Clayton Christensen's Ideas For Insuring the Poor

Christensen:    You know, the government now is all worried about how to afford healthcare, assuming that the cost will continue to increase as they have.  And so, how to help the uninsured and the poor afford it is a big issue there, but the big question is how do you make it affordable?  And if you make it affordable, then providing healthcare for those who are poor and uninsured becomes a much easier problem to solve.  Now, for example, a couple of our former students set up retail clinics called the MinuteClinic, beginning in Minnesota and now it’s rolling out around the country.  And in a MinuteClinic, you can go and in 15 minutes you’re in or out or it’s free.  And they treat about 18 disorders that are rules based, that is, there’s a go, no go, unambiguous diagnostic coupled with a rules based therapy.  And the MinuteClinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who can do a perfectly good job of diagnosis and treatment, and the price of the services done in a MinuteClinic are 1/3 the price of the service done in a doctor’s office, and of course the doctors just protest the establishment of these clinics, and they say for the good of the patient you need to leave it in the care of a doctor, but it’s actually for the good of the doctor that they are protesting that.  And if the government will clear the way for the creation of these disruptive business models, that’s the way you provide healthcare to the poor and the uninsured. 

Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen explores solutions for America's uninsured.

​Is science synonymous with 'truth'? Game theory says, 'not always.'

Good science is sometimes trumped by the craving for a "big splash."

Videos
  • Scientists strive to earn credit from their peers, for grants from federal agencies, and so a lot of the decisions that they make are strategic in nature. They're encouraged to publish exciting new findings that demonstrate some new phenomenon that we have never seen before.
  • This professional pressure can affect their decision-making — to get acclaim they may actually make science worse. That is, a scientist might commit fraud if he thinks he can get away with it or a scientist might rush a result out of the door even though it hasn't been completely verified in order to beat the competition.
  • On top of the acclaim of their peers, scientists — with the increasing popularity of science journalism — are starting to be rewarded for doing things that the public is interested in. The good side of this is that the research is more likely to have a public impact, rather than be esoteric. The bad side? To make a "big splash" a scientist may push a study or article that doesn't exemplify good science.

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer
popular

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less

NASA and ESA team up for historic planetary defense test

Two space agencies plan missions to deflect an asteroid.

ESA's Hera mission above asteroid 65803 Didymos. Credit: ESA/ScienceOffice.org
Surprising Science
  • NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together on missions to a binary asteroid system.
  • The DART and Hera missions will attempt to deflect and study the asteroid Didymoon.
  • A planetary defense system is important in preventing large-scale catastrophes.
Keep reading Show less