Domestic Health

  • Health security is national security (The Dallas Morning News)

    by Bill Frist

    The global coronavirus pandemic compels us to rethink how we approach development assistance, cooperation, innovation and international organizations. The Dallas Morning News is publishing a multi-part series on important issues for voters to consider as they decide who to vote for president this year. This is the second installment of our What’s at Stake series,…

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  • The US food system is killing Americans (CNN)

    by Bill Frist

    Opinion by Akash Goel, Michel Nischan, Bill Frist and Tom Colicchio CNN | This global pandemic has given a new meaning to the idea of American exceptionalism. The United States is faring far worse than other countries and shoulders a disproportionate share of global disease burden — with 4% of the global population, yet, at…

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  • COVID-19 has left millions of Americans without enough food. Here’s how Senate can help. (USA Today)

    by Bill Frist

    Today’s environment is unlike anything our nation has ever experienced. We are on the brink of an economic and food security disaster. Bill Frist and Mark K. Shriver USA Today | As a nation, we have a moral and economic obligation to address child hunger, food insecurity and avoid economic collapse in the wake of…

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  • Discrimination and Disparities in Health: Examination of racial inequality in Nashville (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    Bill Frist, M.D. and Andre L. Churchwell, M.D. The Tennessean | As city and community leaders across the country wrestle with their own roles and responsibilities in addressing racial inequality, we believe specific attention to health equity and health disparities will lead to dismantling structural racism and a roadmap for a healthier future for all….

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  • Virtual Care Advances Are The Silver Lining Of COVID-19. Here’s How We Make Them Permanent (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    Forbes | It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and the explosion of telehealth and virtual care has been one of the most constructive advances to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. The gains for the patient include convenience, affordability, and rapid access to quality care while eliminating the risk of viral spread….

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  • Science alone cannot beat the pandemic. We also need outreach about a Covid-19 vaccine (STAT)

    by Bill Frist

    By BILL FRIST, RICHARD PAN, and MAX G. BRONSTEIN STAT | Americans anxiously await two key benefits that a Covid-19 vaccine will deliver: freedom from fear and a return to normal. No single vaccine is likely to offer a panacea for this pandemic. And even if it did, it might not accomplish its job if we don’t deal with…

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  • Tennessee’s COVID-19 Update – A Weekly Analysis (Week of July 5 – 11, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  As our state begins to reopen businesses, restaurants, and lift restrictions on stay at home orders, the statistics for infection rates are vitally important. NashvilleHealth is sharing weekly tracking updates and insights based on…

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  • Tennessee’s COVID-19 Update – A Weekly Analysis (Week of June 28 – July 4, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  As our state begins to reopen businesses, restaurants, and lift restrictions on stay at home orders, the statistics for infection rates are vitally important. NashvilleHealth is sharing weekly tracking updates and insights based on…

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  • Seniors are becoming COVID-19 collateral damage. They’re dying because of it, not of it. (USA Today)

    by Bill Frist

    Dr. Martha K. Presley and Dr. Bill Frist – Opinion contributors USAToday.com | Coronavirus has led to social isolation and lack of caregiver support. That can be fatal for fragile elderly people who don’t have the virus. Coronavirus has changed the way we see life and health care. The immediate focus has been on infected patients….

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  • The Value of Home Health Care (Morning Consult)

    by Bill Frist

    BY TOM DASCHLE & BILL FRIST Morning Consult | For the first time in our modern history, staying at home has become a “new” normal. And with more than 1.5 million Americans now infected with COVID-19, never before in our lifetime has accessing care in a person’s home been so important. Smartly, our federal and state policymakers quickly…

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  • Health leaders: We stuck together to #StayHome, now we can start together to #OpenSafely (USA Today)

    by Bill Frist

    We don’t believe we need to wait until there is zero risk. Many states are already beginning to reopen and this must happen in the safest way possible. USA Today | Americans want our country to open up safely. We have been at this for a number of difficult weeks since the global coronavirus pandemic…

