Matthew Holt

Matthew Holt
Matthew Holt is the founder and publisher of The Health Care Blog and still writes regularly for the site. He is also the co-founder of the Health 2.0 Conference, as well as a Founding Principal of the associated consulting firm Health 2.0 Advisors.

In Search of Intra-Aero-Bili-ty

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Today is the kick-off of the vendor-fest that is HIMSS. Late last week on THCB, ONC director Karen De Salvo and Policy lead Jodi Daniel slammed the EMR vendors for putting up barriers to interoperability. Last year I had my own experience with that topic and I thought it would be timely to write it up. (I’ll also be in the Surescripts booth talking about it at 3.45 Monday)

I want to put this essay in the context of my day job as co-chairman of Health 2.0, where I look at and showcase new technologies in health. We have a three part definition for what we call Health 2.0. First, they must be adaptable technologies in health care, where one technology plugs into another easily using accessible APIs without a lot of rework and data moves between them. Second, we think a lot about the user experience, and over eight years we’ve been seeing tools with better and better user experiences–especially on the phone, iPad, and other screens. Finally, we think about using data to drive decisions and using data from all those devices to change and help us make decisions.

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This is the Cal Pacific Medical Center up in San Francisco. The purple arrow on the left points to the door of the emergency entrance.

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Cal Pacific is at the end of that big red arrow on the next photo. On that map there’s also a blue line which is my effort to add some social commentary. To the top left of that blue line in San Francisco is where the rich people live, and on the bottom right is where the poor people live. Cal Pacific is right in the middle of the rich side of town, and it’s where San Francisco’s yuppies go to have their babies.
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Last year, on August 26, 2014 at about 1 am to be precise, I drove into this entrance rather fast. My wife was next to me and within an hour, we were upstairs and out came Aero. He’s named Aero because his big sister was reading a book about Frankie the Frog who wanted to fly and he was very aerodynamic. So when said, “What should we call your little brother?” She said, “I want to call him Aerodynamic.” We said, “OK, if he comes out fast we’ll call him the aerodynamic flying baby.” So he’s called Aero for short.

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Thus began the Quest for Intra-Aero-Bili-ty –a title I hope will grow on you. The Bili part will become obvious in a paragraph or two.

Something had changed since we had been at Cal Pacific three years earlier for the birth of Coco, our first child.

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If you look carefully at the top of Amanda’s head, there’s now a computer system. Like most big provider systems, Sutter–Cal Pacific’s parent company–has installed Epic and it’s in every room or on a COW (cart on wheels). Essentially we have spent the last few years putting EMRs in all hospitals. This is the result of the $24+ billion the US taxpayer (well, the Chinese taxpayer to be more accurate) has spent since the 2010 rollout of the HITECH act.

West Shell, CEO, Healthline

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I recently had a chance to talk with West Shell, Chairman and CEO of Healthline, who will appear onstage at the Health 2.0 Conference this Fall during our session, In Conversation with Three CEOs. While Healthline has always been known as a powerhouse search and content site, they are expanding to provide new tools and services keep up with the growing needs of users as technology in the healthcare space evolves (check out their Human Body Maps!).

As West mentions below, providers and payers are doing different things which is changing Healthline’s market and their offerings. They’re also working with the large amounts of data being released to help users make more informed decisions regarding their health. Check out the interview to hear West discuss even more Healthline updates, and where they’re headed in the future.

So what does Trump mean for new health tech?

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Matthew-Holt-colorI’m a pundit who like everyone else was surprised by Trump’s victory in the (profoundly undemocratic and hopefully-to-be-abolished-soon) electoral college, and everything I say here is prefaced by the fact that there was very little discussion of healthcare specifics by Trump. So there’s no certainty about what will happen–to state the obvious about his administration!

