10th Annual Healthcare Unbound Conference, Denver, July 11/12

tcbi-conference-logo_265x90

 

This nationally recognized conference and exhibition focuses on technology-enabled consumer engagement and behavior change. Topics to be covered included innovative applications of remote monitoring, home telehealth, mHealth, eHealth, social media and gaming to help manage diseases, promote wellness and facilitate accountable care. The program features three new educational tracks:

Track A: Government – private sector collaboration in promoting consumer engagement through innovative technologies. Topics to be covered include Blue Button+, patient generated health data, Meaningful Use 2 and 3 criteria, patient-provider portals and view, download and transmit capabilities.

Track B: Entrepreneurship & innovation in the Healthcare Unbound space, featuring perspectives from thought leaders, financiers and innovative startup companies

Track C: Consumer engagement and accountable care – topics to be covered include remote monitoring, home telehealth, mHealth, eHealth, social media and gaming.

Speakers Include:

  • Steve Adams, Chairman & President, Collaborative Health Consortium
  • Mark Blatt, MD, Worldwide Medical Director, Enterprise Solution Sales, Intel
  • Sean Cassidy, GM, Enterprise Provider Analytics, Premier, Inc.
  • Leslie Kelly Hall, Senior Vice President of Policy, Healthwise
  • Vince Kuraitis, JD, MBA, Principal, Better Health Technologies, LLC
  • Daniel L. Newton, PhD, Staff VP Product/Solutions Development and Behavioral Economics, Anthem Care Management,WellPoint
  • Chuck Parker, Executive Director, Continua Health Alliance
  • Lygeia Ricciardi, Director of the Office of Consumer eHealth, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Neal Sofian, MSPH, Director, Member Engagement, Premera Blue Cross

For more information, please visit: http://tcbi.org/hcub13/

My Health Information Should PRECEDE Me, Not Just Follow Me

To state the obvious, there are times when the value of information depends on timing. Sometimes information needs to be provided in advance.

Consider a few examples. How valuable would the following types of information be to you?

  • From your GPS car navigation device: “You should have turned off at the last freeway exit”.
  • From the National Weather Service: “A class four tornado is hitting your neighborhood right now”.
  • From an airline when you arrive at the gate: “We canceled your flight five hours ago because we needed the plane on another route. Sorry”.

The Federal ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT) website speaks to the value of creating a secure, interoperable nationwide health information network:

A key premise is that information should follow the patient, and artificial obstacles — technical, bureaucratic, or business related — should not be a barrier to the seamless exchange of information. (Emphasis added)

Quiz: Is Healthcare Next on the List?

Pop quiz:

What do address books, video cameras, pagers, wristwatches, maps, books, travel games, flashlights, home telephones, cash registers, Walkmen, day timers, alarm clocks, answering machines, The Yellow Pages, wallets, keys, transistor radios, personal digital assistants, dashboard navigation systems, newspapers and magazines, directory assistance, travel and insurance agents, restaurant guides and pocket calculators all have in common?

This question was posed by Paul Nunes and Larry Downes in their recent Forbes article “How Innovations Become Better and Cheaper“.

For today’s quiz, we’ll have 3 levels of scoring– 2 points for a good answer, 5 points for a better answer, and 10 points for the best answer.

The 2 point answer: each of these products or services is in the process of being disrupted by a new technological innovation.

The 5 point answer: each of these products or services  is being supplanted  by what Nunes and Downes refer to as a “Big Bang Disruption”.  Read their Harvard Business Review article for more details on Big Bang Disruption.

The 10 point answer?

3 Critical Elements of Clinical Collaboration

A colleague recently wrote to me and asked me my definition of “collaboration”.

It doesn’t mean that care providers need to hug each other and sing Kumbaya. Ideally, care providers will like each other, but that’s not foundational.

I see 3 critical elements to clinical collaboration:

Editorial: A Duty to Share Patient Information

by Vince Kuraitis and Leslie Kelly Hall, Senior Vice President, Policy, Healthwise.