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  • To Prioritize Both Student Learning and Student Health, Schools Must Work Differently This Fall | Opinion (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    BY FORMER SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TENN.) AND DAVID MANSOURI, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS The Hill | As states and communities across the nation address the significant public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and begin the intentional reopening of our communities, it is important to also look ahead to an important benchmark: the return to…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases – A Weekly Analysis (Week of May 10th, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  As our state begins to reopen businesses, restaurants, and lift restrictions on stay at home orders, the statistics for infection rates are vitally important. NashvilleHealth is sharing weekly tracking updates and insights based on…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases – A Weekly Analysis (Week of May 3rd, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  As our state begins to reopen businesses, restaurants, and lift restrictions on stay at home orders, the statistics for infection rates are vitally important. NashvilleHealth is sharing weekly tracking updates and insights based on…

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  • The US should be a leader in the global fight against Covid-19 | Opinion (CNN)

    by Bill Frist

    CNN | Americans are staring down an unprecedented crisis. We’ve already lost more than 71,000 of our fellow citizens. Millions of families live in fear and uncertainty every second. And large swaths of our workforce are losing their jobs each week. Together, we face a common, invisible enemy: the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. As two former US Senate majority leaders, we…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID Cases – A Daily Analysis (April 29, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates,…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID Cases – A Daily Analysis (April 25, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates,…

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  • Privatized contact tracing will help America safely reopen amid coronavirus pandemic | Opinion (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | South Korea proved it could contain COVID-19 without a lockdown through aggressive contact tracing. That is what the U.S. must do to be successful too. After implementing social distancing through a lockdown, but before deploying a vaccine, the single best tool we have to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is contact tracing.  Countries…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID Cases – A Daily Analysis (April 22, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates,…

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  • What We Have Lost In Social Connections, We Can Gain In Nature (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | What We Have Lost In Social Connections, We Can Gain In Nature The coronavirus pandemic has stolen much from us: the company of our friends, the variety of our daily activity, the color of our social occasions, and—for too many—the stability of our livelihoods. It thrusts us into physical distancing, imposed isolation, and loneliness….

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  • 3 Ways Policymakers Could Help Our Nation’s Doctors And Nurses (TIME)

    by Bill Frist

    TIME | As a former heart-transplant surgeon and former U.S. Senator, I understand the frustrations many on the front lines of this pandemic are experiencing. Here are three things those doctors and nurses—dedicated but tired, anxious and feeling betrayed by government—wish policymakers would do: First, strengthen supply chains of personal protective equipment (PPE) and diagnostic tests. We are in…

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  • A Storm for Which We Were Unprepared (Claremont Institute’s The American Mind)

    by Bill Frist

    Claremont Institute’s The American Mind | Senator Bill Frist saw it coming years ago. Senator William Frist, M.D. is a nationally acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon and the former Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate. In 2005, during his tenure in Congress, he delivered the Marshall J. Seidman Lecture for the Department of Health Care Policy…

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  • We Failed to Act on Pandemic Preparedness Before. Let’s not Make that Mistake Again. (LinkedIn)

    by Bill Frist

    LinkedIn | As the COVID-19 pandemic surge peaks and we begin to think about reopening our economy, our policy makers should immediately address how to prepare for the next one, for it is inevitable that a next one will occur. I share with you my exact words from an address I gave at the National…

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  • Could Congress Vote by Zoom? (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | The COVID-19 pandemic has rocketed the American workforce into the virtual space. Nearly any worker who can is working from home. Company boards are holding meetings and voting virtually. Physicians are seeing patients through telehealth. What hasn’t changed? The United States Congress. Members must still travel to the floor of their Chamber to cast their vote in person,…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID Cases – A Daily Analysis (April 1, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates,…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID Cases – A Daily Analysis (March 31, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates, NashvilleHealth is sharing daily tracking updates and insights based on Department of Health data. We are also incorporating the latest daily figures for Davidson County from Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office.

