OASIS D Classes *FREE*

To: Federally Certified Skilled Home Health Facilities Administrators, Directors of Nursing, OASIS Coordinators, Billing and Coding Personnel, Licensed Home Health Facilities Administrators

From: The Education and Technical Assistance (ETA) Branch of the Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division (HFEMSD)

ETA will offer classes on specific OASIS topics in La Junta, Denver, Grand Junction, Boulder, Craig and Pueblo featuring OASIS D items and guidance. You may choose to take sessions all at once or individually as your interest and needs dictate. All registration is first-come, first-served, even for sessions within a specific facility.

ETA reserves the right to cancel classes with low registration. This is a possibility for some Denver sessions. Early registration is helpful.

OASIS D Basics (One Session): Course ID 1082008
This beginning three-hour class is how to get started with OASIS D.

OASIS D Item-by-Item (2 Sessions): Course ID 1082009
This practical application class reviews item-by-item data set completion. We will follow Mrs. Green’s assessment, which will require two sessions to complete. Attendance at both sessions is required to complete this class.

OASIS Quality Measures (One Session): Course ID 1066910
This course assumes familiarity with the OASIS D Item Set, covering more advanced content and application.

To see additional session details and register for on-site attendance for one of these offerings:

  1. Go to: http://www.train.org

  2. Log in to your existing TRAIN account, or new users click “Create an Account”

  3. Once you’ve logged in, or created an account, Search (top right) for the appropriate Course ID. (See above for desired training)

  4. Click link for desired course.

  5. Click the “Registration” tab.

  6. Click the “Register” button for the session you wish to attend.

  7. Remember to register separately for each desired course.


Click for a detailed example of the above process (if needed)

Questions?: Please email:betty.metz@state.co.us

TB Update and Skin Testing Practicum for Health Care Providers

To: Medical Directors and Directors of Nursing

From: The Denver Metro TB Clinic and CDPHE Tuberculosis Program 

SPACE STILL AVAILABLE!!!

The Denver Metro TB Clinic invite nurses and other health care providers from home health agencies, clinics, and long-term care facilities to attend a tuberculosis update and skin testing practicum on Thursday, March 28th, 2019 from 12:30pm – 5:00pm in the Public Health Auditorium, 2nd floor at Denver Public Health (605 Bannock Street, Denver). 

Course Objectives are: 
– Express an increased and updated knowledge of TB infection and TB disease
– Demonstrate their skill in placing and reading the TST

Who Should attend?: Health care providers working in hospitals, home health care agencies, jails and other long-term care facilities, occupation health, Civil Surgeon’s offices, and local public health agencies.

For more details and a link to register go to: http://denverpublichealth.org/home/clinics-and-services/tuberculosis-clinic/for-providers/tb-education 

Registration cost is $60 
Space is very limited so please register early. 

For more information please contact Carolyn Bargman at 303-602-7243 cbargman@dhha.org with any questions. 

For Whom the Door Revolves: Founder and Director of Multiple Biotechnology Companies Became Director of the NCI and Now Nominated to be Acting Commissioner of the FDA

Dr Scott Gottlieb, the first commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appointed by President Trump, has announced his plans to depart.  At the time of his nomination, Dr Gottlieb’s many conflicts of interest were well known (see this NY Times article, for example), as were his exceedingly friendly views of the pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry (see this long ago post, for example).

President Trump’s regime just announced a new acting commissioner, Dr Norman (“Ned”) E Sharpless, another industry fan.

Founder and Director of Several Biotechnology Companies

G1 Therapeutics

As StatNews just reported, Sharpless “founded two biotech companies.”  His fans cited as proof of the “breadth of his experience,”

the $105 million that G1 Therapeutics, a company Sharpless co-founded, raised in 2017 while developing the lung and breast cancer drug trilaciclib.

Apparently, his work in industry has made Dr Sharpless rich

According to public records, founding these companies may have paid off.  Sharpless reported selling more than 400,000 shares of G1 Therapeutics in October 2017 – which, at the time, were worth more than $9 million.

So far, I have seen no other recent reporting that goes into any detail about Dr Sharpless’ connections to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.  Nor did I see much reporting about these relationships from the time Dr Sharpless was appointed to head the National Cancer Institute in October, 2017, again by the Trump regime.

