Take Care

My old friend Hal Rosenbluth is up to something ... very good. Or at least I think so. He built his travel services firm, Rosenbluth International to a progressive giant with in excess of $3 billion in revenue, then peddled it to American Express. Now he's taking on healthcare. His vehicle is Take Care. Take Care establishes walk-in mini-clinics in retail establishments. The likes of CVS, Wal*Mart, and Target are on the implementers' list. With generous funding aboard, over 1,000 locations should be up and running by the close of 2007.

Nurse practitioners staff the centers, a charge of $25–$50 is the norm, and a series of common tests and the likes of flu shots are the product. As at his travel firm, Hal is utilizing the most advanced software, including artificial-intelligence systems to be part of a featured self-diagnostic process.

I am still appalled at the lack of health care availability at a reasonable price for many Americans, including children. But, without being a radical on the topic, I'm also intrigued at the way the market is responding. A couple of weeks ago the Wall Street Journal did a front page piece on how members of high-deductible plans were responding. Most have, as hoped, become far more involved in healthcare decision-making than before. Web-based information and the likes of Take Care are also part of the burgeoning portfolio of options.

Shortcomings and abuses will be part of the shakedown process, though they could hardly be worse than the current system that features such things as ambulances aimlessly circling cities with acutely ill people aboard—as they seek an ER willing to take them.

Good show, Hal. May a hundred hundred flowers—imaginative experiments—bloom! Though, as I said, deeply distressed by holes in our system, certainly this portfolio of experiments is preferable to a centralized government-run system fecklessly controlling 20% or so of our economy!