cleveland clinic

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I’ve posted before about a concept called worldwide pricing (Google whatstheidea+worldwide pricing),  applauding its emergence.  Basically, thanks to the Internet, worldwide pricing allows anyone with a Web connection to shop the world to find the best prices. Healthcare, because it has been insulated by insurance companies and hasn’t yet supported digital patient records, is one place where shopping for best price has been nonexistent.  That’s changing thanks to companies like Castlight, who just received a second round of funding. 

Have you ever received a bill in the mail from a healthcare provider for a couple hundy saying your actual bill exceeded your overage? Who hasn’t?  Imagine if you could have a read-out of every medical procedure and expense you’ve ever generated over your lifetime — from that first broken bone is 4th grade to your most recent blood test. Imagine also, being able to see next to that expense the nationalized average cost of that service. It would be an interesting exercise. 

Price Variability

Price variability for medical procedures in the U.S. is all over the place. That’s going to change…and it’s a good thing.  Companies like Castlight are seeing to it by employing a little search engine technology and the help from some medical partners like the Cleveland Clinic.  As healthcare reform become more real (thank you voters and gov’t), we will start pairing information technology and healthcare record keeping in a way that will not only help U.S. GDP but improve patient outcomes.  Worldwide pricing is coming to your local doctor. Stay tuned. Peace. 

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Google has finally come out with a new program that supports its core brand competence. No, the program is not the newly announced ability to serve third party video ads, it’s a venture with the Cleveland Clinic designed to help patients take greater control over their medical records.
 
The idea of creating and aggregating one’s health information into a single patient profile (Where have I heard that word before?) is a core competence based on search that Google seems to have forgotten. If they can pull this off with the Cleveland Clinic and we can find measurable positive results in patient outcomes, Google won’t have to spend millions on other silly ideas like allowing people to place radio ads via the Google platform. This idea is big. And it’s ownable. 
 
I have long ranted that Google has lost focus in product development. This announcement gives me hope that there are actually some people at Google with their eyes on the real prize. Google’s initial mission, for those who never knew or forgot it, as articulated by co-founder Sergey Brin was We deliver the world’s information in one click.”
 

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U.S.News and World Report has ranked Cleveland Clinic #1 in America for heart care, 13 years in a row.
 
One of my pet advertising peeves is award ads. They are done often and they are done awfully.  Every once in a while a smart ad person (not like those on A&E’s “Mad Men’) gets the assignment and does a great job. They make it simple: put the word out and don’t over embellish it or dial up the self-importance. They just give the facts in an elegant creative envelope.
 
Cleveland Clinic’s full-page print ad had the first sentence of this post as its headline. Beneath it was a picture of U.S.News and World Report standing up, folded all the way open at the center spread until the pages touched at the bottom, forming the shape of a heart. You can read the title of the magazine, see a picture of a physician, and read the words from the cover “America’s Best…”
 
The “#1” isn’t laid out in huge type, no bombast, everything is classy and factual. Just like you’d want your heart surgery. The Cleveland Clinic is doing more to revitalize Cleveland (the brand) than the Tribe and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame combined.    
 

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