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID Cases – A Daily Analysis (March 27, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates,…

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  • Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases – A Daily Analysis (March 25, 2020)

    by Bill Frist

    Every day, the Tennessee Department of Health releases figures tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in each county and statewide.  In an effort to raise awareness about these figures and understand how our changes in behavior – including business closures, school closures, and sheltering in place for non-essential workers – are impacting infection rates,…

    Read More
  • What We Can Learn from Tennessee’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases – A Daily Analysis

    by Bill Frist

    With the coronavirus pandemic, we are in unprecedented times, with governments having to use incomplete and rapidly evolving information to determine how to best keep their people safe as well as keep local economies afloat.  I want to commend Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Health for the steps they have taken to…

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  • How Changing Tobacco Laws Can Save Thousands Of Lives, Billions Of Tax Dollars (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Today we have a massive and growing public health challenge that is substantially shortening the lives of millions, negatively impacting the health of our children, and adding an astounding $170 billion in health care costs to our nation annually. Unknown to most, it has been for years the leading cause of preventable death in the United States….

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  • Most support tobacco policy changes that will save lives and tax dollars (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | By Bill Frist, MD and Matthew Myers As the leading cause of preventable death in Tennessee, tobacco use is shortening the lives of millions of people, affecting the health of children and adding $2.6 billion in health care costs to the state annually.   Nearly one in four Tennesseans smoke. Centers for Disease…

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  • Tennessee Is Home To One Of The Deadliest National Parks In The Nation: Here’s How We Change That (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | In Middle Tennessee, we are known for excellence in health care services, music, and economic growth. However, one distinction we would like to relinquish is being home to the national park with the highest number of suicides in the United States. According to an analysis by Outdoor Magazine, the Natchez Trace Parkway is one…

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  • Trump’s call to end HIV is a worthy mission both at home and abroad (CNN)

    by Bill Frist

    CNN | In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump brought attention to a disease that has almost disappeared from the headlines: HIV/AIDS. He pledged to end the epidemic in the United States by 2030, setting commendable, ambitious goals for domestic prevention and treatment efforts. I support President Trump’s pledged investment in domestic…

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  • What Andy Samberg And Sandra Oh Got Right At The Golden Globes: Vaccines Are Worth Celebrating! (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Last week at the Golden Globes, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh made headlines as they tried to give out free flu shots to celebrities in the audience. This surprise stunt showed famous stars looking shocked and nervous as needle-wielding nurses descended from the stage to offer vaccinations. Samberg joked, “If you are an…

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  • Has Childhood Obesity Become A National Security Threat? (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | As a physician and lawmaker, I have long argued that federal global health aid improves America’s standing in the world and makes us safer by steadying unstable nations. Countries with healthy workforces have improved economic outputs, stronger family units, and are less likely to become havens for terrorists.  But what many may not…

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  • Reading The Healthcare Tea Leaves In The 2018 Midterm Elections (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | The November elections left us with a lot to digest—it wasn’t the decisive “blue wave” that some were predicting, but the tea leaves did tell us some interesting things about what voters believe and value, particularly when it comes to healthcare. Interestingly, pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies found a notable phenomenon…

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  • The Latest In Blockchain In Healthcare: Top Takeaways From Distributed Health (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Last week I had the honor of kicking off the third annual Distributed Health conference in Nashville, which brought together leaders in healthcare as well as blockchain innovators from across the nation. All were united by the shared belief that blockchain has transformative potential for health and healthcare, with changes already underway. Blockchain…

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  • The Future Of Healthcare Innovation And Why Government Matters (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Why do politics matter to health? Because government, when focused, can do incredible things to move our health forward. Here are just two examples that I was directly involved with while in the United States Senate. Read more at Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrist/2018/11/06/the-future-of-healthcare-innovation-and-why-government-matters/#f00d712192d2

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  • Fixing the opioid crisis requires the two things Congress hates most: Bipartisanship and government spending (NBC News)

    by Bill Frist

    NBC NEWS | Practically every community in America, and most families, are facing the still-growing opioid epidemic that is tearing at the soul of our health and wellbeing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 115 Americans die each day from opioid-related overdoses, and research suggests that misuse of prescription opioids is a risk factor for heroinuse. It is…

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  • Loneliness kills: A new public health crisis (and what we can do about it) (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | A little-discussed condition raises the risk of premature death by up to 50 percent—making it a health hazard at least as significant as smoking and alcohol and more so than obesity. Yet many medical professionals haven’t heard about it, and the public remains largely in the dark. We’re talking about social isolation,…

