The Four Seasons

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Adjusting the watch last weekend for Daylight Savings Time (and this being November) reminded me of:

The Living Daylights is a 1987 British spy film, the fifteenth entry in the James Bond series, grossed $191.2 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million.

The November Man is a 2014 spy action thriller film starring Pierce Brosnan.

I flew into Minneapolis earlier this afternoon, Slumming It in First Class 😏, further adjusting my watch, and as I took an Uber to my destination, the driver, recognizing the address, asked, as confirmation, if I was indeed going to the new Four Seasons. I nodded. As we reached it, I asked him to stop just before we reached the main hotel entrance. His look was one of astonishment:

You live here?

I smiled, took the elevator up many floors, and recalled the closing of the sonnet written for Vivaldi’s Winter:

We feel the chill north winds course through the home
despite the locked and bolted doors…
this is winter, which nonetheless
brings its own delights.

One of the delights here is visual, looking out of the corner on the 32nd Floor apartment, reminding me of:

A View to a Kill is a 1985 spy film and the fourteenth in the James Bond series. It had a box office revenue of over $150 million on a budget of $30 million.

My “working title” for this post was Payer & Provider, completely different from:

Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 romantic drama film  based on Jane Austen’s 1813 novel of the same name. The film features five sisters from an English family of landed gentry as they deal with issues of marriage, morality and misconceptions. Keira Knightley stars in the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet. Produced by Working Title Films in association with StudioCanal, it grossed over $120 million on a budget of $ 28 million. It received four nominations at the 78th Academy Awards, including Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Like many film goers, I first saw Keira Knightly in:

Bend It Like Beckham  is a 2002 sports comedy-drama film. It grossed $76.6 million on a budget of $5.6 million.

I wanted to showcase our most recent work in healthcare:

Provider Network Selection and Patient Targeting in Health Insurance Markets.

Many of us receive the following type of emails from our (academic) employers this time of the year:

You are receiving this email as a benefits-eligible Carnegie Mellon faculty or staff member.

Open Enrollment is October 24 through November 14 at 5 p.m. ET.

Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to review your benefit coverage options and make selections for the upcoming calendar year. Benefit elections become effective on January 1, 2023 and remain in effect for the entire year. After the enrollment period, you cannot change your benefit elections unless you experience a qualifying status change.

Did you ever wonder how the health plans offered to us have been designed? Well, that is the subject of the paper above. As we mention in the introduction:

Our analysis provides a variety of insights for stakeholders and practitioners, such as data-driven answers to the following questions:

  • Does a payer profit maximization approach adversely affect providers and patients?
  • Should the payer exclude high cost services from its coverage to increase profits?
  • How many health insurance plans are required to capture patient heterogeneity?
  • What type of providers (for example, hospitals, physician offices, or radiology centers) should
    be most contracted by the payer?

This is not an abstract stylized model. Quite the contrary! It is a decision support tool, that uses real data (which is difficult to get, and we plan to make it open-source for future researchers), and provides both improved plans for an actual multi-billion insurer (yes, one of them offers plans to us at CMU), and provides insights as to how the plans affect patients and providers, and how they are affected by demographics, geography and the like.

Indeed, this has attracted the attention of other insurers, and, not surprisingly, also an elite management consulting firm.

What else happens this time of the year? New season of Television, new documentaries and a renewed season of streaming series. Here are three recommendations:

East New York. Black and Blues (Rotten Tomatoes 100%). Miss Scarlett and the Duke.

And, as I was finalizing the post, I received this email – you may recall the exuberance in my post, November 24: 1664 and 2021, almost a year ago, when we were invited to contribute to a special issue on quantum annealing – from the Royal Society:

Dear Author

I have attached the revised PDF for you to review. Please send any further changes within 24hrs to avoid delay to publication. Please do let me know if there are any problems.

There are none. Looking forward to seeing it online and in print soon!

I invoked Nina Simone in the earlier post. Let me close with Louis Armstrong:

I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

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