A little digging provided a bit more detail about his relationship to G1 Therapeutics.Crunchbase revealed that Dr Sharpless was a Co-Founder of G1 Therapeutics, a member of its Scientific Advisory Board, and a member of its board of directors.  A  press release from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center did gush a bit about his ability to raise capital for G1 Therapeutics in May, 2017, a few months before he was appointed to head the NCI.

G1 Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage oncology company in Research Triangle Park with ties to the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, has raised approximately $108.6 million in an initial public offering of its stock. The company began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol ‘GTHX’ on May 17.

Furthermore,

Founded in 2008 with support from KickStart Venture Services, a UNC-Chapel Hill program that works to turn University research into new companies, G1 is developing novel therapeutics based on discoveries made by UNC Lineberger Director Norman E. Sharpless, MD, and Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD, then at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and now at the Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center. The early research that led to the formation of G1 was supported by the University Cancer Research Fund.

Congratulations to Dr. Sharpless and the entire G1 Therapeutics team for achieving this major milestone, making an impressive market debut and accelerating important advances in cancer therapies,’ said Judith Cone, Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at UNC-Chapel Hill.

It was an advance in raising capital, although the eventual clinical value of the venture may not yet be clear.  Trilaciclib is apparently still under development and has not been yet subject to big randomized clinical trials.

Sapere Bio

StatNews also reported,

The second company that Sharpless-directed science helped spawn is Sapere Bio, also based in North Carolina

which is

developing a diagnostic text to measure a patient’s ‘molecular age.’

whatever that may be, and whatever use it may turn out to have, or not.

There is not much more information about Dr Sharpless’ relationship with Sapere Bio.  In February, 2019, the WRAL Tech Wire stated,

Physician Norman ‘Ned’ Sharpless and Natalia Mitin, Ph.D., founded Sapere Bio in 2013. It was originally called HealthSpan Diagnostics, a reference to the period in your life when you’re healthy. The company grew out of the research of Sharpless, who at the time was director of the Lineberger Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Apparently, by the time this article was written, he was “no longer involved” with the company.

Consulting and Other Financial Relationships

Further web searching revealed that Dr Sharpless had to disclose other financial relationships with health care corporations in the past.  In 2017, he was one of multiple authors on a paper in The Oncologist (Patel NM et al. Enhancing next-generation sequencing-guided cancer care through cognitive computing. Oncologist 2017; 22: 1-7.)

Norman E. Sharpless: G1 Therapeutics, Unity Biotechnology, HealthSpan Diagnostics (C/A, IP,SAB, OI), Pfizer (H)

Where

(C/A) Consulting/advisory relationship; (RF) Research funding; (E) Employment; (ET) Expert testimony; (H) Honoraria received; (OI) Ownership interests; (IP) Intellectual property rights/ inventor/patent holder; (SAB) Scientific advisory board

The ProPublica Trump Town database also stated that Dr Sharpless was a former consultant to Unity Biotechnology and that

Compensation to be an advisor to Unity is solely through an option to purchase up to 50,000 shares of their stock. Roughly half of these options are unvested.

I cannot find anything more about Dr Sharpless’ relationship to Unity Biotechnology, which is apparently yet another start-up biotechnology corporation with drugs in the development pipeline.
 
Again, it appears that Dr Sharpless may have ended these relationships when he became NCI director.  A disclosure in December, 2018, for a talk he gave at the American Society of Hematology included

Sharpless: Pfizer(relationship ended): Honoraria; G1 Therapeutics (relationship ended): Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees; G1 Therapeutics (divested): Equity Ownership; Healthspan Diagnostics (relationship ended): Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees; Healthspan Diagnostics (divested): Equity Ownership; Unity Biotechnology (divested): Equity Ownership; Unity Biotechnology (relationship ended): Membership on an entity’s Board of Directors or advisory committees; Unity Biotechnology (relinquished)

Summary

Dr Norman “Ned” E Sharpless is clearly an experienced academic physician, and hence is a welcome contrast with the many ill-informed ideologues lacking any experience or expertise in biomedical research, medicine, health care or public health recently appointed to important US government health care related positions (for the most recent example, look here).

However, while he held a major academic leadership position, Dr Sharpless had multiple important conflicts of interest, including founding and serving on the boards of directors of several for-profit biotechnology companies, as well as having other financial relationships with health care corporations.  He apparently had already become rich via these relationships before he became director of the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), although he apparently ended the relationships when he assumed the directorship.  As the head of the NCI, he was in a position to have some influence over US health care research policy affecting the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.  Hence his appointment to that position was an example of the revolving door.

