Intelligence Briefs

An eclectic collection of discoveries:

Prediction: Someday loyalty rewards programs (analagous to frequent-flier miles, etc.) will come to the health care industry. But the industry will have to figure out who pays for it, and how to avoid creating incentives to overuse or abuse the health care system. George Van Antwerp, “The Patient Advocate”

Most Americans (57%) say that restaurants serve portions that are too large. The percentage is even higher among women, highly educated people and people who try to make “healthy choices” when eating out. Decision Analyst Inc.

U.S. legislators are worried about a TV “train wreck” : On Feb. 18, 2009, tens of millions of televisions that aren’t equipped to receive digital signals will become useless pieces of furniture. Members of Congress fear that consumers who don’t get the message will swamp them with angry calls. Associated Press 

ExecRelate is a new online subscription service that provides intelligence on directors, executives and their relationships. The service displays linkages and commonalities such as board memberships, job history, educational background and association memberships. LexisNexis

The “top road travelers” — defined as the 20% of U.S. adults who traveled the most miles in a vehicle in the past 7 days — also tend to be the heaviest users of home and personal technologies (e.g., PDAs, MP3 players, DVD players, HDTV, video games, Internet usage). Scarborough Research

In the future, employees will be fined for unhealthy habits

This may be the wave of the future for corporate wellness programs, according to Workforce Management (23 July 2007). Clarian Health (a hospital network) will “assess $5 per-paycheck fees on employees who don’t meet minimum standards for body mass index, cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure and nonuse of tobacco.” The goal is to encourage healthier behaviors and curb the organization’s rising health-care insurance costs. The article says:

While Clarian Health’s punitive approach may be an anomaly now, benefit experts predict it is the way wellness programs are headed.

Although it won’t be fully implemented until 2009, the effort was announced this year to give employees plenty of warning, says Steven Wantz, senior vice president for administration and human resources at Clarian, which has 13,000 employees working at five hospitals in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

Wantz says the employer has an extensive wellness program including “health risk appraisals, health coaching and other resources to help people reduce their risk factors.”


Beginning in 2009, Indianapolis-based Clarian Health will charge employees a $5 per pay period fee for each of the following conditions or behaviors:

  • Tobacco use
  • Body mass index over 29.9
  • Blood pressure over 140/90
  • Blood glucose over 120
  • LDL cholesterol over 130

Intelligence Briefs

An eclectic collection of discoveries:

China’s smoggy capital city of Beijing adds 1,000 vehicles to its roads each dayThe Wall Street Journal (5 July 2007)

A competitive intelligence professional says he loves PowerPoint — “mainly due to the misuse of it.” He continues: “When presentations are made available on competitors’ Web sites after a financial call or large event, you can always find plenty of gems within the dense slides.” Dan McHugh

Office rents are skyrocketing across the U.S. and driving up business costs, because of a dearth of space in some major markets and deep-pocketed landlords who can afford to hold out for premium tenants. The Wall Street Journal (5 July 2007)

Here’s a collection of 250-plus online resources for competitive intelligence about the pharmaceutical and health care industries. Fuld & Co. (registration required)

Pharmacist group plots strategies for dealing with future workforce challenges

Here’s an association — the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists — that’s making a serious effort to take a long-term view of challenges its profession faces in the future. Bravo! The association has come up with a long-range “vision” document covering the following critical issues:

  • Credentialing
  • Residency training
  • Teamwork within the pharmacy function and the entire patient care process
  • Role and credentials of pharmacy technicians
  • Experiential learning requirements
  • Expanded and specialized areas of pharmacy practice
  • Role of automation and technology

And a second task force, on “pharmacy’s changing demographics,” made long-term recommendations for coping with workforce trends such as a shortage of pharmacists and demands for better work-life balance, as well as “generational differences, a changing gender mix, and ethnic and racial diversity.” (Notably, “the task force was composed of a diverse group that included health-system pharmacists, a nurse, a physician as well as a futurist and a sociologist.”)