altitude sessions podcast

helping healthcare executives elevate their thinking about the industry's next five years (warning: graphic language is occasionally used)

altitude sessions 007 - weaponization of healthcare over ahps & get curious!

by brian melanson

Even with healthy profits being reported today, how can the industry move forward over the next five years with the constant weaponization of healthcare going on in American politics? We discuss the likelihood of a “Plan B-type” proposal growing in stature in the Medicare for All debate amongst Democratic Presidential hopefuls as the primaries heat up along with those getting caught in the political tug-of-war around left vs. right-wing policies over the role of Association Health Plans. Curious? Good! We also talk about why you need to stay curious, and why finding time to slow down & think creatively is so important for your career/business. The 4mul8 community is one such vehicle, and a recent (private) small group discussion in Jackson Hole amongst member executives has us really fired up about our mission here to support you, to drive your curiosity & to help you drive your business forward. See things differently… #ElevateYourHealthcareThinking with m4 innovation You can click here to see detailed show notes & links for this episode

altitude sessions 006 - healthcare's de-coupling moment and becoming a guru too soon

by brian melanson

As innovators drive forward a strategy of de-coupling your value chain, do you have a plan to respond as the healthcare guru you are? This episode gets after how disruptors (even the 17-year-old ones) are looking at the market with new eyes. Is your solution stodgy? Have you lost sight of who the real customers are? The new generation of thinkers are finding that they can de-couple and re-assemble your core solution differently using a combination of things that they do well quilted together with best-in-class services providers. Is this gloom and doom for infrastructure, distribution or asset-heavy businesses? Have a listen, and then let’s debate that. Let’s also talk about your brand. In a world where AI-based assistants are proliferating, will they become the most trusted asset in your market strategies? Will the AI-bots serving their masters care about your brand? Or, do they care about the quality of the solution you provide that improves the living experience? Hmmm. These next 10 years are going to be interesting. This show brings it all home by asking if Direct Primary Care solutions are an incremental step toward an accelerated de-coupling moment in health insurance. What’s the next step? How about “Bytes-based Primary Care.” We also talk about the impact of voice channels on your future market strategies. How about networks in the modern healthcare and dental insurance world? Will we need them? With all of this change, do you feel motivated to find that next guru on your team to help lead us forward? Maybe just don’t compare that person to Steve Jobs like what was done with Elizabeth Holmes. In our management advice segment, we get into the question of whether we are anointing talented players to guru status too soon. Dig in. Let’s #ElevateYourHealthcareThinking.  You can click here to see detailed show notes & links for this episode

altitude sessions 005 - telling stories and why healthcare needs you to scale your difficult mountain

by brian melanson

Every great story has a hero and a villain. As time unfolds in the latest riveting chapters of healthcare’s story, how will your company and you be remembered? This episode jumps into what it takes to tell a clear story. Whether you are selling a solution to a prospect or convincing your board of a strategy, this model is applicable to us all. Speaking of great stories, we draw motivation from those that have completed unbelievable feats in rock & mountain climbing. Many of the latest documentaries feature super athletes putting it all on the line to accomplish what was once deemed impossible. That is especially true in “Free Solo” with Alex Honnold. Maybe, just maybe, we can use this as motivation to scale some of the walls that are currently considered unclimbable in healthcare. Leaders in this industry, at all levels, are needed to take on exactly these kinds of challenges. These are the heroes that will be written about in the next chapters of healthcare. We finish this episode by pulling it all together to define what some of these big challenges may be. In the end, it’s up to us to push through the difficult challenges ahead for the industry or risk being obsoleted by others willing to put in the preparation and to take the tough journeys. You might say that it’s time to pick your wall, plan the route and make the climb. Put on your mountain shoes. It’s time to #ElevateYourHealthcareThinking and get going future heroes.  You can click here to see detailed show notes & links for this episode

altitude sessions 004 - ahps, dpc, mental health & “the omnipotence gap,” digital health tools' impact on product strategies, and channeling stephen hawking for management advice

