If Tim is an outsider coming to health care recently, Jeff is pretty much the ultimate insider—at least for a guy who calls himself a futurist. Jeff’s doctorate is in sociology, focusing on complex organizations, but since the 1970s he’s worked in academia, in government, advised virtually every major healthcare delivery, insurance and supplier organization, been a national advisor to Ernst & Young, and is on the Board of Health Affairs. Along the way he’s won too many awards to count, and published plenty of books. The most recent one (written with Bruce Hillman) is called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice about the impact and havoc wreaked on the health care system by the use of imaging technologies.
What Jeff’s best known for is telling his opinion and pointing out harsh truths both to people within the system and those who want to change it—and often upsetting both ends of the spectrum at the same time. Mostly that comes as a keynote speech, but sometimes it pops up as a (sort of) anonymous “howling” blog comment. But Jeff’s interest in the Internet in healthcare goes back a long way, including his classic 2000 Health Affairs article How Will The Internet Change Our Health System?. The subtitle showed what a prescient futurist he is, “Powerful though the Internet may be, its impact on health care will continue to be tempered by privacy concerns and professional resistance.” We may not have solved all or any of those issues, but Jeff will help us today understand the future of Health 2.0 in a health care system that seems to be a just overly-complex organization. And we’re so excited to have him here!