An Anniversary

Brian Klepper

Last December 1, when I launched Care & Cost, the goal was to develop and maintain a quality daily health care magazine for professionals that would reflect the vastness of health care’s reach and complexity, but that also would adhere to standards for comment, discourse and professional behavior. I saw it as a place to post my own writing, but also to aggregate the many terrific and authoritative health care writers I’ve come to know around the US. I somehow never imagined that it would last a year.

Over time, I’ve come to regularly re-post the columns of about 20 writers, and I occasionally post the work of many more. Each contributor offers a unique perspective, and as a group they all strive to bring fresh insight or clarity to complicated topics. Regular readers have come to expect provocative but clear analyses from Bob Laszewski, Pat Salber, Dov Michaeli, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Paul Levy, Kenny Lin, Brad Flansbaum, Wendy Lynch, Merrill Goozner, David Harlow, Jaan Sidorov, Vince Kuraitis, Michael Millenson and many others. I am deeply indebted to these individuals for allowing me to share their consistently superb work with a growing audience of colleagues.

It’s worth noting, as an aside, that most write quite independently of their day jobs. They write for pleasure and out of passion, as though their ruminations on daily events are percolating, and waiting to spill out into reasoned narrative. It is difficult work to consistently produce informed, clear arguments, and they all make it look easy.

I’ve settled into a format that favors three columns a day. When the stars align and a particular topic is in the fore, they may all have different perspectives on the same issue. Other times I’ll try to mix it up. And on weekends, I’ll generally try to offer something lighter or different: maybe a YouTube video on health care or a book review.

Looking back as well as forward, I’ve been surprised but encouraged by the volume, diversity and quality of content that has become available here. In the past year, nearly 800 different posts have appeared on C&C: updates and interpretations about the health care law, discussions about clinical practice, and approaches that employers can use to drive down cost while improving population health status. There’s been the evolving drama of the lawsuit against CMS over its relationship with the AMA RUC brought by 6 brave Augusta, GA primary care doctors. And the evidence-based vascular clinical protocols developed by Bill Bestermann and David Carmouche, and the work of the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control.

I’ve been gratified along the way by the openly collaborative nature of other bloggers. I owe a great debt to my good friend Matthew Holt, whose much more widely read The Health Care Blog remains the content super-site for health care professionals. I was the first regular writer other than Matthew on that blog, and often post there still when I want to be sure to quickly reach the widest possible readership.

The same holds true for the Doctor Weighs In and Health Policy and Marketplace Review. There’s been ongoing support from my close friend and writing partner David Kibbe, and from my wonderful wife and best friend Elaine, who puts up with all these distractions.

There’s no question that we’re all fellow travelers who write and post and read each other’s thoughts because we believe in the positive power of open discourse beyond the mainstream media.

Finally, I’m most appreciative to you, the reader who checks in to see what’s here and maybe comment. Your time is precious and I do my best to ensure that each read has some kernel of truth or substance or delight. To the degree that that’s here more often than not, then I’m succeeding.

Thanks again for stopping by.

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