by brian melanson

How could we ever top a reference to ineffective executive management approaches in relation to the Fyre Festival mess? We channeled Stephen Hawking as a way to remind you that you’re a chaos manager… that’s how. Being a senior leader can be hard. It has its ups and downs. Maybe you should remember to adopt an 11th habit to find balance? We explain what this means. This episode also digs into the “depressing” topic that is the state of America’s mental health, along with a personal family experience that shaped why m4 innovation exists today. The culpability of technology in creating a me-first culture, which has formed an “Omnipotence Gap,” is floated as a theory worthy of further debate. Are you up for the challenge of getting involved to bring forward solutions that will help your fellow neighbors struggling with mental issues? With all of the relentless commercial focus on the consumer telling us that “we’re our own God,” how do we cope when the realities of life tell us otherwise? The growth of point-specific digital health solutions is discussed along with some thoughts on how these tools fit with overall benefits & distribution model strategies. We also provide quick updates on Association Health Plans and Direct Primary Care progress amongst the 4mul8 executive membership. The irony isn’t lost in that we’re drinking Arcola Whiskey while diving deep into mental health issues. Would you be settled knowing only one glass was poured in the making of this episode? Maybe it was two. Whether it’s water or wine, fill your cup with something delicious. Let’s dive into this session of the Altitude Sessions Podcast together to #ElevateYourHealthcareThinking. You can click here to see detailed show notes & links for this episode

altitude sessions 003 - whistle pig-influenced thinking on the importance of good managers and why it's time to re-examine your product & distribution strategies

by brian melanson

Did we have to bring the Fyre Festival debacle into this episode? Yes, we sure did. It’s a great case in studying the difference between leadership and management. We kick off the episode by drawing this distinction – along with why management isn’t the dirty word people think it is these days. Leader-oriented companies that don’t have the right balance of capable management to back up visionary thinking turn into sailboats ready to tip over with the first major wind gust. Kind of like the Fyre Festival, right? It’s also high time to challenge your thinking regarding the role of product innovation & distribution in healthcare. The importance of these functions should be growing within all of your companies as these sleepy sciences are waking up. You (yes, you) need to be leading this awakening. For fun, and under the influence of Whistle Pig, we also bring in references from “Demolition Man” to compare Amazon to Taco Bell. We move on to summarize current distribution thinking with an emphatic “bleh” while #ElevatingYourHealthcareThinking by asking you if your company is “Primed” to meet the needs of the “digital natives” that are becoming a key demographic for your success. Strap in & enjoy the ride. You can click here to see detailed show notes & links for this episode

altitude sessions 002 - universal healthcare politics & why the employer insurance model does not scale

by brian melanson

Is it really time to start talking about Presidential politics for 2020? With a growing field of Democratic hopefuls already pushing their versions of universal healthcare, it sure is. It feels like 1993 all over again. Is the employer insurance model to blame? We think it shoulders some responsibility. This episode delves into long-held assumptions about the coverage model that supports over 150 million Americans. Is this approach the best way forward for leading us out of the affordability crisis given it helped us get into it? It may be a good way to drive pockets of innovation, but will this framework ever help the country achieve true healthcare cost sustainability? Maybe solving for the country as a whole is not the right lift. It could be that we need to be solving for our specific communities in the future. Listen in to hear our thoughts & then let’s debate. Two minds are always better than one. We end this show with a discussion on if you are a growth mindset leader. Does your organization build the box that your team plays within, or do you foster a culture that sees limitless opportunities even in the face of intense challenges? Buckle up. We’re just getting going. Thanks for stopping by to #ElevateYourHealthcareThinking. You can click here to see detailed show notes & research for this episode

altitude sessions 001 - individual market & learning to ride your horse

by brian melanson

This first podcast examines the latest results from the ACA marketplaces now that 2019’s significant enrollment period is closed. We examine the impact of healthcare on politics in these coming months (because who isn’t talking about politics these days). There is a concept called competitive federalism that we love, so that’s discussed with some thinking about how we might create closer state-based partnerships to solve for forthcoming healthcare issues. There’s also this massive expansion in how we view distribution underway. The real distribution models undergoing change have nothing to do with enrollment and eligibility for insurance products. This activity may (key phrase: “may”) actually pull both the pre- and post-purchasing sides of healthcare together. We begin to explain why during the show. And, of course, how could a Wyoming-based company leave out a reference to a horse in our first podcast? We couldn’t, but there’s a lesson in there that sets up to be good career advice for all of you health economy trailblazers. Sit back & get elevated. It’s Altitude Sessions time! You can click here to see detailed show notes & research for this episode