Now about one and one-half year later, his position as acting commissioner of the FDA will give him much more influence over pharma and biotech.  This appointment is an even more strking example of the revolving door.

Both examples seem to have so far gotten lost in the continuing chaos generated by the Trump regime.

Yet, as we have said until blue in the face, and most recently less than a month ago

The revolving door is a species of conflict of interest. Worse, some
experts have suggested that the revolving door is in fact corruption. 
As we noted here, the experts from the distinguished European anti-corruption group U4 wrote,

The literature makes clear that the revolving door process is a source of valuable political connections for private firms. But it generates corruption risks and has strong distortionary effects on the economy, especially when this power is concentrated within a few firms.

The ongoing parade of people transiting the revolving door from industry
to the Trump regime once again suggests how the revolving door
may enable certain of those
with private vested interests to have disproportionate influence on how the government works.  The country
is increasingly being run by a cozy group of insiders with ties to
both
government and industry. This has been termed crony capitalism. The latest cohort of revolving door transits
suggests that regulatory capture is likely to become much worse in the near future.

Remember to ask: cui bono? Who benefits? The net results are that big
health care corporations increasingly control the governmental
regulatory and policy apparatus.  This will doubtless first benefit the
top leadership and owners/ stockholders (when applicable) of these
organizations, who are sometimes the same people, due to detriment of
patients’ and the public’s health, the pocketbooks of tax-payers, and
the values and ideals of health care professionals.  

 The continuing egregiousness of the revolving door in health care shows
how health care leadership can play mutually beneficial games,
regardless of the their effects on patients’ and the public’s health. 
Once again, true health care reform would cut the ties between
government and corporate leaders and their cronies that have lead to government of, for
and by corporate executives rather than the people at large.

MDS 3.0 Classes *FREE*

To: Federally Certified Skilled Nursing Facilities Administrators, Directors of Nursing, MDS Coordinators, Billing and Coding Personnel, Licensed Nursing Facilities Administrators

From: The Education and Technical Assistance (ETA) Branch of the Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division (HFEMSD)

Classes on specific MDS topics are available in Denver, Fort Collins, Craig, Aurora, Pueblo and Montrose. You may choose to take them all at once or individually as your interest and needs dictate. All registration is first-come first-serve, even with sessions held within a host facility site.

ETA reserves the right to cancel sessions without adequate participation. Early registration is recommended.

MDS Basics (One Session): Course ID 1066903
This beginning three-hour class is how to get started with MDS.

MDS Item By Item (2 Sessions): Course ID 1066907
This practical application class reviews item-by-item data set completion. We will follow Miss Scarlett’s assessment, which will require two sessions to complete. Attendance at both sessions on subsequent days is required to complete this class.

MDS Quality Measures (One Session): Course ID 1066904
This course assumes familiarity with the MDS Item Set, covering more advanced content and application.

To see additional session details and register for on-site attendance for one of these offerings:
1. Go to http://www.train.org/ 
2 Log in to your existing CO.TRAIN account, or new users click “Create an Account”.
3. Once you’ve logged in, or created an account, Search (top right) for the appropriate Course ID. (See above for desired training)
4. Click link for desired course. Note open session options.
5. Click the “Register” button for the session you wish to attend.
6. Remember to register separately for each desired course.

Detailed Instructions for Using Train.org (if needed) 

Questions?: Please email betty.metz@state.co.usa

HHA IDR Committee Meeting

This blog publishes information typically sent through the Health Facilities Web Portal to health care entities regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Please note that the Web Portal is the official medium for business communication between the Department and licensed and Medicare/Medicaid certified health care entities. Health care entities should continue to monitor their portal accounts routinely.

Attention: Blizzard Warning Urgent Change to the CDPHE LTC IP Training 3/13 & 3/14

TO: SNF, Long Term Care Facilities in Colorado 

FROM: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)

As I am sure, you are aware; blizzard conditions beginning tomorrow 3/13 will affect much of Colorado. Our priority is for the safety of those of you participating in the training as well as our staff who have spent countless hours preparing for your participation. The adverse weather conditions may significantly affect travel and potentially absenteeism at many of your facilities. With all things in mind, I feel it is in the best interest of all to cancel the training scheduled for this week and reschedule for a better time.

Next steps: we will work to identify a new time and training venue in the very near future. Please know that those of you who are already registered will be guaranteed a spot in the next training. We will also look for a venue that can accommodate those of you on the waitlist. Please watch for communication in the near future.

