Director’s Corner | January 2022

“In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions / Which a minute will reverse.”
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,
Thomas Stearns Elliot

I cannot for the life of me remember making a New Year’s Resolution.  And I didn’t this year.

I state not that to be humble in the least.  Rather, I state it with a bit of pride. I am instinctively wary of New Year’s Resolutions and have always side-stepped them as if they were open manholes.   Even if I had made one once, perhaps owing a bit too much New Year’s “cheer,” I certainly do not remember ever keeping one.   But in this, as in most other ways, it seems I’m not particularly unique.  The highest estimate I’ve seen of people who even claim to have kept a New Year’s Resolution for more than about 48 hours is around 8%.  (I’m suspect that even that’s giving the benefit of the doubt.)  Indeed, as Elliot’s aging and disillusioned protagonist in the poem quoted above wistfully underscores, I’m guessing most resolutions last about as long as it takes to make them: a “New York minute.”

Hasty resolutions to abruptly abandon well-entrenched habits aside, the last days of the old year or the first days of the new seem an appropriate time to look back at the prior twelve months and forward to the next twelve.  This brief blog will do both.

In the spirit of looking back, we’re pleased to provide – and we’re hoping you will read – our 2021 Annual Report to Members.  If you do you will see that in 2021 we had intended to do two things in 2021:

  1. Empower our members with knowledge and quantified insights into the multi-faceted dysfunction of today’s health systems as we never have before.
  2. Create the means for changing the healthcare market – particularly through our strategy sessions and the establishment of The Colorado Purchasing Alliance.

The first of the goals I think we met and actually exceeded.  If you read our report you’ll see what we quantified in terms of prices, outcomes, value, and market trends such as consolidation.  We shared secondary research and provided some primary research – such as our “Hospital Cost Tool” that become part of the national dialogue.  On the second goal, I’m afraid to say, we fell somewhat short.

We fell short with TCPA not due to hard work or good intent.  The hard truth is that I mis-calibrated some of the dynamics; underestimated the power of the economic incentives as well as, perhaps, the desire and will to change them.   Shame on me.  But, hey…as one of our former US presidents said:  “sheer persistence is the difference between failure and success.”  And if being stubborn is a first cousin of persistence, I’m all in.

As we look forward to 2022 we intend – I am “resolved” – to build upon 2021 gains and realize our mission of “purchaser-led, market-based health reform” in 2022.   Despite not doing all we wanted to do in 2021, we did make substantial progress.  In fact, we’re stronger and more strategically positioned than we were this time last year.   We have now actually set the stage for The Colorado Purchasing Alliance not only to be up and running by this July but to provide a better value proposition than currently exists and, having recalibrated, to more significantly  alter the underlying economic dynamics that cause such dysfunction in the health market. 

This WILL be a year of gratifying and momentous work.  We hope you will join us in it.

PS:  To see our scheduled 2022 “Strategy Sessions,” click here.