I am surprised that Quartet Health decided to focus on mental health as the first care episode to target for their digital referral platform. When I was working at a health insurance company, we learned that one of the most difficult aspects of supporting people coping with mental health issues is ensuring continuity of care over time. As a result, historically, we found that even after the referral from primary care physician to mental health professional has been made, it is important that the primary care physician continue to check-in with the patient to make sure they are making progress on their journey toward coping with their mental health issues. This is critical because it is very common for patients to reject the mental health professional they are referred to and relapse back to a negative outcome. As a result, it is critical that the primary care physician continuously check-in to make sure that in the event of a rejection of a referred mental health professional, the primary care physician can redirect the patient to a new provider. Thus, I think it’s critical that Quartet Health build functionality to support periodic check-ins between the patient and primary care physician in addition to the referral mechanism.
Continuous flow production is an exciting innovation for pharmaceutical companies. To the extent that this can lower cost, I hope that these cost savings can be passed along to the end consumer; especially for high volume drugs, like Lipitor, that are a relatively low cost ($10,000 for a course of treatment).
Localization of General Motors’ supply chain may be driven by factors other than isolationism. For example, as the quality of living and labor expenses in emerging economies rise, one could expect the historical savings generated from offshoring production to dissipate. This impact is likely compounded by the labor surplus generated by automation that will drive down labor expense in the developed world as well. Thus, the benefits of localized production (such as JIT delivery) may be driving the decision to shift production rather than geopolitical dynamics.
Although a serious threat, I believe coffee growers will be able to whether the climate change storm. Given the introduction of CRISPR gene editing technology and further advancements in genomics, I believe coffee growers will be able to modify the DNA of coffee plants to thrive and produce high yields in more extreme climates. I believe Starbucks’s initial investments in new strains for hotter climates, like Centroamerico, are a good start, but much more innovation is to come.
DC – How would your analysis change if you believed the protectionist trend was going to be short-lived? Given the volatility in the US political framework and potentially damaging impact of making abrupt changes to operations strategy, I would encourage ArcelorMittal to take a wait and see approach to addressing international trade barriers. Especially given the capital-intensive nature of manufacturing businesses, I think the risk of overreacting is too great.
Given Chevron is a publicly traded company, I believe it is in their fiduciary responsibility to invest in carbon disclosures. Long-term owners of Chevron will want the management team to pay close attention to climate change, carbon impact and resulting changes in operations because it will have a long-term impact on the profitability profile of Chevron’s energy operations going forward. Thus, I believe focusing on the environment and shareholder value can be congruent.