President’s Blog: The View from Here

  • “We feel pretty lucky.”

    Oct 3, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    In his latest “View from Here” blog post, Milbank Memorial Fund President Christopher Koller describes a recent evening spent at a music- and conversation-rich local fundraiser organized to cover the medical expenses of a community member. Read more

  • Sustaining Families Affected by Addiction: “Eventually We Arrive at Inequity”

    Sep 4, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    Any effort to treat opioid or other substance use disorders must consider the impact on the families of people with these addictions, says Milbank Memorial Fund President Christopher Koller in his latest “View From Here” blog post. Read more

  • Primary Care, Not Palaces

    Jul 31, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    Cruise down the East River in Manhattan and you may notice that the newest, largest, and most expensive high rises along the water belong to the medical-industrial complex, says Christopher F. Koller in his latest “View from Here” blog post. All over the US, in fact, many hospital administrators have become real estate moguls. Read more

  • My, How You Are Aging!

    Jul 1, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    “My, how you are aging! So what are your plans for the future?” This is hardly considered an appropriate way to start a conversation with somebody. We have been conditioned to resist and even take offense at references to our aging, associating it with diminishment, frailty, and dependence. It is far better, in this line of thinking, not to encourage reflection and planning but to opt for … Read more

  • Putting Primary Care First?

    May 31, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    With the release of its new primary care payment models last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) continues to act on the abundant evidence showing that a strong health care delivery system must be built on high-performing primary care. Whether these models will prove successful will depend in part on how much assistance primary care physicians need in efforts to … Read more

  • SIMulating Lessons in Aligning Health Care Payers

    Apr 18, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was Christmas for health policy engineers—especially at the state level. With the stroke of the pen (and some divisive procedural maneuvering by Democrats), supporters of a strong state government role in health policy were handed a gift box of new tools—an individual mandate, an employer mandate for larger businesses, Medicaid coverage expansions, individual … Read more

  • “Deep and Abiding Relationships” – Rob Restuccia’s Legacy

    Mar 21, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    Advocates for change are not usually considered organization types. They staff the barriers, not the boardrooms, are seen as more comfortable with manifestos than meeting minutes, and often opt for confrontation instead of collaboration. Rob Restuccia was different, and that is only part of what made his passing on March 3, 2019, difficult for the many who respected and loved him. An advocate … Read more

  • Health Care Costs—Mapping the Forest and Finding a Path

    Feb 21, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    Health care costs comprise an expansive and poorly mapped forest. There are plenty of fearful features to the wilderness, including rising pharmaceutical costs, consolidating providers, multiplying administrators, aging populations, chronic diseases, and poor health behaviors. Different regions—Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance—evoke different and conflicting concerns and … Read more

  • “Deaths of Despair” – Prevention for a Growing Crisis

    Jan 28, 2019 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    I teach a public health course on the US health system. As the grizzled realist in the room, I remind my bright-eyed “public healthers” that being right is not the same as being effective. That while an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, it is not enough to hector the rest of us constantly. And that to make prevention efforts work, they have to understand where all the money … Read more

  • To Work and To Love—Health in Theory and Practice

    Dec 17, 2018 | Christopher F. Koller, President

    Sigmund Freud said, “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” That insight—that productive labor and positive human relationships improve one’s physical and mental health—is part of the increased interest in health care’s role in addressing the social determinants of health. The absence of these factors—such as economic stability, safe neighborhoods, access to education … Read more