Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, August 14, 2011

From George Will (minorily paraphrased) ...

"From Greece to California, with manifestations in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Illinois and elsewhere, we have a demonstration of where a "dependency agenda" will take us ... more and more people depending on government largesse, supported by an increasingly smaller tax base. It also is imposing huge costs on voiceless future generations."
This isn't meant to say that we don't need government support for those who can't take care of themselves; it does mean that there are limits ... and it is evident that 23%-25% of GDP is past the limit. There is much support that it has to be in the 19%-21% range. We need to get back to that.

State Cost and Quality Reports by Provider

While Co-op members have access to Humana claims information, that isn't the only cost reporting source available to us ... though it's probably the best.
The Wisconsin Collaborative for Health Care Quality has great information, too at
It confirms again that Green Bay is a higher cost area than are other areas of the state, heading south.
For instance, looking at knee replacements, I can learn the following ... altho the data isn't that recent (2009):
Prevea/St. Mary's and Prevea/St. Vincent's are about $39,000, but Bellin was at $31,000.
But going elsewhere, here's what I would pay:
In Appleton, both Theda Clark and Appleton Medical Center would charge about $24,000.
University of Wisconsin Hospital, Madison, is $29,600.
Milwaukee is equal or higher than Green Bay, but Racine isn't: Wheaton Franciscan is at $27,000.

How about baby deliveries (normal vaginal deliveries):
Bellin is $4200, Prevea/St. Mary's $4600 and Prevea/St. Vincent's $5100.
But in Appleton, both Theda Clark and Appleton Medical Center are about $3500.
Milwaukee and Madison are equal to Green Bay or much higher.

Bellin is $13,000, Prevea/St. Mary's $14,000 and Prevea/St. Vincent's $17,000.
In Appleton, Appleton Medical Center is $10,000 and Theda Clark is $12,000.
The rest of the state is higher.

There are about 50 other QUALITY measures as well.

There's an important reason to ask for public disclosure of these Quality and Cost performances: Studies show that when public disclosure occurs, provider systems are much more aggressive in instituting systems that will improve quality and lower cost. Seems intuitive ... but without public disclosure, it doesn't happen!

Is public disclosure new to health provider systems? Hardly. For great examples, go to Norton Healthcare, Kentucky's largest health system (, and Integris Health, Okahoma's largest (

More on Immigration

A survey of the student finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search of high schoolers found that 70% were the children of immigrants. Remarkably, some 60% of the parents had entered the U.S. on H-1B visas, the ones for highly skilled workers brought in by companies. The annual allotment of H-1Bs is a mere 65,000 annually, well down from the 120,000+ authorized before 9/11.
Another survey showed that many U.S.-educated foreigners are returning home to found businesses; they find the atmosphere and potential greater back home, they say.
Unfortunately, the widespread publicity regarding "closing the borders" yields a backlash against other immigration opportunities as well. These well-educated don't feel very welcome, either. This is not a growth policy.

On China's Economic Development Planning: The U.S. is doing its part ...

"Over the last 10 years,the Institute of Biophysics, an arm of the Chinese Academy of Science, has received very significant investment by the Chinese government. Today it consists of more than 3,000 talented scientists focused on doing world-class research in areas such as protein science, and brain and cognitive sciences.
"We also visited the new Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, another arm of the Chinese Academy of Science. This gigantic science and technology park is under construction and today consists of four buildings, but it will grow to over 60 buildings on a large piece of land equivalent to about a third of a square mile. It is being staffed by Ph.D.-caliber researchers. Their goal statement is fairly straightforward: 'To be a pioneer in the development of new technologies relevant to business.'
All of the various institutes being run by the Chinese Academy of Science are going to be significantly increased in size, and staffing will be aided by a new recruiting program called 'Ten Thousand Talents.' This is an effort by the Chinese government to reach out to Chinese individuals who have been trained and currently reside outside China. They are focusing on those who are world class in their technical abilities, primarily at the Ph.D. level, at work in various universities and science institutes abroad. In each year of this new five-year plan, the goal is to recruit 2,000 of these individuals to return to China ..."
-- By Robert Herbold, former COO of Microsoft, in The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/11.

On Oil Vs. CREDIBLE Alternatives ...

