The Redox Podcast: Episode 21 – The Economics of a Healthcare Recovery with Berkeley’s James Robinson

Posted June 12, 2020
By Niko Skievaski

Professor James Robinson is a highly-regarded expert on healthcare economics and policy. He is currently a Professor of Health Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Berkeley Center for Health Technology. Dr. Robinson is also on the board of the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) and the National Institute for Healthcare Management (NIHCM). He has published three books and over 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. He is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs. Dr. Robinson’s book, “Purchasing Medical Innovation: The Right Technology for the Right Patient at the Right Price,” examined the roles of the FDA, health insurers, hospitals, and consumers in the assessment, purchasing, and use of high-cost implantable devices.

In this spirited conversation with Niko Skievaski, Dr. Robinson offers his insights into the current economic outlook for providers, hospitals, payers and patients – as well as a peek at what the post COVID-19 world might look like.

Key Moments

03:43 – “Anybody that talks about a V-shaped recovery is completely out of their mind.”
06:37 – The number of people with employee-based insurance is going to continue to drop.
11:12 – The impact of the pandemic on the business of healthcare.
13:59 – Lessons from the pandemic: Excess capacity and duplication are IN! Lean and global supply chains are OUT!
16:42 – “Most of what goes under the name of value-based care is just marketing!”
22:34 – The enormous impact of social determinants on health care.
29:30 – Looking at some of the positives ahead.

Dr. Robinson is not shy about sharing his opinions, as well as his prescriptions for an improved economic outlook for the U.S. healthcare system. Our thanks to James Robinson for a thought-provoking edition of the Redox Podcast!