What to look for in 2019

As we close out 2018 and begin to look ahead to 2019, we’ve decided to do something a little different next year. Of course, we will continue to cover this wacky world of ours and don’t worry Momma Kliff is not going into retirement she’ll continue to offer her unique perspective plus words of wisdom. Yet after more than 20 years covering this wacky world now more than ever it’s time to seek answers to some critical questions.

Billions is being spent here and yet with all the new drugs whiz bang way cool cloud enabled toys one startling fact remains; far too many patients are not achieving good control. Which makes one wonder is the business of diabetes interfering with the proper management of diabetes as we often state or are there external factors which no amount of money can solve. We suspect it’s a combination of the two so in 2019 we’ll examine not just the business aspects but the many external factors which prevent a greater share of patients from reaching optimal control.

Another critical question we’ll look at in 2019 is a disproportionate amount of money, time and energy spent on toys. What’s the real return on investment in terms of patient outcomes? Given that one in three children will develop diabetes is it not better to focus a great amount of time and money on education rather than toys? Non-intensively managed patients vastly out number intensively managed patients yet from a financial perspective they receive a pittance compared to intensively managed patients.

Which leads to another interesting question if we lived in a world with a level playing field would that change anything. What would happen if payors eliminated formulary and covered all drugs/devices equally? We know this isn’t going to happen in the real world, but it does offer an intriguing insight into the question of just why more patients are not achieving better control. The simple answer is this would help but taking a deeper dive it really isn’t that simple which is why we’ll take a deeper dive.

Ultimately our goal in 2019 is to make everyone THINK. To get everyone to look beyond the surface and dig deeper. Why? Well that’s simple for as Momma Kliff used to say when things aren’t working as planned, when after all the money, time and effort spent nothing much has changed the problem must lie elsewhere. It makes no sense to continue the same old same old when it clearly isn’t working. Yet it’s astonishing that’s exactly what’s happening.

You would think at some point all the stakeholders here would wake up read the memo and start doing things differently. Sadly, this is not the case even with the many newbies in diabetes, newbies who everyone thought, including us, would bring a fresh perspective and real change. However so far all were getting from the newbies is the same thing just in a different box. As Momma Kliff said you can cook spam a million different ways but it’s still spam no matter how you cook it.

Of course, we will begin our new year as we always do heading to that beautiful city by the bay for the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Not to get off topic but the current betting line is that this year’s bags will be blue, but let’s not digress. Until then, the conference begins January 7th, we hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year.