June 5, 2024

Simplicity Trumps Science (KISS)

Rick Lee
Time Read
5
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Keep it Simple, Stupid

No one wants to be labeled “stupid.” But many health care execs find themselves following the herd when there are smarter options at hand. Something trending must be noteworthy. When Elizabeth Holmes cooked up a “simple” blood testing machine, she attracted billions from eager investors (including some health care executives). But not all simple solutions are simple for the end user.

In the world of taxes, the IRS has attempted to make life easier by adopting Free File for convenient filing of short-form federal taxes. This year, the program increased participation by more than 10% over last year. That’s simplicity redounding to the benefit of the end user.

Many retail firms embrace subscription models that abandon actual nickel and diming in favor of a monthly fee. You pay Netflix once a month, not by the film or series. You go to the gym as many days as you can make it in a month and only pay one fee. The more often you use, the lower the per-use cost. But it cuts the other way, too. If you forget that you became a monthly subscriber, your per-use cost becomes infinite. The service provider has 100% profitability on your non-use of their offering.

In Abraham Maslow’s book, Motivation and Personality, he posited that we humans are basic in our pursuit of happiness (and perhaps, the happiness engendered by simple and convenient solutions). He explains that we must first meet our basic needs in order to achieve happiness and ultimately, self-actualization. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs starts with basics such as air, water, food, shelter, etc. Simplicity didn’t make the cut. Barriers to those needs cannot be tolerated. It’s why Blue Zones author Dan Buettner intones, “make the healthy choice, the easy choice.”

Imagine being too short to reach the water fountain.  That would be a barrier or an inconvenience impacting a basic need. In my world, barriers include shopping, prep, cooking, and cleanup. Having fresh ingredients that require an hour of kitchen work may seem like a healthy option, but the inconvenience factor means a great deal of fresh food simply goes right to the landfill. Trying to maintain a healthy diet through carb, calorie, and protein gram counting is a pain in the pittuey. Learning the importance of niacin, riboflavin, and potassium … Boring.  I last studied science 60 years ago!

I have so much respect for Mark Bertolini, CEO of Oscar Health and formerly of Aetna, because he asserted “the new definition of quality is convenience.” He went on to explain that “Healthcare providers need to keep communication simple.” He offered this perspective when debunking Americans’ endless search for the highest quality provider. Data show that we prefer a 3-Star rated MD within five miles of our home versus a 5-Star physician who is an hour’s drive away through horrific, stressful traffic.

By lauding the virtue of KISS - "keep it simple and straightforward” - I am agreeing with Bertolini that the new definition of quality is convenience. That brings me to Healthrageous’s offering of healthy, ready-to-heat and eat #MadeEasyMeals. We make it simple for seniors to select and order their meals by providing meal bundles that fit various tastes. You take one of our healthy meals out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes and then eat it. Each of our 30+ meal options has fewer than 400 calories, is high in fiber and protein, contains low sodium and has zero artificial sugars. 

Here are 3 testimonials from Healthrageous-nourished Seniors:

"You always have new information on how I can improve my health condition.  I like that concern for me and my health."
"Made Easy MealsTM takes care of most of my needs when it comes to my health."
"This program is helpful for people who want to eat healthy, but don’t know how to. "

If you truly intend on making a difference in the health of seniors, it’s all about KISS! Activate your chronically ill, MA seniors with the convenience of simple choices to eat nutritious, diabetic- and cardiac-friendly meals and you will be adhering to Abraham Maslow’s basic hierarchy of needs (while improving your STARs ratings).

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