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THCB

The Levers We Have at Our Disposal to Reduce Spending on High Cost Claimants

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CindySweb

A new report out from the American Health Policy Institute and Leavitt Partners further quantifies what we already know: a handful of employees are responsible for the bulk of employers’ health care spending. The new report documented that among 26 large employers, 1.2 percent of employees are high cost claimants who comprise 31 percent of total health care spending. Interestingly enough, the report was released on the heels of news yet again that high deductible health plans continue to be more popular than ever as a strategy for employers to control costs, with employee cost sharing expected to rise yet again this year.

And yet high deductible health plans may do more to bend the cost trend for healthy employees by reducing spending on items like pharmaceuticals and lab testing but not on inpatient care.

The least heathy employees quickly blow through their deductible, and their health issues are so acute and their bills so large, they don’t shop around for care. So what is a large employer or any purchaser concerned about these high cost claimants to do?

Consumerism in how we typically think of the concept doesn’t seem to be working.  For example, according to McKinsey,most healthcare consumers are not doing their homework – they aren’t researching costs or their choice of providers. And even for the handful that do use price transparency tools, new research shows this doesn’t result in savings. It’s not that patients with serious health conditions don’t want to understand their condition, the latest evidence-based treatment options, who are the best physicians, and treatment costs. It’s just that they need assistance curating and interpreting this complex information.

Launch! at Health 2.0

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Launch

Launch! is always one of the most fun and most exciting sessions at Health 2.0. Ten new companies demo their product on stage for the very first time during at the 10th Annual Fall Conference. Previous Launch! winners have included Castlight Health, Basis, and OM*Signal and last year’s winner MedWand, which just beat out Gliimpse–itself since bought by Apple.

This year’s finalists are:
  • Valeet Healthcares platform gives patients personalized health information while allowing providers to have a rounding tool and giving healthcare systems a dashboard to track metrics.
  • gripAble is an innovative mobile technology that bridges the gap between functional therapy and objective measurement of upper-limb function.
  • Cricket Health works with payor and provider customers to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), manage the transition from CKD to End Stage Renal Disease, and improve ESRD care.
  • Qidza is a population health mobile platform that enables parents work with their physicians to track their children’s developmental milestones
  • Docent Health guides health systems to embrace a consumer-centric approach to healthcare by curating patient experiences.
  • Albeado builds Healthcare prediction and optimization solutions based on proprietary data science platform which combines clinical AI and Graph-Based Machine Learning.
  • Siren Care offers temperature-sensing smart socks which provide health data on foot ulcers, hot spots, and more to prevent future injuries.
  • MDwithME integrates soft and hardware components in a suitcase enabling full remote physical exams with an option of instant or delayed physician’s consult with quality of testing that equals or exceeds the current state of art.
  • DayTwo maintains health and prevent disease utilizing a microbiome platform, starting with personalized nutrition based on gut bacteria, aiming to normalize blood sugar levels and cultivate a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Regeneration Health is a health ecosystem powered by artificial intelligence that collects and monitors health in real time and curates free personalized health info and recommendations based on integrative medicine.

You can see them on Wednesday, the last day of the Health 2.0 10th Annual Fall Conference Sept 25-8 in Santa Clara, CA.

Jess Jacobs, POTS & her bio

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10yrGlobaRetroBIG

As part of Health 2.0’s 10 Year Global Retrospective Awards (yes, winners to be celebrated at Health 2.0’s 10th Annual Fall Conference September 25-8), I wrote a bunch of bios. One patient and friend of mine Jess Jacobs has (as many of you know) recently died. Fellow POTS patient Greg Norman didn’t much care for the brief bio I wrote about Jess. So below the fold please read his tweet storm about it! And of course please comment.

The Health 2.0 10 Year Global Retrospective Awards

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10yrGlobaRetroBIG

Yup, more blowing the trumpet about Health 2.0! We’re celebrating our 10th conference in 2 weeks and over the summer we’ve been looking back at the people and organizations who’ve made a mark in health tech, digital health, Health 2.0, or whatever you want to call it. For ten years Health 2.0 has showcased and connected with thousands of technologies, companies, innovative thought leaders, and patient activists through our many events and conferences, challenges, code-a-thons, market research, blog posts, pilot programs and general industry promotion. Since our first conference in 2007, Health 2.0 has grown into a global movement and community of over 100,000 entrepreneurs, developers, and health care stakeholders, and 110+ chapters on six continents

As we prepare to usher in the 10th year of Health 2.0, we want to take this opportunity to reflect on and recognize the accomplishments of this powerful community and movement. To do this, we asked our community to nominate the top influencers from the world of Health 2.0. Over the summer thousands of people voted and now the finalists are showcased on Health 2.0’s 10 Year Global Retrospective Awards for all to see. It’s time to vote for the finalists, and the winners will be celebrated at Health 2.0’s 10th Annual Fall Conference on September 25-8 in Santa Clara, California.