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  • Murder In The Capitol: Honor The Fallen And Improve Mental Health (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Twenty years ago tomorrow was one of the most memorable days in my U.S. Senate career. And it haunts me still. It doesn’t mark the anniversary of major legislation being signed or a bipartisan deal being struck. Rather, July 24, 1998, was the day our U.S. Capitol building was attacked by a mentally ill, armed individual who took…

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  • Rural Aging: Health and Community Policy Implications for Reversing Social Isolation (Bipartisan Policy Center)

    by Bill Frist

    BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER | On June 7, 2018, Tivity Health’s Donato Tramuto and I convened a roundtable at the Bipartisan Policy Center to discuss challenges and potential solutions to address a little-discussed public health crisis: social isolation and our aging population. What many don’t realize is that social isolation could be an even bigger public health…

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  • A Tribute to Uwe Reinhardt: Remarks at the April 21st Memorial at Princeton University Chapel

    by Bill Frist

    For each of the last 46 years, Uwe Reinhardt touched me like a father, a brother, a son, a friend. He walked by my side on every leg of my journey and supported me at every major turning point. These are the remarks I gave at his memorial service at Princeton on April 21 and shared…

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  • Diet quality should become a core SNAP objective (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | As Congress considers reauthorizing SNAP as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, we believe it’s time to make nutrition a top priority for the program. First, we request that diet quality become a core SNAP objective. Specifically, we recommend eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages from the list of items that can be purchased with SNAP in…

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  • Alex Azar has the temperament, judgment, and focus to lead HHS (STAT)

    by Bill Frist

    STAT | The secretary of HHS is one of the most important Cabinet positions in the federal government. The department has a budget of over $1 trillion and 70,000 employees, and its programs touch nearly every American. With such an extensive reach, the HHS secretary must be experienced managing complex and large organizations; possess broad knowledge across…

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  • What Tennessee Republicans and Democrats agree on: don’t smoke (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | On December 13th the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids released its annual report “Broken Promises to Our Kids,” which evaluates how states address the “enormous health problems caused by tobacco use in the United States.” One of the key metrics is funding, and I’m proud to report that – after many years of stagnant…

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  • Hard Cases: Tennessee’s First Heart-Lung Transplant (Linked In)

    by Bill Frist

    LINKED IN | One month after Christmas, in 1987, my surgical team and I prepared for Tennessee’s first heart-lung transplant. A determined mother, desperate to live, was flying to Tennessee to receive the heart and lungs from a young woman in Nashville whose own life had ended too soon. It was a bold step for…

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  • Notes From The Road: Bob Marshall Log, August 2017

    by Bill Frist

    Notes From The Road | The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex consists of three wilderness areas in Montana totaling over 1.5 million acres. Located in the northern Rocky Mountains along the Continental Divide, the region is as primitive as any found in the United States outside of Alaska. It’s also diverse, encompassing the dry and open…

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  • Put Out The Fire Instead Of Burning Exchanges To The Ground: Extend Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Eight years ago, former Democratic Senator John Breaux and I wrote: “Given the acrimony that’s developed over efforts to reform our nation’s health insurance system, many Americans wonder whether true bipartisan agreement on health reform can ever be possible. In short, it can.” Back then, we watched contentious debate over what came to be known…

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  • The Science Behind How Nature Affects Your Health (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Have you ever wondered how experiencing nature can improve your health and your life? Increasingly, healthcare and public health professionals are recognizing that the social determinants of health—including where we’re born, live, work, play and age—collectively have a far greater impact on our health outcomes than the healthcare delivery system. It’s estimatedthat healthcare services account…

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  • For Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions, Improving Care Will Be A Bipartisan Effort (Health Affairs Blog)

    by Bill Frist

    HEALTH AFFAIRS BLOG | While federal policy makers are undertaking controversial and divisive debates over the future of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans and Democrats have had a good track record of working together to improve health care delivery and payment frameworks. Most recently, the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 reformed Medicare’s physician…

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  • As Congress Debates, What Steps Shall I Take?

    by Bill Frist

    Written with Gary Dodd There’s a lot of uncertainty in healthcare today including changes to the Affordable Care Act and changes at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As healthcare professionals, we hope we are moving to a world of alternative payment models that will be focused on quality of care, not quantity of…

