Benefits Tools

The Case for Better Benchmarking

The Firestick has 11 buttons, with one huge on/off button. It’s a joy to use. If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, unnecessary complexity is crude and confusing, lazy or purposeful, part of the conspiracy against the outsiders. The age of the metaphorical 3 remotes with 150 buttons of equal sizes


September’s Index

As a nod to the clever and entertaining Harper’s index, here is September’s healthcare and finance index.   The decline in 2nd quarter hospital admissions for HCA Healthcare: 20% The decline in emergency room visits in the same quarter: 33% The number of times Covid-19 was mentioned in HCA’s second-quarter


GoodRx’s IPO and the $450 Story

Many great founders have started companies after an annoying experience. Netflix’s lightbulb moment began with founder Reed Hastings waiting in line at Blockbuster to pay $40 after losing Apollo 13. For Doug Hirsch, co-founder of GoodRx, it was a $450 prescription back in 2010–years earlier he followed his parents’ advice

Thought Leadership

An Interview with Dr. Eric Bricker

Dr. Eric Bricker, MD is a physician, a co-founder of Compass Professional Health Services, now part of Alight, and the founder of both AHealthcareZ and Texas Family Insurance. His content is rich and deep and he’s a must-follow for those in healthcare. Q: Tell me about AHealthcareZ and what you’re

Benefits Tools

Financial Broccoli

Kellogg tells you their cereal is natural and has whole grains. There are no broccoli lobbyists or marketers (other than moms). Some good things do need reminders. One trigger for some of my favorite healthcare and financial housekeeping tips starts with a fresh door: a new job. Switching Jobs Over

Health Savings Accounts

Valuing a Piece of Americana

Baseball cards are part of Americana. The slotted binders, stats, and bike rides to shops evoke nostalgia too. The investment merit of cards fit is another question. An index of the rarest of cards may have outperformed the S&P 500 by 2.3x over the last 10 years but that’s a


Price and Value

The tension between price and value is familiar. We want the $14k Ford Fiesta price but the Tesla Model S product. We usually get what we pay for. Employers promote generous healthcare benefits, ones with little advertised friction (e.g., low deductibles). Generosity is vague. Is a $1,500 deductible good or

Benefits Tools

Arbitrage and the Advice We Give

In March the gap between London and New York gold prices jumped to $60 per ounce, 40 times the typical spread of $1.50 per ounce. In times of fear, investors prefer to have their gold in New York. These extreme arbitrage opportunities have short windows. Arbitrage is one of my


Read The Footnotes

70% of people don’t read beyond the headlines. I don’t know if this is true or where I saw it but it feels right. Footnote reading has got to be a rare sport. Perhaps one in a hundred do that. Some deep understanding requires footnote experience. We’re overloaded with a

Health Savings Accounts

When Simple Financial Products Win

Index investing is one of the greatest growth stories in finance. Indexing is a form of passive investing, a simple strategy–basically long-term autopilot. Why try to beat the S&P 500 when you can match it? Even Warren Buffett recommends it for others. Today, passive strategies control trillions of dollars. A


An Interview with AtlasMD

Josh Umbehr, MD is the founder of AtlasMD, Wichita-based direct primary care (DPC) clinics with over 3,000 patients, and a software business with over 500 clients and 10 years of operating history. DPC is an insurance-free monthly cash membership model for delivering unlimited primary care services. I first met Josh


Modeling The Future

In 2006 Countrywide Financial financed 20% of mortgages in the US–loan volume equal to 3.5% of GDP. Two years later, early in the financial crisis of 2008-09, Bank of America swooped in and bought them for over $4B in stock. Leading up to the deal close, they paid a few

Benefits Tools

Healthcare Data Collaboration

Times of stress and crises heighten the senses, clear travel calendars, and renew our focus. For those on the business side of healthcare working on benefits purchasing, data, or analytics, this is a great moment to collaborate, to share and seek out data sets to help your clients and business.

Industry Trends

A Tale of $2,000

Whether Einstein said it or not, compound interest is amazing: “…the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it, he who doesn’t, pays it.” Negative compounding is powerful too, and we pay it in the form of healthcare inflation. Over the last 10 years, annual healthcare inflation

Direct Primary Care

An Analysis of Direct Primary Care

Mark Twain said “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” Paying cash for primary care is not new, but it’s a model that’s resurging after decades of being


Munger on Healthcare

It’s an odd meeting, the Daily Journal Company ($DJCO) shareholders’ meeting, where global crowds come to listen to Chairman of the Board, Charlie Munger (born 1924). The event covers a few minutes of lackluster company results with a bunch of other old dudes from the board who talk candidly about


The Most Important Signal

In a sea of experiences, AI, and new solutions claiming to make us healthier, when it comes to employer-sponsored healthcare, for most employees, what matters most is the almighty dollar. The cash we pay is king. Payroll contributions. That’s the critical number. Independent of insurance structure, whose logo is on


January’s Index

A new year and a new decade call for a refresh of the monthly index of interesting stats and blurbs on healthcare and finance. Inspired by the Harper’s index. Enjoy. The estimated median % increase in earnings per share an S&P 1,000 firm by saving 10% on employee healthcare costs: