Sometimes the solution is to do less and to do the opposite: When Employee Healthcare Costs Move Stocks
It has taken over 40 years for index investing to reach 20% market share. That's longer and less heft than most people would guess. But it's also a reminder of how a good idea can take generations of incremental awareness and results to move beyond shallow roots. Index investing is a form of passive investing, … Continue reading Passive vs. Active in Investing and in Health
Price opacity is one of the grievances people have with healthcare in the US. Hip replacement price variation is an oft-cited procedure, yet another example where hoarding information and obfuscation is the norm. In one city, prices can vary by a factor of 3x or more. Price transparency is a laudable goal and progress is … Continue reading How Outlier Stories Stain Healthcare
A couple of weeks ago I was with my family in Guanajuato, a beautiful and historic colonial city in central Mexico. Imagine a hillside version of Venice with winding alleys and colorful buildings. We arrived and settled in the rented apartment. We met Don Chava, owner of the corner store, and then ventured out to … Continue reading The All-You-Can-Eat-Healthcare-Buffet
Now known in some circles for something beyond its array of cheesecakes, 2,000 calorie dishes, and cruise ship-meets-Las Vegas décor, The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) added a second consecutive quarter of negative healthcare news, a cost that’s hidden in most companies' income statements. The impact of this quarter’s negative healthcare surprise was $4,600,000, or 44% of … Continue reading Part 2: Is The Cheesecake Factory in The Healthcare Business?
If you rent a car, have cable or internet, or health insurance, your experiences are likely to be less stellar than if you use Netflix or shop at Nordstrom. TV providers show up late for your scheduled appointment, and, since they feel for you, they raise your bill after six months. Conversely, Netflix charges $10.99/month … Continue reading Does The Net Promoter Score Matter in Healthcare?
Over 30 million people in the United States start a new job every year*. We rely on past salary anchoring, asking around, the walls of internal company salary ranges, and sites like Glassdoor, to now know how much others are making in salaries and bonuses. But what about benefits? Often the biggest dollars outside salaries … Continue reading A New Salary Negotiation Tool: Healthcare Benefits
The 2006 book The Wal-Mart Effect describes the retailer's impact on communities and suppliers. Since it was written, a lot has changed. Amazon has outperformed Walmart in the stock market by 20x. Walmart has also dropped the hyphen from its name. Walmart still does $57,000,000 per hour in sales, or $500B per year, and has 2.3M … Continue reading The Walmart Effect on Healthcare
It's July and that means earnings season. We get a view of the workings of UnitedHealth Group ("UHC"), the "diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone." We've all carried a United Healthcare card at one point. UHC is the largest healthcare company … Continue reading Trends, Big Numbers, and Risks: Lessons from UHC’s Earnings
No economist, junior high student, employee, or small business owner* in the United States thinks healthcare should be tied to employment. Ask around. It's equally unpopular across the political spectrum. But we have it, and it's not by accident, but rather an unintended consequence of the 1942 Stabilization Act. The WW2 era Act led to … Continue reading Why Employer-Provided Healthcare is Here to Stay