In the meantime, if you are interested in completing some online training in Infection Prevention, CDC has just released their training that you can access at the following web address: https://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/training.html

I know that this may be an inconvenience for many of you and for that I am truly sorry. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you would like to discuss further.

April Burdorf, RN, BSN, MPH, CIC
Infection Prevention Unit Manager
April.Burdorf@state.co.us 
303-692-3514

Disquisition on Medicare for All

Medicare for all Americans is on the table now. Think about it. The not-in-our-lifetime utopian vision of every progressive liberal, complete with dancing rainbows and unicorns, is now within reach. Alternatively, the socialized medicine Trojan Horse that will turn these United States into a toilet-paper free Venezuela is now before Congress. There are over half a dozen bills in Congress, introduced by serious people with serious intentions, proposing some version of government administered universal health insurance in America.

Whichever ideological camp you’re in, it is a profound disgrace that in America today many people cannot afford basic medical care, as profound a disgrace as having veterans sleeping on sidewalks, as profound a disgrace as having one in five children living in poverty, as profound a disgrace as having Americans going to bed hungry. This was not supposed to happen in our “shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere”. It just wasn’t supposed to be this way in a country founded on the inalienable right to pursue happiness. Regardless of why it happened, whose fault it is, or how to “fix” it, America was not supposed to be this way. It just wasn’t.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Our union is as far removed from perfection as it was in the years leading to the events of April 12, 1861. Whether you obsess over political affairs or social issues, our justice system seems to be established on very shaky and uneven ground. Domestic tranquility must have been some sort of eighteenth century inside joke. Our welfare is anything but general, the much-admired blessings of liberty seem to accrue to the few who do very little to secure them, and things don’t look any better for our children and grandchildren. We can debate the fine legal points, the Articles and the Amendments, but there is no question in my mind that we are failing miserably in at least five out of the six stated goals of our Constitution.

What do all these polemics have to do with “fixing” health care, you may ask. Health care is not a standalone issue. It cannot be debated, let alone “fixed”, in a political, historical and moral vacuum. Our health care woes are one manifestation of a much larger systemic failure of American society. The “concentration of power” in fewer and fewer hands is a calamity that was foreseen by a bitter, desperate man as he lay dying, and promptly ignored by many generations since, including our own. John C. Calhoun stared into his self-inflicted perdition and we stared back at him from the flames.

“At this stage, principles and policy would lose all influence in the elections; and cunning, falsehood, deception, slander, fraud, and gross appeals to the appetites of the lowest and most worthless portions of the community, would take the place of sound reason and wise debate. After these have thoroughly debased and corrupted the community, and all the arts and devices of party have been exhausted, the government would vibrate between the two factions (for such will parties have become) at each successive election … These vibrations would continue until confusion, corruption, disorder, and anarchy, would lead to an appeal to force”.

The tragedy at this point is that we, as an “E Pluribus Unum”, cannot rationally analyze, let alone agree on, either the nature or the cause for our failure to thrive, and as long as that remains the case, we will not be able to “fix” health care, or anything else for that matter. But perhaps there is still some room for discussion at the edges of Armageddon…

—————————————-

One glaring commonality between all Medicare for All proposals is that they are neither Medicare nor for all. Nobody is proposing to make Medicare available to all Americans, which is rather strange if you think about it. The battle cries of Medicare for All, the ubiquitous #Medicare4All hashtags, are pure propaganda. The proposed plans range from letting a few more poor people buy into Medicaid (not Medicare) to the Cadillac plans of Bernie Sanders, John Conyers and the brand new bill introduced by Pramila Jayapal, including prescription drugs, dental, vision and long-term care, with no premiums, no deductibles and no copays, given free to all citizens, regardless of financial status. In addition to the official bills introduced in Congress, there are lengthy proposals from policy groups touting their superiority and/or soundness compared to all other Medicare for All arrangements. The opposing faction is peculiarly devoid of grand ideas.

The problem with grand ideas though is that, by definition, they must rest on a multitude of assumptions and some assumptions are better than others. You can assume for example, that breaking an egg on a hot surface will get you breakfast. It’s been done trillions of times and therefore one can say that this is a pretty safe assumption, maybe even a fact. You can then be tempted to assume that putting a hot rod through an egg will yield the same results, since the egg is broken and in contact with a hot surface. Now obviously, the hot rod is just a first step, and after extensive tinkering you have a brand-new type of frying pan with an electronic egg breaker embedded in the middle. It costs ten times as much as the frying pan you trashed and it’s only good for eggs, but it does break the eggs, something you never knew was a problem. Oh, and it only makes scrambled eggs, so you save time on complex cognitive tasks.

