Welcome to the latest edition of Cast & Hue's Five on Friday newsletter. Each Friday, we deliver a quick summary of five items of note associated with the evolving healthcare consumer, strategy and marketing. We hope you find it interesting and useful!


Health Care's Price Conundrum

The New Yorker Conventional wisdom will tell you that if there is just one grocery store that serves a large population, they will likely have higher than average prices for their groceries. Is that the same for hospitals and health systems? According to a recent study, the answer is yes. According to a recent study, hospital prices in monopoly markets are fifteen percent higher than in those with four or more hospitals. As more and more attention will be focused on price transparency, expect this to be a talked-about issue in 2016 and beyond.




Predicting 2016 Part 1: The Most Important Trends in Healthcare

Sitewire Health In the first part of our two-part 2016 healthcare preview, we hear from six healthcare leaders about what they believe will shape healthcare in 2016. With insights ranging from thoughts on all of the mergers in healthcare, to prescription drug prices to price transparency on hospital web sites, we cover a lot of bases in this episode. Andy Gradel of Main Line Health, Bill Bodnar of The Leader’s Board, Paul Szablowski of Texas Health Resources, Erinne Dyer of Envera Health, Nick Adkins of ReelDX and author and Forbes Columnist Dan Munro join Steve and Russ to look forward to 2016. This episode is definitely packed full of insights – click here to download and listen.



Consolidation Without Integration Won't Align Incentives to Improve Quality of Care

Modern Healthcare Consolidation is seen across the healthcare landscape. Whether its Humana and Aetna, Walgreens and Rite Aid or any number of hospital mergers, healthcare organizations are merging together at a pace we haven’t seen in a long time. And while this consolidation has the potential to increase efficiencies and purchasing power, they won’t necessarily bring value to patients. In this commentary, Joe Mott, Intermountain Healthcare’s Vice President of Population Health, discusses what he believes needs to be done in order to provide our communities the care they need with improved quality at a decreased cost. As a side note, Bill Bodnar discusses this subject as well in our most recent podcast episode that predicts 2016 health trends (see above.)


Drug Pricing Will Continue to Loom Large for Pharma in 2016

Stat News Drug pricing has been front and center in healthcare news over the last few months with stories such as Martin Shkreli’s 5000% price increase of the AIDS medication daraprim included in the headlines of many health news sources. This article by Ed Silverman for Stat News shares what we should expect for big pharma in 2016. From the upcoming election, to changes within the FDA, big pharma is in for some changes in 2016 and here is what the healthcare marketer needs to know.

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Fitbit Shares Jump on First Sign of Holiday Sales

The Los Angeles Times Over the last year, we’ve seen many players enter the wearables marketplace, from the Jawbone to the Apple watch, but one brand seems to have come out ahead in the post holiday season. Fitbit has seen a jump in growth over the past few months and now controls the majority market share. This article by Samantha Masunaga shares more details about the Fitbit’s rise to the top. That is it for this week. We hope you find value in this newsletter and invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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