Guest Post: Regardless what the Supreme Court Rules: Technological Innovations Are the Future of Health Care

The Healthcare Industry waits today for the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), no doubt the single greatest change to the nation’s health care system since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid Programs in 1966. A ruling on its constitutionality, therefore, will likely have a considerable impact on the state of the healthcare industry for years to come.

While the judges argue their positions and write opinions, and opponents and supporters stake out the Court’s steps with chants and signs, there is a long term and much less conspicuous movement that has been shaping the health care industry through innovation, collaboration and adoption and adaptation of cutting edge technology.

In a recent report[i], Ernst & Young declared that health care is shifting to a new level of consumer centricity and moving to a “Third place of delivery”.

“To address the challenge of behavior change, the epicenter of health care system – how health care is produced, delivered, consumed, and paid for – will move beyond the two places in which it has traditionally been delivered, the hospital and doctor’s office,” the report says.

“The third place is wherever the patient happens to be.  It is both every place and no place.  For health care, the third place is the patient,” it concludes.

The Population Health Management industry has long understood the need for coordinating and providing care for the patient outside the traditional delivery settings.  Our members have been developing the innovative technologies, approaches, strategies and methods for reaching and engaging the individual as patient and health consumer.

I am here to extend you an invitation: Come to have a taste of what the future of patient-centered, value-driven and technology-supported health care looks like at the:

Population Health Innovations Showcase

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

11 am – 7 pm

Rayburn House Office Building – Rayburn Foyer

Washington DC

This Showcase brings an elite group of ten health care innovators to Capitol Hill for live interactive demonstration of cutting-edge health tools, services and programs.

Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, we know that the innovations we are seeing in 2012 are the foundations of the health care delivery system of the future.  CCA staff had a hard time selecting only ten among the many potential participants and it was clear that there is a plethora of innovation and companies investing in Population Health Management.

Join us on July 11 to glance into the future of health care.

– Chris Coloian, Chair, CCA Board of Directors


[i] Ernst & Young, Progressions Global Life Science Report 2012

Guest Blog Post Disclaimer

CCA invites guest bloggers to post on Voice on Population Health Blog as a benefit for our members and the industry and to allow for exchange of ideas and information regarding population health.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and/or of the company the author represents and do not represent those of the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA), its members, or the industry as a whole. CCA is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this guest post article. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author(s) and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

Guest Post: Reimbursement Policy Needs to Join the 21st Century

Imagine a banker making a loan without knowing the precise interest rate.  Imagine a drone flyer dropping a bomb without knowing the exact coordinates.  Imagine a doctor prescribing hypertension medication based on one data point – the blood pressure score recorded in the office after the patient fought through rush hour traffic, in a panic, fearing being late for the appointment.

Of those three scenarios, one happens hundreds of times a day in America, and the others almost NEVER happen.

Wouldn’t it be great if your primary care physician could look at your last 30 blood pressure scores, recorded over the last 2 months?  Well…it is happening today, but it doesn’t happen with nearly enough frequency because the old, tired, inaccurate “one data point” process gets reimbursed; whereas, contextual, longitudinal trends on blood pressure don’t.

At Healthrageous, we witnessed the positive benefits of empowering people with hypertension through the use of wireless blood pressure cuffs.  In a random controlled trial conducted in 2008 with 404 employees of the EMC Corporation in Eastern Massachusetts, those in the intervention group who used their wireless cuffs ended up receiving twice as many medication consults as the control group – leading to more precise titration of their blood pressure medications.

We are talking about a disease that is called the “silent killer” and which affects one in three adults in our country.  Yet, reimbursement policy for wireless devices that yield meaningful clinical biometrics remains stuck in the 1950s.  Back then, a farmer with high blood pressure paid for his doctor’s visit with a dozen eggs and a quart of milk.  Surely health care reform can include accountable, self-managing consumers sharing their BP scores with their doctors.  Yet, we don’t allow reimbursement for wireless blood pressure cuffs.  We don’t reimburse physicians for interpreting treasure troves of accurate hypertension data collected over time.  We simply shrug when patients find it too difficult and disruptive to visit their doctors in order to get medication for the silent killer.  Hence, they don’t see the doctor and are “silently” being killed by our stuck-in-time reimbursement policies.

And hypertension is but one example of wireless biometrics better informing overworked doctors and giving them the necessary information to effectively prescribe for our growing, mobile population.

Rick Lee is the CEO of Healthrageous, a CCA member.  He has made a career in the creation and sales of specialty health care applications and companies.  Prior to founding Healthrageous in 2009, he ran the largest EAP in the country for Magellan, was a founder of Quality Oncology, a disease management company, and was on the founding team of Value Health, with his specialization mostly in behavioral health.

Guest Blog Post Disclaimer

 CCA invites guest bloggers to post on Voice on Population Health Blog as a benefit for our members and the industry and to allow for exchange of ideas and information regarding population health.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and/or of the company the author represents and do not represent those of the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA), its members, or the industry as a whole. CCA is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this guest post article. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author(s) and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

With All Due Respect, We’re not on the Edge of Our Seats.

Washington, DC is literally abuzz with speculation about the imminent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.  Certainly, the decision and the part that individual justices play on it will be endlessly analyzed for political purposes.

Here’s the thing, though: the Supreme Court decision isn’t really going to make a difference from the perspective of population heath organizations.  Why?  Because the transformation of health care delivery in this country began over a decade ago and will continue regardless of this ruling. The real determinants of the evolution of health care are the various components and strategies of population health management.

The ACA reinforced what many health care industry segments already knew:

  • Volume is not quality.
  • Acute care is, in many cases, too late.
  • Technology has changed the way care is delivered, coordinated, and measured.

Many of the concepts the ACA champions had been tested and proven successful in places like Geisinger, Mayo Clinic, state Medicaid programs and through pilot programs spearheaded by numerous national and regional health plans.

The fundamental business model of health care was already changing when the ACA was enacted. We will not divert from many of its pillars such as prevention and health promotion, quality and outcomes over volume, and the role of technology and innovation to expand capacity.  Population health management strategies support and have evolved considerably to advance the new care delivery goals of better outcomes, improved health and lower health care expenses.

Last month, I had the honor of discussing new payment models for innovation and technology at an innovation forum organized by a CCA member company.  No such discussion can take place without recognizing that fee-for-service and component-based payment structures are being replaced by new structures that reward coordinated, collaborative models. The key goals of these new models are improved quality and health outcomes and lower costs. In closing, I addressed the potential impact of the Supreme Court decision: upheld or invalidated in whole or in part, the decision will not roll back health care delivery transformation.  That horse has left the gate.

-Tracey Moorhead, President & CEO

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