Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IBM to announce results of Medical Home project

On Tuesday I was invited onto a blogger conference call hosted by IBM to discuss the Medical Home concept. I was immensely happy that IBM had the vision to invite a plain old ordinary patient to be on the call. Good for them!

As longtime readers know, I've written about the medical home concept several times. It's about the fact that so many people lack a plain old ordinary doctor's office where they KNOW you – a medical "home," as it were. (Or, as they say on Cheers, "Where everybody knows your name.")

Everyone else on the call was "in the business," and as it happens, the slides were far more "in the business-y" than I would have preferred. (They're posted below.) To get a concept like this into the skulls of the Very Smart Important People in government, it seems they have to talk in abstractions and Big Principles.

Suggestion: How about also including some street reality common sense facts? Like, people who have a medical home are half as likely to have a heart attack! That statistic was mentioned (in passing!) by IBM's Dr. Paul Grundy (who's become something of a buddy of mine) at the start of the call, but wasn't considered relevant enough to put in the slides!

See, IBM employs a LOT of people so they have a LOT of data about what works. 6-8% of their insured employees are in a Medical Home plan, and that's the result IBM has seen.

Wouldn't you like to be in a plan with that kind of results? Doesn't cost anymore, either. So what the heck is everyone else thinking, and what are they waiting for?

Hey IBM ... Since I'm officially a patient advisor to PCPCC, here's some advice :-)

  • Let's also start some grass-roots demand for the medical home concept. (I'll start, by telling people here.)

  • Somebody remember the 7/30 rule of slides: no more than 7 lines of 30 characters. More than that doesn't get read. :-)
Thanks for inviting a patient – I want to help this cause win.

Here are the slides:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BIDMC's Dr. Andrew Wagner on surgery options for kidney cancer patients

Dr. Andrew Wagner, the surgeon who brilliantly removed my kidney (which had tumors sticking out on two sides), kindly agreed to discuss the options available to kidney cancer patients.

I'm putting the audio here in two versions. First, here's my attempt using Utterli, a new website that lets you upload any kind of audio.

Here's another copy from the BlogTalkRadio web site where I recorded it:

Dr. Wagner is co-chairman of the renal tumor program at my hospital. A five minute video about that program, and how it brought me back from the brink, is here. The program's web site, with contact info for the doctors, is at

Update 12/29/09: In response to a discussion in my patient group on, I asked Dr. Wagner for some additional thoughts. His response is here.

Next in this series – June 2009: Dr. David McDermott discusses medical treatment options.