Obamacare sounded pretty good before it morphed into a pugilistic contest between bureaucracies. Berniecare, sounds pretty good too. I mean what’s there not to like? All health care is free, and we don’t have to pay more than we are paying now for health care. We may even need to pay less, in aggregate. And the payments will be more justly distributed across the population. And every single person, no matter how privileged, will have the same exact glorious health care. Heck I’ve been arguing for a system like that myself. For those interested, I am also arguing for peace on Earth, prosperity, health and happiness to you and your loved ones.

—————————————-

Despite what hot-headed reformers are trying to tell you, American health care is not worse or scarcer than it is in other developed nations. It is better and more plentiful. The sole problem with health care in this country is that it is not affordable for most Americans. What does “not affordable” mean though? Does it mean that health care prices are too high? Does it mean that we don’t choose our care wisely? Or does it mean that people are too poor? The answer is of course yes and no on all counts. Furthermore, “fixing” any one of the above problems will likely exacerbate the others. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated, obviously, but it is.

Real GDP per household (2.2 persons) stands around $120,000. Median income per household is half as much. We currently spend on average $24,000 per household per year on health care. If every household got a fairer share of GDP, perhaps health care would be less “not affordable”, but even in the most egalitarian scenario, health care would still be a huge financial burden. Medicare for All seeks to shift the health care burden from individual households to the nation. When the nation is faced with burdens of this type, it either goes into debt or cuts budgets. Debt of this magnitude spells bankruptcy down the road, and budget cutting translates into Rationing. Pick your poison.

But maybe we can ration wisely. Maybe we can replace volume with value. Maybe. Either way, when volumes for one service line go down, another service line seems to miraculously become more popular. If we force all service lines to cut down on volume, prices per unit will inexplicably start soaring to keep the topline steady. Then how about combining nationalized health care financing with price controls, as all Medicare for All bills are suggesting? After all, this is working well for Medicare, no? Yes, it is working for Medicare, because hospitals and doctors can charge the difference to private insurers. If there are no private insurers, hospitals and doctors will need to cut their costs. How do most firms cut costs? By letting employees go and/or reducing their salaries.

—————————————-

Over 16 million Americans are currently working in the health care industry. If you want to cut that mythical 30% that is presumably waste, I can guarantee in writing that before one wasted piece of paper is eliminated, 6 million people will be out of work. In all fairness, a couple of the more radical Medicare for All proposals include income replacement and “retraining” for a few hundred thousand health insurance industry workers envisioned to be displaced, which amounts to a few drops in the disaster bucket. Such massive unemployment will wipe out entire communities, not to mention the stock market, pensions, retirement savings, tax revenues, and safety net budgets. It may also deal the long overdue coup de grâce to the struggling American middle class.

In a service economy, which is what all progressive minds are glorifying now, if you cut spending on services, you shrink the economy, with all attendant consequences. And no, having more money in your pocket to buy more crap from China does not improve the situation one bit. The supreme irony is that when we add the resultant financial aid for those who will lose their health care jobs, and the many more affected by the ripples of our trimmer health care expenses, we will end up precisely where we started, if we’re lucky, which is not very likely. The point here is not to bash Medicare for All plans. The point is to highlight the magnitude of what is discussed. By comparison to Medicare for All bills, Obamacare was just minor tinkering, and look where it got us.

There are only four countries in the world, including our own, that have a GDP greater than our annual health care expenditure. Restructuring health care in America is like restructuring the entire economy of, say, France or the United Kingdom, and then some. The United States is the third most populous country after China and India and has the greatest influx of new immigrants each year. Pointing to how great the Singapore model is working, or how quickly Taiwan transformed its health care system is, forgive me, laughable. If we learn one thing from the Obamacare escapade, it should be that in health care, nothing, absolutely nothing, scales as predicted on paper.

Finally, as hard as it may be for you these days, please remember that smart people, with yards of skin in this game, may disagree with your preferred solution, not because they are greedy, not because they hate poor people, not because they can’t do the math, not because they are evil, and not because they are deplorable or crazed Marxists. So, please, get off your soapbox (I certainly did), look reality in the face without fear or prejudice, start listening to ideas that make you uncomfortable, and understand that pontificating about Medicare for All is as useful as bloviating about free-markets.

