Google Voice, Mail Order, Depression, & Linguistic Profiling

I have a whole pile of articles that I’ve meant to blog about. I’m going to try to clear out some of these with a bunch of quick mentions here.

USA Today Gallup Poll (7/14/09)

  • Majority say controlling costs should be legislation’s top goal regarding healthcare, but more than 9 in 10 oppose limits on getting whatever tests or treatments they and their doctors think are necessary.
  • 26% of those polled say that Congress passing a major health care reform bill this year is extremely important – 24% say it’s very important; 22% somewhat important; and 25% say not important.

Google Rolls Out Google Voice

  • You can use one new phone number to tie together your various numbers – cell phone, home phone, and business line.
  • People call one number which rings all the numbers. You can switch back and forth between lines. Voicemail flows to all of the phones and you get free transcription.

Linguistic Profiling (Washington University alumni magazine, Summer 2009)

  • Interesting article on the work by John Baugh, professor of psychology, linguistics, English, education, and anthropology.
  • He first documented the “discrimination based on the sound of someone’s voice”.

Article “A Battle Over Mail Order Drugs” (Boston Globe, 2/2/09)

  • Owners of mail-service pharmacies (i.e., PBMs) say Medicare could save billions if more people used mail. Right now it’s only 10% of all Medicare recipients who use mail according to the PCMA.
    • The PBMs estimate that the savings is $1B over 10 years for every 1% of patients that move to mail…or $40B over the next decade.
  • Community pharmacists see mail orders as “shady operations”.
  • David Snow, CEO of Medco, says about PBMs – “The real truth is, we’re an intensive clinical company with thousands of pharmacists who take care of patients each and every day in a very advanced way.”


Good article “The Importance Of Deciphering Your Insurance” (WSJ, 6/4/09)

  • The most surprising statement in the article – “researchers at Georgetown University found that several health plans required consumers to inform the insurers when they reached their out-of-pocket totals.” Is that really possible??


Article “Depression, Anxiety Pass From Parents To Kids” (USA Today, 6/3/09)

  • Group therapy was able to break the cycle.
  • Depressed children are more likely to have trouble in school and are at increased risk for suicide or substance abuse.


Article “Conflicts Of Interest Bedevil Drug Research” (USA Today, 6/3/09)

  • Good discussion with some specific examples about the people who evaluate criteria for when drugs should be used and their ties with the companies that manufacture the drugs.


Article “Layoffs Cost More Than You Think” (Fortune, 3/30/09)

  • Good reminder of some of the additional costs of laying people off.
    • Brand equity costs
    • Leadership costs
    • Morale costs
    • Wall street costs
    • Rehiring costs
  • One of my early consulting projects looked at this years ago and it was amazing how much it cost also looking at lost productivity as you ramped up a new hire.


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