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  • The National Academy Of Medicine’s Vital Directions For Health: Forging a Path for our Future (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Health is more than healthcare. Smart reform looks beyond the current conversation of repeal and replace. It must include an active and empowered consumer making choices that matter within a modern, connected, knowledge-driven system. That is the powerful message of the National Academy of Medicine’s pivotal report released today. Drawing on the expertise of 150…

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  • No. 1 killer of Nashville women may surprise you (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | If you were asked to name the No. 1 cause of death in women in Davidson County, what would you say? Some might suggest cancer, or perhaps Alzheimer’s. But the truth is that our number one “lady killer” is a condition that many consider a man’s disease.  And what’s even more striking is that its early symptoms…

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  • Healthy Foods Are Good For Business And Deserve The Support Of President-Elect Trump

    by Bill Frist

    At the start of a new year, we often find ourselves making resolutions to eat healthier and get active (I know I’m one of those people!). But the good news is, America’s interest in healthier foods has become a year-round trend, not just a New Year’s fad. More than 66% of shoppers say they want…

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  • New Model Can Advance Treatments, Cures For Rare Diseases (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | If your child suffered from a rare and incurable disease, what would you do to find a cure? My former colleague and good friend Dr. Chip Chambers faced just such a challenge, and took the bull by the horns. Last month, Dr. Chambers organized a unique medical conference that should serve as a model…

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  • The time to act is now: Bipartisan action will accelerate cures for Americans (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | With the election over, speculation is rampant on what this means for politics and policy in 2017.  We need to take a step back however, and realize there is critical work to be completed by Congress in 2016, to set the stage for a new generation of medical innovation, and demonstrate to the…

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  • TrumpCare: In The Beginning… (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | The immediate question for those whose lives focus around lifting the health of individual Americans is, “What does Donald J. Trump’s presidency mean for health care in America?” At the heart of the answer is uncertainty. Trump is an “unknown unknown” when it comes to deep, thoughtful health policy. He has excelled in many…

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  • Our Abysmal Maternal Health Statistics And How To Improve Them (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | This past year, the United States received the dubious distinction of being one of only 7 countries in the world, including Somalia and Afghanistan, which have seen an increase in maternal mortality. While countries with far fewer resources such as India and Brazil have made great strides to decrease the number of women who…

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  • The Newborn Illness That Nobody Is Talking About – And It’s Not Zika (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Nothing can prepare a mother for seeing her newborn seize multiple times an hour, refuse to eat or sleep, and shake uncontrollably. That’s what Julia found herself facing after severe chronic back pain from a car accident left her dependent on opioids. Julia had been a college student from a middle class family with…

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  • Systems Strategies for Better Health Throughout the Life Course: A Vital Direction for Health and Health Care (National Academy of Medicine)

    by Bill Frist

    NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE | Health and health care outcomes for Americans should be better for most, and much better for some. This should be possible with currently available knowledge and resources. Capturing the potential will require adapting our strategies and approaches to the reality that health is not immutably determined at birth, but shaped by different…

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  • Congress Must Preserve Quitlines and The Tips Program (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Smoking is the number one killer and public health challenge today, causing more deaths each year than automobile accidents, firearm-related injuries, HIV, illegal drug use, and alcohol abuse—combined. As a surgeon, it was the primary cause of the heart and lung disease that I operated on every day for 15 years. In my…

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  • The right prescription for biomedical innovation (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | If you were a patient suffering from a disease, and you read about a treatment option for your illness, you would probably be eager to learn more. Imagine that the drug, device or other intervention had been on the market for several years, and studies showed that it was especially effective in some…

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  • The Food We Eat Daily That Leads To Poor Heart Health For Our Children (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Earlier this year, I called attention to the dangers added sugars pose to cardiovascular health and other health outcomes.  In the months since, many people have told me how surprised they’ve been to learn about the sugar hidden in their healthy morning yogurt or afternoon energy bar.  Frankly, I was too.  And this lack of food literacy…

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  • How Bundled Payments Can Change Healthcare (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | Rising health care costs are a top concern for Americans today, with 64% of voters in a January 2016 Kaiser Health tracking poll, citing a candidate’s position on the cost of health care, health insurance, and prescription drugs as “the single most important factor” or “a very important factor” in their vote…

