Care

As an employer, health care is an issue I've had to deal with for years, with increasing frustration.

The single biggest problem with health care is the de-coupling of payment from the patient in medical purchases. This started with government price and wage controls during World War II. In order to attract and keep talent without increasing pay, employers began providing health insurance. This created a layer of insulation between the need for health care and it's purchase decision. HMOs, co-ops and other government programs have all added more layers which just made things worse.

Many of you have heard me say, "Only insure risk you CAN'T afford to take". The natural exception would be if you are a worse than average risk, but we all at least TRY to live a healthy life, right?

The positive inverse of this rule is, "SELF-insure as much risk as you can". This allows YOU to keep the profit of the insurance company. It makes no sense to "insure" minor medical care such as eye or dental visits, unless you are a group of blind people with bad teeth - but then the insurance company would reject you anyway. The point is, stay connected with your purchase of health care as much as possible. Shop your doctors. YOU are the most likely person to control health costs.

John Mackey has reached the same conclusion at Whole Foods. And he's found an effective solution. He has not solved ALL of health care's problems. There is still litigation, end of life triage and defensive medicine to deal with. But he's made a start. THIS is the model we should be studying. Health care is NOT something with which the government should be involved.

Whole Foods Puts Its Mouth Where the Money Is - 02-01-10

Reason.tv on John Mackey's Health Care Solution

Let me know what YOU think!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Your body wasn’t built to last: a lesson from human mortality rates

02-17-12 Update - While Average Lifespans Increase, 114 Remains A Stubborn And Mysterious Upper Bound. Why?

Here's an interesting post on the topic on Gompertz Law of human mortality, dealing with predicted aging and the mathematics of telomeres.

It also links to a cute death calculator based on if you were born today, but it's missing the function most people would be interested in. The question to answer is, if you've ALREADY lived to a certain age, what are the odds you'll HOW much longer? The data's all there. We just need someone to code it up. Let me know if you find it somewhere in cyberspace.

GapMinder Data Visualization

Gompertz Law of human mortality

Thanks to Roamer, here's the link I was looking for...

Predicting Death

Plus the parent site is an excellent source for risk analysis of stories in the media...

Understand Uncertainty