The Health Business Blog -- A Businesslike Account of the Healthcare Industry

Nicholas Genes, MD, PhD

Disclosures

April 19, 2006

David E. Williams knows about the business of health. He writes about it every day in his Web-log, called Health Business Blog. There are few colors on his blog and hardly any pictures. In his writing, he doesn't tell many stories or jokes. But his posts are frequently topical, well supported with data and links, and always informative. You might say it's very... businesslike.

Williams' expertise comes from his years as a consultant, first with the Boston Consulting Group and now with his own company, MedPharma Partners. "We work exclusively with healthcare organizations -- focusing on business strategy and on helping emerging companies work effectively with large companies," Williams explains. "We're a boutique, high-end firm."

Some therefore might see his blog as window-dressing for his boutique company. Williams disagrees: "I've always been a writer; back in college I was editor in chief of the newspaper and a stringer for the New York Times. I decided to start the blog because I noticed so many healthcare articles in the general press and found I had something to say about a lot of them."

He elaborates on the blog's effect on his business: "The marketing impact of the Health Business Blog for MedPharma Partners is indirect," he says, but agrees that "it does help to be able to refer to something I've written when a prospective client asks whether I know about a particular topic."

Health Business Blog hosts Grand Rounds
April 25, 2006

Williams' range of interests is extensive but, perhaps because of his business experience, the stories that he likes best involve tricks that healthcare giants use to maximize profit and influence -- such as a post about how the insurance industry is employing scary videos to discourage patients from opting for expensive surgeries, or how pharmaceutical companies only seem to publish data that benefit their products.

He's even caught on to how health plan cost-cutting measures can manipulate doctors. But physicians aren't immune from his piercing gaze, either.

If there's a common theme, Health Business Blog covers greed that's brazen enough to cross a boundary but clever enough to require some illumination. He can even sniff out the self-interest behind something as wholesome and benevolent as medical blogging -- at least when a hospital sponsors patient blogs.

David Williams will take a central role in the medical blogging community this week, as Health Business Blog hosts Grand Rounds -- the weekly collection of the best in online medical writing. The links to other blogger's sites, featured on Grand Rounds, draw thousands of readers from all over the world. Follow the link to Grand Rounds (the link will go "live" on April 25) to find out more.

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