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  • FDA Draft Guidance on Real-World Data (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | In a document issued this week, the Food & Drug Administration laid out for comment its draft guidance of how real-world evidence could support regulatory decision-making for medical devices. This is a positive step forward for improving the medical product development process. At the Bipartisan Policy Center, Representative Bart Gordon and I have been urging…

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  • When Regenerative Medicine Changes Everything (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Two weeks ago I led a panel discussion at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) on medical innovation with my good friends Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who chairs the Senate Health,Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee, and former Congressman Bart Gordon (D-TN), who previously chaired the House Committee on Science and Technology.  We were…

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  • How Real-World Data Could Change Medicine (US News & World Report)

    by Bill Frist

    US NEWS & WORLD REPORT | With continuing advances in science and technology, the pace of medical breakthroughs is accelerating. Today, we can treat or even cure conditions that significantly shortened life just a generation ago. The exciting promises of personalized medicine are now becoming reality. Congressman Bart Gordon and I co-chair the Bipartisan Policy Center’s…

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  • From Volume To Value: Achieving Bold Change In Our Healthcare Payment Systems (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | One question I hear repeatedly as I travel the country discussing healthcare is whether the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care can really be done in a way that lowers cost and improves patient care. The answer is: it can. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, successful systems change requires the collaboration and…

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  • Better Healthcare at Lower Costs (AHIP 2016)

    by Bill Frist

    NOTES FROM THE ROAD | I had the privilege of speaking yesterday at America’s Health Insurance Plans Institute and Expo. Along with Bernard Tyson (Kaiser Permanente) and David Bernd (Sentara Healthcare), I discussed “Better Health Care at Lower Cost: Is It Possible?” You know my answer: It is absolutely possible with technology. In case you…

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  • The Most Helpful Illegal Medical Procedure (Fox News)

    by Bill Frist

    FOX NEWS | Last year 47,000 Americans had their blindness reversed through the transplantation of cells from a corneal donor’s final selfless act. It is safe, it is effective, and because it is curative, it is a relatively cost effective procedure. It is medicine at its most beautiful. And according to FDA regulations, the distribution of this…

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  • The Senate Must Streamline the Drug Regulatory Process (Wall Street Journal)

    by Bill Frist

    WALL STREET JOURNAL | Before the Senate is a powerful medical-innovation package of 19 bills—a companion to the House-approved 21st Century Cures Act—that will streamline the nation’s regulatory process for the discovery, development and delivery of safe and effective drugs and devices, bringing the process into the new century. This legislation, crafted by the Senate’s…

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  • Four Strategies to Save Lives, Curb Smoking (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | This  month, FDA passed The Tobacco Control Act, which grants the Agency the authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and any other tobacco products including e-cigarettes and hookah pipes. The truth is, smoking and tobacco take 500,000 lives in the US each year, and healthcare for a smoker costs the system…

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  • Let’s stand with retired military leaders to get healthy school meals over the finish line (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | While headlines harp that the U.S. is a nation “hopelessly divided,” there is something lawmakers can band together on: forging a solution to our obesity epidemic.  In addition to being one of the greatest health threats our nation has ever faced, it is a terrible burden for employers, who are forced to…

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  • Tomorrow Might Be The Most Important Day This Year (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    It’s true that we are all living longer: the percentage of American adults over 65 years old has doubled since 1940, now reaching 13%. By 2050 that number is expected to double again to 25%. In actual numbers this translates to an estimated 89 million “senior citizens” by 2050. Advances in sanitation and the advent…

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  • Improving Access and Adding Value for Mental Health Care (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    “When you break a leg, you get a cast and people sign it and put smiley faces on it. When you’re given a mental illness diagnosis, you’re cast out,” 24-year old Amanda explained to Kaiser Health News. Amanda was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in college, after several years of manic-depressive behavior. The family struggled financially and…

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  • Global Health: The Most Effective Policy

    by Bill Frist

    As the 2016 primaries unfold, it’s time for candidates of both parties to focus on expanding the big-hearted policies that have made this nation so exceptional. In recent years, the most effective of those policies has been global health — that is, putting U.S. resources to work saving lives in developing nations by spreading health treatments…