What we do know is that Trump said he’d repeal & replace the ACA and the House has voted to repeal it many times (but the Senate has only once & Obama has always vetoed that repeal). A full and formal repeal requires 60 votes in the Senate which it won’t get with the Democrats holding 48. Note that the Democrats needed 60 votes to to forestall a Republican filibuster in order to pass the ACA in 2010. That 60 vote total is a very rare state of events which existed for only only one year–from Jan 2009 until Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s old seat in Jan 2010 and one we likely won’t see again for many years.

But this doesn’t does not mean things will continue as usual for two reasons. Congress can change the budget with the Republican 52 seat Senate majority, and the Administration can change regulations and stop enforcing them. So we have to assume that the new Administration and its allies(?) on the Hill will roll back the expansion of Medicaid which was responsible for most of the reduction in the uninsured (even if it didn’t happen in every state). They’ll also reduce or eliminate the subsidies which enable about 10m people to buy insurance using the exchanges. Both of those were in the repeal bill Obama vetoed, although in the bill the process was delayed for 2 years.

This of course may not happen or may be replaced by something equivalent because many of the people who voted for Trump (the rural, white, lower-income voters) fall into the category of those helped by the law, and in a few of his remarks he’s also said that he’ll be taking care of them. Even this week Senator Wicker (R-Mississippi) said that they weren’t going to take away 20 million people’s insurance. In Kentucky which went from a Democratic to Republican governor 2 years ago, the new administration ended their local exchange (from 2017), but in fact not much consequential happened as people were sent to the Federal exchange. If there are changes to the exchanges and the individual mandate or they’re both abolished, there’ll be lots of commotion but it won’t be completely system changing.

My day job at Health 2.0 involves running a conference and innovation program based on a community of companies using SMAC technologies to change health care services and delivery–either by starting new types of health care services or selling those technologies to the current incumbents. So I’m acutely interested in what happens next, albeit somewhat biased about my preferences!

Overall I think that (unlike many other areas of American life) health care technology won’t be that greatly affected. 

The End Game–Live in Finland!

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some_1Today I am in Finland at the Vertical digital health accelerator, part of a really impressive network of accelerators and incubators in Helsinki. Tomorrow is the huge SLUSH festival at which I (plus Steven Krein of Startup Health) will be talking on Thursday. Today, I’m speaking and moderating a great seminar with excellent speakers at Vertical for the End Game.

The End Game
 is a thought leader seminar that finds answers to questions. The most insightful speakers from around the world will talk about digital health. Speakers include the Head of Health & Medical equipment division of Samsung France, the Head of Healthcare of Telia, and many others including Luis Barros VC expert from Boston.

 

The seminar is streaming live on www.endgame.fi on November 10th at 3pm Finnish time (8 am ET, 5 am PT) The video will also be available for later viewing.

Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson on reform and life after IT

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http://vimeo.com/4039344?pg=embed&sec=George Halvorson is the CEO of Kaiser Permanente, and the driving force behind both the HealthConnect EMR implementation and a national player in the health reform debate. I got to talk to him at HIMSS where he’d just finished giving the Monday keynote. We discussed KP HealthConnect, and the impact it’s having internally (good), why KP is making such a high-profile fuss about it (no, they’re not planning on expanding nationally or internationally), what AHIP and the insurers might face in the future (a choice between Canada and Switzerland), whether chronic care management can work without integration (he says yes), and whether the big guys will cast the smaller insurers adrift. You’ll have to watch for that answer.

Eric Dishman, Intel & Randy Swanson, Care Innovations

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Eric Dishman has been at Intel forever, and has been a cancer survivor for even longer. At HIMSS16 I met with him and Randy Swanson, another Intel veteran who is now CEO of their subsidiary Care Innovations. Yesterday Eric left Intel to become Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. You’ll figure out why he’s so perfect for the job listening to this interview. You’ll also figure out why Intel cares about health care overall, and where Care Innovations is heading in the remote monitoring world. —Matthew Holt

Video recording provided by Greg Masters at Health Innovation Media
(FD–I am on the advisory board for the Validation Institute which is funded by Care Innovations.)