Please go take a look at the finalists and vote for your favorites!

Health 2.0–Expediting The Health Technology Buying Process

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Like I told you, there’ll be a lot more on THCB about what’s going to be happening at Health 2.0 coming up Sept 25-8. Today’s edition–MarketConnect a new program for getting new products into provider organizations, modeled on something we’ve been doing as part of our pilot programs in Health 2.0’s Catalyst group–Matthew Holt

Through vigorous vetting of health technology companies and matching based on prospective buyers’ needs, Health 2.0 is simplifying and expediting the health tech buying and selling process during the 10th Annual Fall Conference on September 25-28 in Santa Clara. Health 2.0’s MarketConnect is an invitation only forum for buyers and sellers to be pre-matched for market compatibility and facilitate technology acquisition. Executives from organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Cedars-Sinai and UPMC will be looking to connect with technology companies.

The networking program is designed to break down the barriers of technology adoption within large health systems and health organizations to connect tech companies directly with pre-qualified executives that are interested in seeing vetted technologies that are relevant to problems that are trying to solve.

How it works: Health 2.0 works with closely with buyers to identify specific areas where technology is needed and a solution is required within 12 months. Health 2.0 then assess the digital health marketplace and identifies relevant companies aligned with buyer’s’ technology needs and connect buyers with hand-picked companies during our MarketConnect event at Health 2.0’s Annual Fall Conference. During the event, buyers will meet with compatible companies with the intent of purchasing suitable technologies. If you want to know more contact Patrick@health2con.com

 

Patients Without Borders

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More about Jess Jacobs, who died on Saturday–also known as #UnicornJess. (That link will take you to the twitter memorial on Sunday night, but also check out remembrances from Ted Eytan & Carly Medosch). Today I’m re-running a beautiful, and very personal piece (on Medium) from her friend Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin who was a key patient advocate for Jess in Washington DC–Matthew Holt

Whitney_Jess

I attended a walking tour once where the guide was going on about Von Gogh’s quest to paint yellow in the most yellowy of yellow ways. Even NIH articles talk about it. Theories abound.

As we walked, I gained an appreciation for the lengths this guy went to on his quest for a single portrait of yellowy yellowness. I remember the guide saying something like:

“Van Gogh sought his whole career to paint in a way that demonstrated how yellow made him feel.”

The tour was years ago but that line stuck with me. Has anything ever trapped you like that? Like a quest to craft a brushstroke for how something made you feel?


My treasured friend Jess Jacobs died this weekend. She flooded my life with laughter and jokes, expanding what I knew in what it is to love a friend in the very best of ways.

Jess and I met in a classroom at Georgetown where she swiftly passed out in front of me when I returned for the final pitches of my first-ever code-a-thon. Later she’d tell of waking up to a blur of people and a certain bow tie being in focus.

Shortly thereafter, she fainted in front of me again and I soon learned how to trust a new friend and be there for her more than I ever had before. That pattern continued throughout my whole friendship with Jess. She gifted me a new definition of trust and capability.

Some of the scariest words I’ve ever known in health care existed in Jess’ medical profile, yet she was always the outlier redefining what it meant to have those diagnoses.

On the Worst Healthcare Experience of My Life

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This has been a very sad weekend for me personally, the wider health care community and for anyone who knew Jess Jacobs, who died on Saturday. She was only 29 years old, and was smart, funny, enthusiastic, and brave well beyond her years. She suffered from two very rare diseases, but was also working to push health policy forward at ONC, FDA and Aetna, and she really knew her stuff. Jess was a marvel and a rarity in more ways than one. She was #UnicornJess. (That link will take you to the twitter memorial on Sunday night, but also check out remembrances from Ted Eytan & Carly Medosch). I’m ashamed that I never thought to offer this to her while it was happening, but now I’m going to run several of her pieces from her site about her “care” experience on THCB in the coming days, starting with this one from 2015. (Hospital X is I believe Georgetown Univ Med Center but she went through every hospital in DC and there were no good ones. She wouldn’t name them beause she expected to be back, but that’s not an issue now). And while my thoughts are with Jess family and friends, I’m going to redouble my efforts to change what passes for care in today’s system–Matthew Holt

I’ve now spent two consecutive Memorial Day weekends at Hospital X with intractable vomiting. Last year I checked myself in. This year, I took the scenic route via three weeks of hard time at Hospital A followed by a transfer to Hospital X. When the nurse blindsided me with the transfer order to Hospital X after COB on a Friday night, I assumed it was a clerical error. The plan that’d been laid out by my primary hospitalist team was to transfer me to a hospital which specializes in CVS. When my (new) weekend hospitalist had run by for +/- 90 seconds Friday morning, he’d said I’d be transferred Monday as planned.

