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Letter from the Editor #704: HealthCare.gov

Nov 22, 2013

There has been so much press over the failure of the ACA website that everyone wants to blame someone. You would think that a government that could fly a drone by remote control 11,000 miles away could get this correct. The continued pressure to make it work does not seem to be having much effect and many people are just getting frustrated and not even trying. This week I was doing some research on the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas and found out what the problem might be and how simple a solution could be. 

It appears that part of the issue is how programmers are vetted by the federal government and how the bidding process works. In what harkens back to the time of rotary phones the process to work for the government favors older, larger companies that often lag behind in the latest knowledge. In addition the cost for a company to become vetted is enormous for small companies or individual code writers. In fact most of the best thinkers don’t want to go through the hassle of being vetted.

This became evident last week when three 20-year-olds saw HealthCare.gov as a challenge. In a few late nights, Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser in a San Francisco office full of tech start-ups built thehealthsherpa.com, a two-week-old website that solves one of the biggest problems with the government’s site. "They got it completely backwards in terms of what people want up front," said Liang. He added: "They want prices and benefits, so that they could make the decision." I have sent over 25 people to this site, give it a try yourself and see how this could work for your patients.

Thirty grams of protein has been the magic number for breakfast for my patients for many years now and lately it appears that increasing protein has been shown to improve health. This week our lead article backs this up as higher ratios of protein in the diet appear to improve weight and reduce the risk of obesity.


From dLife.com: "The story of a war hero, the dramatic transplant that helped save his life, and what it may mean in the search for a cure. Plus, a visit to diabetes summer camp, and Jim Turner on high blood sugar hell." Sundays live online at dLifeTV.com at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Keep up on the latest dLife news at dLifeTV.com.
With a day packed full of education, motivational tools, one-on-one sessions, and workshops, the TCOYD health fair is a great way to get your patients to take better care of their health and themselves. TCOYD.com

We can make a difference!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief