Healthcare has experienced a parade of surprising megamergers and acquisitions during the last year. At first glance, Best Buy’s August acquisition of GreatCall may be the most startling. At a deeper level, however, Best Buy’s movement into healthcare reflects a nuanced understanding of consumerism, retail market dynamics and America’s need for more connected, holistic care services.
The gap in small business lending, which the easy-money policies of the Federal Reserve were supposed to fill, are well documented. It's more difficult for small businesses to get small loans from banks, in large part because it's less profitable for banks of all sizes to make small-dollar loans.
Co wrote with Dr. Fred T. Davies and first appeared in Singularity Hub.
I returned to Europe this week to hear views from the other side of the pond, as US trade policy continues not just to pivot, but to spin. There is no doubt that a major reset of key trading relationships is now underway with implications for currencies worldwide. As the US economy seems to be outpacing growth everywhere except in China and India, will US monetary policy have unintended global spillover effects, especially for emerging markets? And more direct effects from trade policy in developed nations? European PMI figures announced today are down to 2-year lows.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury issues its FinTech report as bitcoin gains institutional momentum.
Given all the attention to cryptoasset trading over the past two weeks, it's a bit strange that the U.S. Department of the Treasury makes no mention of it in its long-awaited FinTech report (PDF).
Over the past month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several pro-market policies that will enhance pricing transparency, stimulate competition (and fair prices) for routine procedures and eliminate burdensome reporting requirements.
Hospitals welcome the regulatory relief but generally oppose measures that improve pricing parity and transparency. They are on the wrong side of history.
During President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to China, the press asked China’s premier Zhou Enlai to comment on the French Revolution’s impact on world affairs. Zhou famously replied, “Too early to say.”
For British novelist Charles Dickens, the French Revolution was a period of change and turmoil filled with plenty of evidence for hope and ample cause for despair. As he wrote eloquently in A Tale of Two Cities:
The relationship between FinTech firms and incumbent financial institutions appears to be entering the next phase of their evolution. The first two items in this week's newsletter explore how FinTech has transformed finance and provide a context for strategic partnerships that can produce results.
In well-functioning healthcare markets, governmental regulatory policies ensure access, safety, quality and privacy. The government’s most important role is creating level-field competition through balanced regulation, targeted enforcement actions and price/outcomes transparency. Unfortunately, many healthcare markets do not function efficiently.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is not uniformly supporting pro-market reforms. Two recent CMS decisions diminish competitiveness and hurt consumers in key healthcare market segments.