Uwe on premium support and vouchers

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There’s a great post on the NY Time Economix blog from Uwe Reinhardt explaining the theoretical difference between premium support and voucher systems (and you thought they were the same thing!). Unfortunately it skirts the real problem that those of us playing along at home know too well. Either a well constructed premium support (Ryan done right), or a well constructed voucher/managed competition (Enthoven) system, a mixed public/private system (Germany, Starr, Reinhardt) or even a decent Medicare for all /Single payer system (PNHP, McCanne) needs to be designed holistically to have a chance of working–especially to ensure that all people are in plans that treat them all equally.

Want to help Technologies for Healthy Communities?

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Health 2.0 is actively expanding Technology for Healthy Communities and looking for large healthcare organizations and foundations to help support technology adoption at a community level.

Technology for Healthy Communities is a dynamic pilot program designed to catalyze the adoption of technologies in communities. The program fosters the development of sustainable partnerships to address the social determinants of health in the under-served regions that need it the most. Over 200 innovators across the U.S. submitted applications to the program, and through curated matchmaking and access to funding, selected innovators were matched with three participating communities to conduct pilot projects.

Snapshot of the three pilots:

  • Spartanburg, SC: ACCESS Health Spartanburg, a non-profit agency primarily working with the uninsured population, is piloting with Healthify to provide community interventions for social determinants of health at the point of care. With support from Spartanburg Way to Wellville and the Mary Black Foundation, the pilot aims to address current pain points in community health care, such as the inefficiency of addressing social needs of patients and helping to make case management easier.
  • Jacksonville, FL: The City of Jacksonville and the Health Planning Council of NE Florida, with support from the Clinton Foundation is piloting with CTY to deploy its signature product, NuminaTM. With this technology, bicycle and pedestrian traffic data will be collected to assess current safety conditions and plan improvements in the built environment for residents to be more physically active.
  • Alameda County, CA: The Community Health Center Network is piloting with Welkin Health to implement a case management tool that engages members and eases current healthcare worker burden. Together, they will pilot this case management tool in four centers to help community health workers to effectively and efficiently coordinate care.

Due to the high demand from tech innovators and communities, Health 2.0 is expanding the program to new communities, tech startups and organizations who can benefit from technology adoption. By addressing the social determinants of health, the program has the potential to implement unique tech applications and address some of the most important systemic issues at the community level.

Health 2.0 is looking for partners such as foundations, large health systems and corporations who want to support pilots to test innovations in communities, interact with the fastest growing startups in the tech scene, and help create business opportunities for technology companies. Program sponsors will also have the opportunity to address local health needs by bringing exciting, new technologies to under-served regions across the U.S.

The program will focus on tools that support access to a healthy lifestyle, in categories such as:

  • Access to healthcare services
  • Food insecurity
  • Affordable housing
  • Behavioral/mental health

If you are interested in partnering with Health 2.0 to help deliver technology to communities, contact [email protected] to learn about opportunities to support the program.

Alexandra Camesas is a program manager at Catalyst @ Health 2.0

Matthew’s Issues & Charities at end 2015, start 2016

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Every year (well almost) I write a letter to friends and contacts about which charities I give to and which issues I support, and recently I’ve been posting it on THCB–hey I own the joint so who’s going to stop me!. Here’s this end/start year edition–Matthew Holt

Yes another year with a Matthew issues letter nearly missed but not quite. I’m poolside in Maui winding down as much as possible when on a vacation with little kids and I’ve missed getting this out for end 2015 but because of the weekend 2016 isn’t really here yet, and I’m finally hammering out my end of year news, gossip, charities and issues letter. A couple of weeks ago someone asked me how the new year was shaping up, and I told them I was about ready for 2012….and I still feel the same way. I seem to spend more time reading articles on the habits of productive people than actually being one …thanks Buzzfeed!

