The Takeaways: Week 20 of 2022


Melissa Perri (host), Product Thinking. Episode 67: Leading a Product Organization with Paul Adams (May 11, 2022)


Paul Shafer, Tradeoffs Research Corner. When a Medicaid Card Isn't Enough (May 17, 2022)

A new paper in Health Affairs by Avital Ludomirsky and colleagues looked at how well the networks of physicians supposedly participating in Medicaid reflect access to care. The researchers used claims data and provider directories from Medicaid managed care plans (the private insurers that most states contract with to run their Medicaid programs) in Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan and Tennessee from 2015 and 2017 to assess how the delivery of care to Medicaid patients was distributed among participating doctors. Their results were striking:

  • One-quarter of primary care physicians provided 86% of the care; one-quarter of specialists provided 75%.
  • One-third of both types of physicians saw fewer than 10 Medicaid patients per year, hardly contributing any “access” at all.
  • There was only one psychiatrist for every 8,834 Medicaid enrollees after excluding those seeing fewer than 10 Medicaid patients per year. This is especially concerning given that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened mental health in the U.S., particularly among children


Chandra Gnanasambandam, Martin Harrysson, Shivam Srivastava, and Vaish Srivathsan, McKinsey & Company. The product management talent dilemma (November 28, 2018)

Additionally, the leadership development model for product management—that is, the behaviors and mind-sets that product managers are expected to display at various levels—is often poorly articulated. As a result, the only way to measure product managers is on the success of their product. Product managers tell us that they believe career progression at their companies is a matter of being in the right place at the right time to become part of a hit product rather than of doing the right things.

Brett Kelman, KHN. This Rural, Red Southern County Was a Vaccine Success Story. Not Anymore. (May 19, 2022)

The rate in Meigs County was artificially inflated by a data error that distorted most of Tennessee’s county-level vaccination rates by attributing tens of thousands of doses to the wrong counties, according to a KHN review of Tennessee’s vaccination data. When the Tennessee Department of Health quietly corrected the error last month, county rates shifted overnight, and Meigs County’s rate of fully vaccinated people dropped from 65% to 43%, which is below the state average and middling in the rural South.

The data error misplaced vaccinations of Tennessee residents who live in ZIP codes that straddle more than one county and incorrectly attributed all vaccinations in those areas to whichever county contains most of the ZIP code. Meigs, with a population of 13,000, got credit for about 2,900 extra vaccinations, largely from neighboring Roane County.

Steven C. Schlozman, STAT. Opinion: Hopelessness around youth mental health is creating a ‘nihilistic contagion’ (May 20, 2022)

A child with mental health problems comes to a general hospital and the family quickly learns there are simply no — or very few — treatment options. The tools available for psychiatric care in general hospitals are extremely limited, and no beds are available for specialized psychological help. People wait days, sometimes weeks, for appropriate treatment to become available. They are too sick to go home, but are in the wrong kind of hospital for what they need most. When children and teens become stuck like this, they internalize the message that their suffering is not planned for or taken seriously. They compare this lack of action to the immediacy of treating other illnesses. When they contract strep throat, they receive quick and effective treatment. If they need surgery, they get it. But things are different for serious mental illness. Hopelessness takes hold and spreads through communities and across social media platforms.