Veronica Combs

Veronica Combs

I am the editor in chief at MedCityNews.com. I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012.

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Code Black movie has plenty of villians and frustrated heroes in the ER

Code Black movie has plenty of villians and frustrated heroes in the ER

September 30, 2014 5:07 am by | 0 Comments

There was blood. There was guts. There were handsome doctors, suffering patients, and villainous bureaucrats. There was inspiration, frustration, and innovation. Code Black, the independent film screened Monday by the…


Catavolt helps healthcare companies translate legacy data into mobile solutions

Catavolt helps healthcare companies translate legacy data into mobile solutions

September 29, 2014 11:11 am by | 0 Comments

Catavolt did not start small with its health IT modernization push. The software company has been hunting for whales in the healthcare world since the beginning. “Our system works best…



Diabetes doctor turns into a graphic designer to get patients’ attention

Diabetes doctor turns into a graphic designer to get patients’ attention

September 24, 2014 11:09 am by | 2 Comments

Doctor as Designer Joyce Lee, MD, MPH, has a fantastic chart series on her blog. #Healthdesignviz is up to #5 in a collection of simple and striking illustrations that show…


Awesome or awful? Backpack makes IVs more portable

Awesome or awful? Backpack makes IVs more portable

September 23, 2014 6:33 pm by | 0 Comments

I have only been in the hospital twice (knock on wood) when I had my two sons. I’ve never had to drag an IV pole around with me (crossing all…


5 states to watch: Keep your eye on these payment and care reform experiments

5 states to watch: Keep your eye on these payment and care reform experiments

September 23, 2014 5:54 pm by | 0 Comments

Sarah Kliff spoke at a payment innovation summit in Portland today. She identified five states that we should watch to track experiments with new models of care and reimbursement. You…


Analysis: Payer’s pricing gamble is to blame, not Minnesota insurance exchange

Analysis: Payer’s pricing gamble is to blame, not Minnesota insurance exchange

September 22, 2014 2:12 pm by | 2 Comments

http://www.startribune.com/business/275827561.html?page=all&prepage=1&c=y#continue Lee Schafer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune puts some context around a big payer’s decision to leave the state’s health insurance exchange, MNSure. Schafer said the decision was the…


How to use video to get people to care about boring, complex topics

How to use video to get people to care about boring, complex topics

September 22, 2014 1:46 pm by | 2 Comments

The video starts with an image that everyone understands – a game board. It focuses on the viewer’s stake in the game: what the government has to do to get…



Too bad: Diet sodas may give you diabetes – not save you from it

Too bad: Diet sodas may give you diabetes – not save you from it

September 18, 2014 5:06 pm by | 1 Comments

A new study shows that artificial sweeteners may make it harder for your body to process sugar, which increases your chances of pre-diabetes and diabetes.


What’s the end goal for all this health IT? Making high-touch care easier

What’s the end goal for all this health IT? Making high-touch care easier

September 16, 2014 11:39 am by | 0 Comments

VC Marc Andreessen wrote back in 2011 that software is eating the world. At this moment, it feels like healthcare is the main course. Our August 2014 Startup Index is…


Verizon/HBR tech report: Too many hospitals are still in watch and wait mode

Verizon/HBR tech report: Too many hospitals are still in watch and wait mode

September 15, 2014 3:40 pm by | 0 Comments

Robert Frost said, “Freedom lies in being bold.” For hospitals, being bold may be the key to survival as well, according to a new report from Verizon and Harvard Business…


How a hospital would smell if it were truly patient-centric

How a hospital would smell if it were truly patient-centric

September 15, 2014 10:16 am by | 4 Comments

My husband recently had to have his appendix out. His care was mostly good: The surgeon was excellent and he knew better than to accept the lunch that food service…


MIT hackathon takes on true healthcare design challenge: The breast pump

MIT hackathon takes on true healthcare design challenge: The breast pump

September 15, 2014 6:18 am by | 4 Comments

Most of the time, I think men can’t handle the reality of women’s health. It’s messy, bloody, lumpy, hard to relate to, unpredictable. This is a big reason that women…


Two healthcare leaders become patients and are enraged by the billing bureaucracy

Two healthcare leaders become patients and are enraged by the billing bureaucracy

September 9, 2014 5:58 am by | 6 Comments

There is nothing like a dose of reality to change your perspective. This is why the smartest entrepreneurs talk to customers before launching a new product or service. This is…


The BUB Prize and two more reality-based hospital awards we need now

The BUB Prize and two more reality-based hospital awards we need now

September 7, 2014 5:46 am by | 0 Comments

Everyone loves to be on an award list. I get all kinds of pitches about how a doctor has been named outstanding businessperson of the year or how a hospital…


Hospice program uses drug testing to get the right pain management plan for patients

Hospice program uses drug testing to get the right pain management plan for patients

September 2, 2014 7:26 am by | 0 Comments

A lot of the discussion around personalized medicine focuses on surviving cancer or other scary illnesses. In my experience, people need as much help with dying as they do with…