NHSN Colorado Group Monthly Webinar on 3/6/2019 – CANCELLED

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment host a monthly NHSN Colorado user group webinar to provide updates and training related to NSHN. The monthly webinar is held on the first Wednesday of every month from 1p.m. – 2 p.m. (MST). 

This month’s webinar on March 6, 2019 is cancelled and will resume again next month. If you have NHSN related questions or concerns, please contact Lynda Saignaphone at 303-692-2923, lynda.saignaphone@state.co.us.

The Hospital Marketing Experience, a Forgotten Channel?

Let me repeat the headline a little differently.
Is the hospital marketing experience channel for the consumer and patient, given its importance as a first-touch experience and engagement opportunity, been forgotten? Given all that has been and continues to be written about experience and engagement, then why is there not more careful consideration, time, thought and energy not given to the hospital marketing experience?
I just had my annual physical with my PCP. Now given my age and history of being an ex-smoker ( I quit 22 years ago and have never looked back), even though there was no indication of vascular disease, she thought I was fruitful for me to have a vascular scan. Since there was no indication, my PPO would not pay. My good doctor referred me to a screening service that regularly provides discount vascular scans at a discounted cash price to drive business.
The service understands that in retail health, the most effective source of referrals will be the PCP. Fortuitously, that Sunday in my local paper was a $99 vascular scan offered by the health system in their hospital that I have been using along with my PCP, for the last 22 years or so.  So, since this is a cash expenditure out of the pocket of this healthcare consumer, I decided to call the toll-free number and take advantage of an entity that I knew.
And that decision, based on the advertisement for a service that I needed, optionally I might add, is where the marketing experience ended.
Makes you wonder why the health system hadn’t informed the PCPs and other admitters about the vascular screening (first experience fail).
I called the number which went to the system marketing call center. The number worked, so that was good. I proceeded to explain why I was calling because they were generally clueless (the second experience fail). I had to explain that I had been using the system for many years and wanted to take advantage of the offer. I also specified the location. Once they found the screening questions (the third experience fail), the operator, quickly rattled off the ten-digit phone number for central scheduling for no apparent reason to me, as there was no forewarning that I needed to write down the number, (the fourth experience fail).
Now comes the cold transfer to central scheduling (fifth experience fail). I now must explain all over again why I was calling (sixth experience fail). Now the operator in central scheduling is surprised because this is supposed to be a warm transfer from marketing (seventh experience fail). Then instructs me to hang on because she has to search for the screening questions, I had already been asked and answered because they not readily available while informing me that she has never scheduled one before (eight experience fail). Better yet, I learn in the course of this no one has ever called to schedule a screening (ninth experience fail).
I did ask if this could be done in a more convenient  location than the hospital and was told yes (first positive experience).  Then the experience went negative. No Saturday’s were offered. I couldn’t schedule for some unknown reason to the operator for Tuesdays, and only morning appointments were available (the tenth experience fail). We finally landed on a Wednesday a couple of weeks out so I could rearrange my schedule to fit their schedule (eleventh experience fail).
Now the second positive experience in all of this was that as a former patient of the health system, system, much of my information was already available and all I needed to do was confirm some of the detail.
I schedule the appointment and then hear a litany of pretest prep that I need to do with no email follow-up conforming the appointment or providing me with written information of what to do before the test (twelfth experience fail). Two days later, I receive an automated phone call reminding me about my appointment two weeks out (thirteenth experience fail).
The point of this exercise was to illustrate how important healthcare consumer marketing experience is. If you are going to play in retail healthcare. then you better get your CPG marketing skill set together and understand that it’s all about the consumer and nothing about you.
The marketing experience is most often the very first touch-point of a healthcare consumer’s interaction which the hospital or health system. You cannot afford not to get it right. Those days are long gone.
Michael is a semi-retired healthcare business, marketing, communications strategist and thought-leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters is read in  52 countries and listed on the 100 Top Healthcare Marketing Blogs, and Websites ranked at No. 3 on the list by Feedspot.com. Michael is a Life Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. An expert in healthcare marketing strategy, digital marketing & social media, Michael is in the top 10 percent of social media experts nationwide and is considered an established influencer. For inquiries regarding strategic consulting engagements, call Michael at 815-351-0671. Opinions expressed are my own.