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  • Cutting Sugar for Better Health

    by Bill Frist

    On a trip this month to the U.K., I noticed many of their food and beverage products labeled “No Added Sugar,” and the message floods the airwaves. Britain has already caught on to the evils of hidden sugars, and has been loudly making it known to consumers. America should follow suit. Reducing sugar intake isn’t…

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  • Tennessee Quit Week a first step to healthier Nashville (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | Of the thousands of heart and lung operations I have performed, the most common cause of the underlying disease in these patients was a single voluntary behavior: smoking. That tragedy is what Tennessee Quit Week (Feb. 22-28) is all about. Smoking absolutely leads to a shorter, poorer-quality life. It more than doubles a person’s…

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  • Flint’s Water Crisis and Public Health 3.0

    by Bill Frist

    When looking at the ongoing crisis over safe drinking water in Flint one thing is abundantly clear, the decisions made–at multiple levels–were made without a comprehensive evaluation of the impact on public health. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and I take a look at the public health approaches…

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  • What’s Needed to Remain Competitive in Medical Innovation

    by Bill Frist

    Less than a week ago, Congress voted to increase the NIH budget by $2 billion. That’s a lot of money, but it only just reverses the erosion of federal funding for critical biomedical research. This funding increase is much-needed. But there’s more than can be done on Capitol Hill to re-prioritize lifesaving biomedical research. Read more at…

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  • The Childhood Experiences That Can Cut 20 Years Off Your Life

    by Bill Frist

    I recently heard a startling statistic. According to a CDC study, children who endure six or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by the age of 18—incidents of abuse or neglect that make a child feel unsafe or unwanted in their home—live on average 20 years less than their peers who are not exposed to these…

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  • Approve Limited-Population Antibacterial Drug Pathway (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | A recent study about antibiotic resistance hit close to home for me. It projected that drug-resistant bacteria are developing at a pace that could soon threaten the lives of thousands more surgery patients each year. This study also revealed that as many as half of infections after surgery are already being caused by pathogens…

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  • The Numbers are In: The Case for NashvilleHealth

    by Bill Frist

    I like to keep an eye on my hometown’s statistics. I love seeing Nashville listed among the nation’s best cities to launch a startup, raise a family and visit for a weekend away. According to some estimates, we gain 80 new Nashvillians each day, transplants from all over, drawn to our welcoming atmosphere and our…

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  • The Superbug Fight at your Grocery Store

    by Bill Frist

    You may have heard statistics about the over-use of prescription drugs, with reports indicating that up to half of all antibiotics prescribed today are used improperly. It’s a huge problem contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. What you may not have heard, however, is that the majority of drugs used in the U.S. aren’t even taken…

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  • Making Health Convenient

    by Bill Frist

    I believe one of the secrets of achieving good population health is to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and I’m so pleased to learn of businesses in Tennessee who are working to make that a reality. Tri-Star Services’ Twice Daily convenience stores are making a strong committment to offering  healthy food and drink…

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  • Consumer Still Feeling The Pinch: The Next Big Health Care Debate (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | News headlines have touted a moderation in the rise of health care costs since the economic slowdown and passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But as I have traveled the country and met with health care professionals and consumers, those receiving the care have not felt any reduction in cost. In fact, many…

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  • The Future for The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    by Bill Frist

    Research matters. An agency that I fought to save many years ago is at risk again, and Congress must make a move to save it. I had just been sworn into the U.S. Senate in 1995, when I first found out that the The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) – then known as the…

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  • Call for a Conversation: Alzheimer’s in Tonight’s Debate

    by Bill Frist

    Tonight, when Republican candidates, vying for the White House, debate one another at the presidential library and final resting place of President Ronald Reagan, they should honor his memory and address the illness that claimed his life and the lives of 700,000 Americans annually: Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in our nation. Reagan…

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  • Nashville’s Role in the Healthcare Landscape

    by Bill Frist

    I love Nashville and I’m so proud of the work being done  here. Healthcare is the heart of this town and the solutions being developed here are helping patients all over the world. I’m particularly proud of the Nashville Healthcare Council’s Fellows program, and was thrilled to introduce it to a broader audience. I am…

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