If you don’t know, this is a letter I write mostly to myself about what happened in what’s now last year and what I should do about it–in terms of making charitable donations while it’s still 2015, although I must confess that I sometimes give money on Jan 1-2 and claim it on my taxes for the year before, so I hope the NSA isn’t sharing this email with the IRS. People do ask me about it every year, sometimes in advance, so hopefully it’s not a waste, and if you don’t care then hit delete, or go onto the next fascinating Facebook article on 15 celebs that look gross after plastic surgery, or whatever….and I love comments on the blogs/Facebook/Twitter or by email, so please let me know what you think.
 
The main stuff is the issues below, but quick update on me and mine. Aero (1), Coco (4) and Amanda (unspecified) still continue to interrupt my attempts to waste my life away. Amanda says that my appeals for a diaper changing robot are unnecessary as Aero only has about 2,000 changes to go. She does say though that I might soon need one, Health 2.0 had a great year with our biggest ever crowd in Santa Clara plus 2 other successful conferences in the US plus others in Europe (Barcelona) Korea, Latin America  (São Paolo) and Japan, where I had great fun this November. I also snuck in a trip to Finland to talk about Health 2.0 (12 mins of fun here) at the wonderful SLUSH conference and had a cold plunge after a sauna, leading to my most viewed and commented Facebook video post ever! (Thanks to my host Pekka Sivonen). Thanks to everyone who worked for, volunteered at, spoke at or came to a Health 2.0 conference. 
 
In addition due to the work of  my long suffering partner Indu Subaiya, and our New York team led by Graeme Ossey & Jen David we now have a really vibrant business running challenges and pilots, including a huge new project for the World Bank exposing hospitals in India to new technology. You can also very occasionally see me write on The Health Care Blog which I own while John Irvine manages it (well sort of!!)
 
But this email isn’t about that, it’s about about issues, charity and politics—I missed end of 2013 but 2014’s was pretty good, so much of this is a minor update. If you want to see the past editions here’s 20122011 2010 20092008 and you can search back to 2002 (first one was either 2000 or 2001 but either way it was pre-Blogger so I dont have a copy!), As ever, this letter is about my views and suggestions for donations about health care, poverty in developing world, poverty at home, torture, drug prohibition, and other stuff…. And as I said earlier comments/insults are welcome
 
Health care & (poor) women’s & kids care
 
The affordable Care Act is finally established, having survived yet another crazy attack in the Supreme Court. And in the most expensive and inane way basically 10 more million Americans have health insurance than did before. But before you criticize, realize that this was the best that could be done given the insane politics of America and that, other than the disgraceful refusal by many southern Republican governors to expand Medicaid in southern states leaving many of the very poor uncovered, almost everyone now has the chance to be in the system–including those  people who had health conditions who were previously left to go broke or die. America hasn’t done entirely the right thing yet, but we are getting there.
 
What sadly has come into focus this year is the desperate attempts to attack women’s access to health care. If you’re a woman– especially a young or poor one who needs access to contraceptives, mammograms, cervical cancer screening, sexually transmitted disease testing, and all kinds of health procedures including safe abortions, it’s become the mission of mainstream Republicans to stop you getting them–using disgusting, deceitful, and downright illegal methods. And that’s as polite as I can say it. So my biggest bump in funding this year went to the one organization that consistently not only campaigns for but actually provides reproductive health services (including contraception, STD testing, counseling, pregnancy support and, yes, safe abortions), Planned Parenthood. I cannot believe that men want to live in a world where women cannot get these services, although I guess the evidence shows enough do….especially in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and many more.

Finally Coco’s first pediatrician, the amazing Nadine Burke Harris just got a big grant to study the impact of Adverse Childhood Events.. Worth checking out some information about that here (no donation required!) 

Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts

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Glen Tullman, Allscripts CEO is one of the more charismatic, opinionated and politically connected players in health IT. I grabbed a few minutes with him at HIMSS 09 on how he’s positioned Allscripts to be a survivor in the coming consolidation, why he likes CCHIT (he’s a happy cat!), if SaaS (and AthenaHealth) is a real threat, and whether his buddy Barrack Obama (for whom he was on the original fundraising committe) is going to whisk him off to DC any time soon….