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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #111

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👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7
 
May 12 · Issue #111 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its third year!

my story 🚀
My ladies look so stylish on this sunny day 🌞! (obv. last weekend)
I’ve come across an interesting niche business offering electronic health record (EHR) software for specialty providers of behavioral health care. Now I’m interested in learning more about this space. Do you or anyone you know have experience in this industry? If so, please let me know!

<Rant>LabCorp is trying to charge me $66 (almost 10x what they actually would collect from my insurance) for a single routine blood test ordered by my doctor during a routine physical. Their uninsured/cash price is probably ~$12. But because I technically have insurance (who just so happened to decline to pay for this test) they say that the cash pay price isn’t available to me and they feel entitled to collect their bogus List Price. All this for a test that I knew nothing about up-front and didn’t opt-in to. Has anyone been through this sort of ridiculous game and had a successful outcome? Is there a way to join a healthcare group purchasing organization without the rest of the “health insurance” albatross? It’d be wonderful to unbundle the healthcare price negotiation from the actual insurance.</Rant>
someone else's words 💬
Like this quote? Yes 👍 OR No 👎
fun facts 🙌
On the little dot on top of the i and j. It’s called a tittle. | learn more
The structure of stand-up comedy. The Pudding dissects Ali Wong’s show Baby Cobra line by line and joke by joke to understand its genius. So cool! | learn more
The chronological history of avocados 🥑. You probably have only eaten Hass avocados. They’re delicious, and all originate from one O.G. tree in California. Learn that story and more, dating back to the 1500s. | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Springfield considering raising annual electric vehicle registration fee to $1,000. This story seems to have spread like wildfire in the last day. I’ve been more tolerant than most of our state and local governments reaching into our collective pockets, but this one set me off. If they pass this garbage, I’m increasingly likely to drive my EV somewhere warm and sunny for good. | learn more
Violent crime, jail population drop in first year of bail reform. Looks like they gave no bail to the really rough criminals, and smaller bond amounts to everyone else. “The data shows that the average bond amount fell from $5,000 to $1,000, while the percentage of inmates picking up new charges while on bond dropped.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
The empty promise of data moats. Oh thank god somebody (two gents from a16z) just called B.S. on the generic idea that data = sustainable competitive advantage. | learn more
Pearl, new AI-based startup, is all in on teeth (with $11MM in fresh cash). “Machine learning in the dental business can achieve four main objectives, says Tanz. It can reduce fraud for insurers, validate the performance of dentists in networks that are being created through the consolidation of small practices by large private equity firms, and automate workflows inside the dental office.” | learn more
The Prepared is a new media company pitching disaster preparedness for everyone. I love this and just subscribed. “The Prepared, a new site launched a little over a year ago by three men — two who have their own ties to the tech world — is aiming to make the world of survivalism more approachable to a wide audience.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
How much does private insurance pay vs Medicare? In the 90s there was near parity. Now, some states (looking at you, Indiana) average 3x the spend for the same services. That is passed down to employees via premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. Enjoy! “Findings released Thursday by the Rand Corp. highlight how reimbursement rates vary nationally and the impact the charges have on the nation’s high cost of health care.” | learn more
When an industry consolidates, what happens to wages? Kellogg Professor Elena Prager did the research. “A surprisingly consistent answer has emerged in one sector: healthcare.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Chinese shopping app falls for American bargains. Imagine a mobile QVC broadcast from foreign (US in this case) retail stores. “Live-stream shopping is captivating China, and one app lets viewers take part in the scramble for discounts in U.S. stores; ‘How is this possible? Why isn’t all of New York here?’” | learn more
better doing 🎯
Focusmate: a stranger watches you work, increasing your productivity. I just tried this. It was weird, but strangely effective. “[A] free virtual co-working service that pairs you with a complete stranger for 50 minutes of silent, mutual labor over a webcam” | learn more
An eerie example of us vs them. On the set of Planet of the Apes, human nature took over during lunch break. “Charlton Heston noted ‘an instinctive segregation on the set. Not only would the apes eat together, but the chimpanzees ate with the chimpanzees, the gorillas ate with the gorillas, the orangutans ate with the orangutans, and the humans would eat off by themselves. It was quite spooky.’” | learn more
Repost from last week with corrected link…
Avoiding stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance. Farnam Street combines a few disparate examples and ideas to make the point that in some games playing not to lose is the optimal strategy. Know what game you’re playing. learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Meet the trillions of viruses that make up your virome. Scientists estimate that there are 10x more viruses than bacteria that live in and on our bodies. Just when I thought that bacteria were the most interesting tiny things in the human body… | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
New technique improves on pasteurization, keeps milk fresh for 90 days. “An Australian company called Naturo has revealed the development of a breakthrough milk processing technique that is heat-free, eliminates more pathogens than pasteurization, and leaves the milk with a refrigerated shelf life of up to 90 days.” Caveat: most of this reporting seems to come from the company itself. | learn more
Guardian columnist says to stop eating fish. He says it’s the only way to save the life in our seas. “If governments won’t take on the lethal fishing industry, we must, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
See blockchain governance in action thanks to Civil. A newsroom on the Civil platform, Blockchain Trailblazers, has been accused of violating the Civil constitution and journalistic standards. The transparency of this review process is quite new to me. I’m a fan! (For context, one of my fav local news sources Block Club Chicago is on the Civil platform) | learn more
On stablecoins and beauty pageants. “Some algorithmic stablecoins have proposed incorporating price feeds by asking their token holders. In this post, we point out that this mechanism is broken because of a fundamental incentive misalignment.” | learn more
staying thirsty 🚰
Harvard quietly amasses California vineyards - and the water underneath. “Making a bet on climate change, the university’s $39 billion endowment has been snapping up farmland and the related rights. In a warming planet, few resources will be as strained as water. ‘It was surprising, the prices they were willing to pay.’” | learn more
the end ✅
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