The sharing of patient information in the US is out of whack — we lean far too much toward hoarding information vs. sharing it. While care providers have an explicit duty to protect patient confidentiality and privacy, two things are missing:

  • the explicit recognition of a corollary duty to share patient information with other providers when doing so is the patient’s interests, and
  • a recognition that there is potential tension between the duty to protect patient confidentiality/privacy and the duty to share — with minimal guidance on how to resolve the tension.

In this essay we’ll discuss

  1. A recent recognition in the UK
  2. The need for an explicit duty to share patient information in the US

  3. Implications of an explicit duty to share patient information in the US

 

1) A recent recognition in the UK

Last week a long-awaited study commissioned by the Department of Health was released. Here are a few key findings from The Information Governance Review Report (Caldicott Review):

…safe and appropriate sharing in the interests of the individual’s direct care should be the rule, not the exception.

Universal American: A “Healthy Collaboration”

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference | Universal American

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH; originally posted at ACO Watch

I intended to post updates from Aetna and Cigna next in this series, yet today I received a tweet by Vince Kuraitis, aka @VinceKuraitis, calling attention to Universal American a managed care player I’ve not spent much time on. Yet they present a rather interesting profile and operating footprint some of which I will highlight below. According to their website Universal American (UAM):

...provides health benefits to people with Medicare. We are dedicated to a Healthy Collaboration, working together with healthcare professionals in order to improve the health and well-being of our members.

The JPMorgan Healthcare conference deck is here, and webcast here (you may need to register). Of note is with the recent release of CMS certified ACOs, UAM now operates ’31 ACOs approved for participation in the Shared Savings Program which include more than 2,000 participating physicians covering an estimated 300,000 Original Medicare beneficiaries in 13 states.’ So not only are they a player in Medicare Advantage (the end game for risk bearing ACOs), they have a presence in the gateway market as well. For complete details, click here. Two pieces from their narrative tell the story, 1) the ‘healthcare landscape': 

ACOs: We’re NOT There Yet

by Brian Klepper

On The Health Care Blog, veteran analyst Vince Kuraitis reviews a report from the consulting firm Oliver Wyman (OW), arguing that the trend toward reconfiguring health systems to deliver more accountable care is more widespread than any of us suspect.

“The healthcare world has only gotten serious about accountable care organizations in the past two years, but it is already clear that they are well positioned to provide a serious competitive threat to traditional fee-for-service medicine. In “The ACO Surprise,” our analysis finds that 25 to 31 million Americans already receive their care through ACOs-and roughly 45 percent of the population live in regions served by at least one ACO.”

OW provides a well-reasoned analysis and conclusions, but I’m skeptical. In discussions with health system executives around the country, I hear some movement toward change, but relatively few organizations are materially turning their operations in a different direction. The specter of policy change is looming, but it is still abstract. As I’ve described before, market forces are intensifying, but they’re mostly still scattered and immature.

ACOs: Are We “There” Yet?

 

A  recent analysis of the ACO market by Oliver Wyman market suggests we’re well on our way toward being “there”.

My personal take on this report:

Provocative, fresh, thoughtful, well reasoned, expansive — albeit a bit of a stretch

However, I suspect many others will describe it as: 

Speculative, harebrained, unsupported, overly extrapolative, out-to-lunch, wishful to the point of being woo woo

So now that I hopefully have your attention, what’s this report all about? In a nutshell: 

The healthcare world has only gotten serious about accountable care organizations in the past two years, but it is already clear that they are well positioned to provide a serious competitive threat to traditional fee-for-service medicine. In “The ACO Surprise”, our analysis finds that 25 to 31 million Americans already receive their care through ACOs—and roughly 45 percent of the population live in regions served by at least one ACO.

Let’s dig in to the report. In this blog post, I’ll summarize their math, surface their critical assumptions and observations, and comment on their reasoning. I’ve indented direct quotations from the report and have italicized wording that spells out the major assumptions.

While I don’t agree with all of Oliver Wyman’s math and assumptions, I applaud them for the process they have gone through. Please take my commentary as “quibbling at the edges” and that overall I’m on board with their methodology and conclusions.