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healthcare logistics

The Return of the House Call
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How long did you spend in the waiting room for your last visit to a doctor?  Until the 1950’s, house calls comprised forty-percent of all physician-patient encounters.[1] The tradition of house calls can be traced back thousands of years as evidenced by citations in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.[2] As a time honored tradition, the house call offers many benefits; however. By 1980, the concept of house calls was all but extinct with less than one percent of patient encounters occurring within the home. 

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Healing The Hospital
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“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.”  - Groucho Marx

Americans have always been fascinated by what happens in hospitals.  From Marcus Welby, MD to E.R., the inner workings of hospitals keep TV viewers enthralled.  St. Elsewhere and Grey’s Anatomy shifted the theme from saving lives at all costs to saving lives while keeping the doors open.

Historically, hospitals have had noble intentions: to save lives and maximize positive clinical outcomes.  However the fiscal reality is that hospitals have been forced to balance providing quality care while trying to maintain profitability.  Not many are successful.  In fact, 61% of US hospitals are operating unprofitably. For many hospitals operating costs continue to rise while reimbursement rates fall.

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Demographics are Destiny: How the ‘Gray Tsunami’ is Changing Healthcare
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A famous saying in both politics and business is “demographics are destiny.” Demographics provide a picture of what a society looks like today and can also be used to understand trends that change a population over time. 

 A good example of the way that demographics can change a society is in the generation born after World War II. After the declining birthrates of the 1930’s, there was a huge increase in family growth as soldiers returned home. More than 50 years ago, Business Week coined the phrase “Baby Boomers” to describe the twelfth, and largest, generation born in America of 77 million who’ve been since then called the “love generation,”  “me generation,” and as they enter retirement, “the Gray Tsunami.”

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