Telehealth under alternative payment models

Susan Philip

The post below originally ran on Milliman, Inc. on November 23.

Telehealth, as a modality of delivering healthcare services, is growing in terms of acceptance and adoption. There are a few key drivers for this dynamic: (1) consumer demand for convenient access to care; (2) availability of lower-cost telehealth technologies; (3) clinician comfort and willingness to provide certain services remotely; and (4) evolving payment models that seek to incentivize value and better population health.

Evolving payment models reflect the need to mitigate perverse incentives for the unnecessary healthcare utilization, waste, and inefficiencies that are inherent in a volume-based payment system, such as fee-for-service Medicare. Both private and public sector purchasers, such as Medicare, state Medicaid programs, and employers, are in the midst of testing and scaling alternative value-based models. Under these payment models, there are opportunities for telehealth adoption to the extent it encourages efficiencies in the system. Examples include: (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Judy Faulkner

just-faulkner2In telling the Judy Faulkner story, let’s get the essential facts out of the way first.  She is the CEO of one of the nation’s leading companies providing the technology for electronic health record keeping.  Epic Systems had 2014 revenues of $1.77 billion.  Its client base includes some of the leading names in the health provider world – Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, CVS Health, Johns Hopkins.

And Forbes has cited Faulkner’s personal net worth at $2.6 billion, placing her at number six on the magazine’s list of the nation’s most successful self-made women and calling her the most successful female founder of a technology company.

What makes all of this profoundly interesting is that, if there is such a thing as a rule book for contemporary companies on how to succeed, Judy Faulkner has completely ignored it. (more…)

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Thoughts on the Digital Health Gold Rush

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe post below was originally published on Venture Valkyrie.

In 1998 I was forming my first venture fund with a focus on healthcare IT and healthcare services. It was an interesting time to be undertaking such a mission. The Internet boom was in full swing and the money was flooding away from healthcare. Few were yet talking about rising healthcare costs the disastrous state of healthcare errors, or the need to share data to improve the management of chronic disease, much less the operating efficiency of payers or providers. One seasoned VC, whose firm was in the process of laying off all of its healthcare partners in 1998, told me that my firm’s strategy was “quaint.” In other words, maybe I should consider a career in plastics.

237e2d6Fast forward 17 years and the times have changed, to say the least. Everyone is talking about the fiscal crisis wrought by healthcare cost escalation. Even at cocktail parties you can hear people discussing mishaps they have experienced while colliding with our dysfunctional healthcare industry. And in a particular twist, healthcare IT, or its new more hipster moniker, digital health, has become THE place to invest for many. (more…)

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Haven’t checked out Tech Tonics, the Podcast? You should!

Tech TonicsA couple of months ago Disruptive Woman to Watch Lisa Suennen and her colleague David Shaywitz launched  Tech Tonics, the Podcast, building on the success of Tech Tonics, the bookTech Tonics, the Podcast occurs twice a month and is focused on the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health. Drawing from their experience in business, medicine, and health IT Lisa and David hope to bring the people in their field to life. They engage intriguing guests in discussions that enable listeners to appreciate the stories behind the startups and the people.

The most recent podcast is with David Goodman an inventor, entrepreneur and doctor. You can listen to it here. You can find the other podcasts here or on iTunes by clicking here.

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Data Independence Day Series

my dataOur posts this week will all focus on health data and individuals right to access it in honor of “Data Independence Day”. Data Independence Day initiated by Former National Health IT Coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari (you will hear more from him later this week) is a movement that will come to a head on July 4 when the Get My Health Data effort launches. The movement is focused on consumers demanding electronic access to their health information. It began when patient advocates responded to the recently loosened rules governing the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program. In April, CMS announced it was changing the provision that requires eligible providers to prove that five percent of EHR users have viewed, downloaded, or transmitted information contained in their patient portal. The change, eligible providers now only need to prove that “equal to or greater than 1” patient has interacted with their record. You can see why patient advocates were outraged. (more…)

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Jobs of the Future: Not Only for Robots

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post originally ran on Venture Valkyrie on June 14.

There is always talk, sometimes tongue-in-cheek but mostly sort of serious, that a lot of jobs will be replaced by robots or computers. Maybe that new iPhone I just bought will replace me by year end. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla thinks that the most doctors’ current functions will be replaced by algorithms; many believe that lots of white collar jobs, such as lawyers, accountants, and bankers will be replaced by machines with warmer personalities. Venture capitalists have already been “supplemented” with algorithms and, no doubt, there are plenty of people who would like to see us replaced by nearly anything metal—spatula, can opener–if they had their way. In Iron Man we see a world of robot-based soldiers going to war and in real life the echo of that is not so far off.

Army prototypes

So if those jobs are going away and machines run the world of money and more, where are the opportunities for our kids and those now looking for their next career? Well, the good news is that there will still be a need for people in the future (whew!), and service jobs of all kinds will be high demand. While there is not yet a big call for valets to care for our robot overlords, it does appear that demand for medical workers will continue to drive job growth for a long while to come and thus the healthcare system will be largely free from total robot takeover.

Of the nearly 3 million new jobs added in 2014, about 10% of them came from the healthcare sector. That’s a pretty big number and actually is a bit worrisome when one thinks about how closely our economic health as a nation is tied to growing healthcare labor costs. If we are too successful in our national quest to cut healthcare costs, we may find ourselves killing new job growth and tanking the economy. Irony is a bitch. (more…)

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  • June 1st, 2015 Building a Health App? Welcome to Our World
    By Glenna Crooks
  • A Look at the Impact of IT in Nursing

    The infographic below was created by Adventist University of Health Sciences. It outlines how technology is being used to raise efficacy in nursing and health industries. As more hospitals implement IT nurses will be able to synchronize information between practices and pharmacies, transferring life-saving prescriptions and data in a matter of seconds. (more…)

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    HIMSS15: The Patient Takes Center Stage

    Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following was originally posted by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie.

    Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post called SXSW: Woodstock for Geeks, which became the opening chapter of Tech Tonics, the book I wrote with David Shaywitz. In this piece, I pointed out the marked differences between SXSW vs. HIMSS, both of which I had recently experienced.   I said that HIMSS was best described as “a festival of old-school techno weenies recognizable in the wild by their big company expense accounts and the blue and gray suits that barely cover their pocket protectors.” In contrast, I experienced SXSW as an event that “would blanche at the thought of being called a conference. SXSW is more of a happening.  Rather than suits (the costume is old jeans and rock and roll t-shirts), the primary thing that comes in blue is hair.” My conclusion of the 2012 piece was this:

    “In a perfect world, the ideal HIT gathering would be somewhere psychologically between HIMSS and SXSW:  fewer gray suits, less purple hair, more next generation technology, more business models that work.   If we could do a little cross breeding between species here, we just might make it work. Or we could accidentally end up with the Monster from Young Frankenstein.  Wait a minute, my God it’s brilliant! He might actually be perfect!  The Monster had both a gray suit AND a green head.  If he knows how to code, we have a winner.  Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” (more…)

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    Can Social Media & Healthcare Work Together?

    Does the privacy of health and openness of social media work?

    Social media has many uses, from the basics of being able to stay abreast of what your friends and colleagues are doing, to a way for companies to communicate with their customers.

    It is a way of sharing the big or small moments in your life, but it can be so much more than that.

    This is especially true in healthcare, where despite the clear confidentially restrictions put on how people can communicate, it is making a big difference – as will be discussed by Dennis Jolley, Chief Marketing Officer from Gillette Children’s Specialty, at the Digital Health Innovation Summit. (more…)

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    Founder Robin Strongin helps Women in MedTech Group Launch at MassMEDIC Forum

    The article below originally ran on April 9 in MedTech Boston and can be accessed here. Many thanks to Disruptive Woman Randel Richner who invited Disruptive Women Founder Robin Strongin to participate in this launch. Can’t wait to hear more from this group!

    StronginThe first-ever Women in MedTech event launched last week in Waltham, MA as 125 women gathered for a MassMEDIC-sponsored forum titled “Disruptive Technologies in Medicine.” Its founders frame their goal: “To unite New England medical device executive women by providing an inspirational and educational leadership forum.” The message: “You will hear us now.”

    Randel Richner, President of Richner Consultants, opened the forum. “Today is a dream of mine, to have all of you in this room,” she said. Two powerful influences have guided her life: her dad, who said, “You will always work,” and Robin Morgan’s 1969 book, Sisterhood is Powerful. Richner started her career as a dialysis nurse on a bus, but has taken her work many places since. She has been called incendiary – inflammable and provocative – and effective, and she believes deeply in an Alibaba quote: “To be more successful, bring in more women.” (more…)

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  • March 30th, 2015 The Digital Health Age Needs a Good Yawn
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Why Your Healthcare Organization Can — and Should — Adopt New Tech

    Asha SaxenaIn a fast-paced, high-stakes hospital setting, delivering premium patient care is everyone’s top priority.

    Naturally, as new tech enters the scene, you diligently work to implement it into your hospital. But when those changes interfere with your staff’s immediate focus on patient care, your push for efficiency might face some resistance. And without employee adoption, you can’t reap the benefits of new tech.

    Say you’re rolling out a new payment method for HR, for example. Updating your system might be breezy, but integrating it into employees’ daily lives poses bigger challenges. While you might be able to force staff to use the new program, nurturing an environment that embraces innovation will take the pain out of tech adoption and allow your entire organization to enjoy the benefits. (more…)

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    TBT: All I Want for Christmas Is Customer Service at My Doctor’s Office

    Casey Quinlan

    Although several years old now several of Casey’s thoughts in the post below sadly still ring true today.

    I have this dream. It’s about how, when I make an appointment to see my doctor – my primary care physician – the process is easy, honors my time as much as it does my doctor’s, and winds up running smoothly for both parties.

    The dream starts this way: I realize it’s time for my annual physical, or any other usual-suspects periodic visit to my PCP. I open up my browser, point it to my doctor’s website, and log in to the secure patient portal. The one where I can see all my prescriptions, my personal health record, make an appointment (using the handy calendar function), request a prescription refill, ask the nurse or doctor a question via email, or download a PDF of my health record.

    In my dream, using the handy scheduling function in the portal, I select a date and time for my appointment. The portal auto-populates that date and time with my name and insurance/contact information, since I logged in and it knows who I am. The system asks me if any information has changed. I click “no”. If I click “yes,” the next screen asks me to make the changes, and “submit”. (more…)

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    Digital health love – older people who use tech like health-tech, too

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    The following post ran on March 4th on Health Populi.

    As people take on self-service across all aspects of daily living, self-care in health is growing beyond the use of vitamins/minerals/supplements, over-the-counter meds, and trying out the blood-pressure cuff in the pharmacy waiting for a prescription to be filled. Today, health consumers the world over have begun to engage in self-care using digital technologies. And this isn’t just a phenomenon among people in the Millennial generationMost seniors who regularly use technology (e.g., using computers and mobile phones) are also active in digitally tracking their weight, for example, learned in a survey by Accenture.Seniors18

    Older people who use technology in daily living (say, for entertainment or financial management) are keen to use tech for health, too. Specifically, illustrated in the infographic, Accenture found that:

    • 2 in 3 older people want to use self-care technology to manage their health
    • 3 in 5 older people are willing to track vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure via a digital device (more…)

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