"The 12 members of OPEC control roughly 78% of the world's oil reserves yet account for just a third of daily global production. Still, controlling that amount of production enables them to set the global price. How? If nonmembers produce more, OPEC simply produces less. And when governments introduce policies like higher CAFE standards designed to decrease consumption, OPEC members again scale back production to maintain the price of their choice. In short, we can't conserve our way out of this dilemma.
"The only lasting way to overcome a monopoly -- such as oil enjoys in the global transportation sector -- is to introduce competition. Fortunately, there is good news on that front. Over the past two decades, a variety of alternative fuels have become economically viable without subsidies. These include methanol made from natural gas, coal, or biomass; sugarcane ethanol; biodiesel and electricity to drive plug-in hybrid or electric cars. These technologies are proven and scalable, and the liquid fuels operate smoothly in conventional vehicles after about $100 per car modification on the assembly line. What is needed is to ramp up their production so that they are available when you go to the pump.
"Thirty years ago, the government of Brazil decided that it didn't want its people held hostage to OPEC, and it embarked on a program to develop sugar-ethanol as an alternative fuel. Today, 90% of new cars produced in Brazil are flex-fuel --- able to burn gasoline or alcohol or any combination of the two. Most of the flex-fuel cars sold there are produced by Ford, Chrysler and GM. And today, Brazil is self-sufficient with a choice of fuels. Indeed, Brazil exports both oil and ethanol."
-- By Robert McFarlane, former US national security advisor, in The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/11.

Start With Why!!

I commend to you a great 18.5 minute YouTube video by Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why (go to YouTube and search for those words), which has impacted my thinking ... and my work with my TEC and Senior Marketers Group members ... greatly!
So, as someone asked, "Why 'Why'?" Because 'Why' is emotional, and emotion drives behavior. If we can express what we do FOR our target customer or employee in emotional/'Why' terms, then it's much, much easier for those words/feelings to initiate behavior ... doing business with us or wanting to work for us!
USUALLY, we answer 'Why' in terms of 'How' and 'What' ... neither of which is emotional, but is much easier to describe. The 'How' is the things we do that bring value, and the 'What' is the value that the recipient (customer or employee) receives from the 'doing.' That's how we usually respond to questions about 'What are you all about?' We explain in non-emotional terms of what we do and what the result can be.
INSTEAD: Think through the feeling/emotion that makes the recipient truly "feel good/relieved/happy" as a result of your 'Hows' and 'Whats." It's NOT EASY!
But if you can get close to it, and be able to articulate it in words ... then you're closer to a much more impactful Mantra that more quickly gets your target prospects to use you!
Example: Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft is about "great products that make work easy." Apple is about "connecting you with ideas and people around the globe." Which is more powerful, more emotional, more uplifting? See?
If you like the YouTube video, you can buy the book.

Alert: August 20 is Lemonade Freedom Day!

Even kids' Lemonade stands have felt the impact of restrictive regulations. As a general rebellion against non-sensical over-regulation, a group of people have declared Saturday, August 20, to be Lemonade Freedom Day ... and are urging kids all over the U.S. to sell lemonade that day.
If you go to the website (, you will see a map with pins in it denoting locations that have regulations that control lemonade stands ... typically vendor permits or health inspections. (One of them is Appleton.) It also includes guidance for you to follow if someone tries to shut down your lemonade stand.
On August 20th, pledge to buy a lemonade from every kid with a stand that you see!!
PS: Appleton's event, according to the website: Appleton hosts an Old Car Show every year near Lydia Coenen's house. The nine-year-old and her friend have been selling lemonade and cookies to passersby for the last several years. This year, they were shut down by police. Vendors inside the car show didn’t appreciate the competition, so they convinced the city council to ban concession sales within a certain radius of the Old Car Show, putting young Lydia and her friend out of business.

Some more data:
• The cost of FEDERAL REGULATIONS is estimated at $1.8 trillion.
• The FEDERAL spending budget for the year ending in September will be $3.8 trillion, of which $1.5 trillion will be deficit.
• STATE/LOCAL government spending will total $1.6 trillion.
• The U.S. GDP will be about $15 trillion.
So ...
• The deficit will be increased by $1.5 trillion, making total U.S. debt about $15 trillion, equal to the GDP.
• Federal spending will be just over 25% of GDP ... the tipping point for countries that aren't resilient to economic shocks.
• Total government spending (federal/state/local) will be $5.4 trillion, or 36% of GDP. Regulations add 12% more.