by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

It’s been quite some time that I’ve updated this site though not for a lack of news. Yet some 434 posts later following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the signature, and against all odds accomplishment of then President Barack Obama, I thought I’d update both subscribers and followers of the blog including a number of generous guest contributors.

Since SARS-CoV-2 entered our collective consciousness in March 2020 as a global pandemic and has reconfigured any sense of ‘normal’ , like many of you, I have been reflecting on the nature and meaning of this uniquely challenging journey.

NOTE: See ‘We’re All Carriers‘.

Today, I celebrate 71 years of existence on this ‘pale blue dot‘. Yet, it doesn’t feel like a celebratory moment. With seemingly everything upside down from ‘truthiness’ and ‘alternative facts’ driving wedges of relentless tribalism between people and moments that matter, I am revaluing where are how I spend my time.

As Nick van Terheyden MD aka Dr Nick’ once offered:

Gregg you may want to try the 5/25 approach. Where you concentrate on the 5 of the twenty five priorities on your to-do list.

As a public health graduate from the UCLA School of Public Health in the 70s (post HMO Act) and following serial up and down c-suite cycles (peppered by severe bouts of clinical depression) leading health system participation in managed care spanning, community and tertiary hospitals in the ‘non-profit’ and ‘proprietary’ sectors for nameplate health system parents and academic medical centers, I feel quite discouraged that the more things ‘change’ in healthcare delivery and finance, the more things remain the same. Or as otherwise put legacy momentum is likely to prevail as the status quo – or as our industry once characterized by Esther Dyson as a ‘calcified hairball’ – is likely to resist or assimilate all meaningful innovation (think population health or value based care).

In anticipation of the enshrinement of accountable care organizations or ‘ACOs’ in healthcare innovation lexicon for the foreseeable future, in addition to, I acquired a range of digital assets to potentially develop, co-develop, lease or sell.

So years ago, when twitter burst into the landscape of an emerging digital health economy (circa 2008/09), sitting in a Health 2.0 annual gathering and listening to the presentations two ideas came to mind as cute twitter handles that might host and gain conversational traction in health policy circles and the soon to be emerging tweetchats.

twitter ‘jail’!

They included @HealthcareBorg (a somewhat witty ‘resistance is futile’ play on the then very popular Healthcare Blog, courtesy of Matt Holt, et al). The other session generated name ID was @ReplaceMyMD (inexplicably suspended by content managers at twitter – including @ACOwatch, @DocTweets, @HospitalTweets, @TweetHealth, @PreferredPharma, @ACOalliance, @CancerCenterTV, @JustOncology, @BioMarkersToday and many others) which I thought was more than cute given the bifurcation of consumer friendly (from a retail POV, ie, app savvy and tech enabled) tools likely to flood the market to enable the essential literacy to navigate a progressively complex health policy environment that assumed the consumer with high deductible health plans would be interested in ways to shelter their out-of-pocket (cost shifting) spending from increasing co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles unfortunately enshrined in the ACA as an offset to the total cost of the Act.

Available ACO Assets Include: (anyone remember PhyCor??)



So with perhaps with more than a tinge of ‘battle fatigue’ and the increased participation of smart, motivated, and confident digital natives convinced value based healthcare is within sight, I am pivoting away from active work in this domain.

Instead I am concentrating on developing services for offering onsite pop-up studios’ to simultaneously livestream conference, exhibition, tradeshow or event specific ‘user group’ streams across most major social channels including: YouTube, FaceBook Live, LinkedIn or enterprise/organization website(s).

My 2nd pivot is to concentrate on both B2B and B2C educational messaging in the emerging medical cannabis marketplace and the closely aligned and re-invigorated research activity into the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

If you have an interest in working with any of the ACO themed domains above, please follow then ping @GreggMastersMPH via DM on twitter.

As I note on the Health Innovation Media website,

“Survival is not mandatory” W. Edwards Deming