But here I was, 8 hours later, hysterically crying over the prospect of being sent back to the hell which is  Hospital X. I finally got nursing to call the hospitalist so I could plead with him to change the order. I let him know that Hospital X’s ‘care’ is better characterized as psychological and physical torture. I firmly believe I am better off facedown in a ditch, drowning in an inch of muddy water, than under the care of Hospital X. The hospitalist attempted to contain his exasperation while insisting that ditches are a far worse fate than Hospital X and I am lucky he had managed to secure a transfer to a new cyclic vomiting specialist there. I’ve now been admitted for 8 days at Hospital X and haven’t seen anyone from the GI department, let alone a CVS specialist. I have, however, been told by hospital police that they would cuff me and take me to jail for taking photos of them ransacking my belongings following a syncopal episode. This egregious treatment doesn’t surprise me – indeed, last month I wrote Hospital X a letter of complaint, copied below, which shared  how their lack humanity has broken my spirit.

Dear Dr. X-

Thank you for your willingness to contact me, the patient in question, regarding my experience with Hospital X. Apologies for the lapse in time, your email disappeared to the bottom of my inbox whenI was readmitted to Hospital A with a central line infection. My choice to return to the facility which gave me the infection, instead of coming to Hospital X, is a good indication of the disdain with which I hold your hospital with.

When Dr. Y visited me during a two-week stay in July, I thought Hospital X had hit rock bottom. During this stay my roommate’s bloody vomit sat clogged in the sink for three days before someone came to plunge it. Sanitary conditions pale in comparison to the forced separation from my friend and advocate who is a Medical Student with your facility. While I fully understand the need to keep relationships between students and patients professional to protect patient privacy/health and their education… Over the years my friend has come to know my health likely better than I do… and long ago I legally gave them permission to access my medical information [so any professional/educational distance is null].

However, that isn’t the stay which brings me to tears when I answer people asking ‘What is the worst healthcare experience of your life?’ – that honor belongs to the 48 hours I spent housed in an on-call room last November.

November’s stay made me appreciate my cellphone in ways that you should not have to appreciate your phone while inpatient at a hospital. Here my phone wasn’t my connection to the outside world – it was how I connected the dots within. It enabled me to contact five of my physicians, all of whom are attending physicians at your institution, when my resident was unable to do so. When the resident insinuated I had not established care with hematology, I was able to call the hematology department and connect my hematologist to the resident in under 15 minutes. At the time of admission, I had given this resident a typed list of my specialists which included the same contact information I used successfully; as such I find it difficult to believe the resident attempted to verify I was an existing patient.

Interview with Aptus Health at HIMSS

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One in a series of interviews that should have been posted months ago, but Matthew Holt is just getting to now.

Previously known as Physicians Interactive, Aptus Health rebranded itself after acquiring several companies including MedHelp, Quantia & Univadis, and now focuses on both physicians and consumers globally and domestically. At HIMSS back in February, Matthew met with Teri Condon, VP of Strategy and Development at Aptus Health, previously with IMS Health and PharMetrics, and Michael Bodenstab, Vice President of Healthcare Solutions at MedHelp, to talk about where the company stands today and what their platform offers.

Priya Kumar is an Intern at Health 2.0, and a student at George Washington University

Matthew Holt Interviews Health Catalyst CEO, Dan Burton

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One in a series of interviews that should have been posted months ago, but Matthew Holt is just getting to now.

Health Catalyst has emerged to be a dominant player in data warehousing and analytics to support quality (and business) enhancement for huge providers like Kaiser, Partners and Allina, and many more. They’ve also raised over $220m from a stack of noted VCs. Back in February Matthew Holt caught up with CEO, Dan Burton at HIMSS to see what the latest plans for the company were.

Priya Kumar is an Intern at Health 2.0, and a student at George Washington University

Matthew Holt Interviews Noah Lang at Health 2.0

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One in a series of interviews that should have been posted months ago, but Matthew Holt is just getting to now.

Following time on the founding team at Reputation.com (where Grand Rounds’ founder Owen Tripp was CEO), Noah Lang started Stride Health. His passion to help freelancers understand and incorporate the right health insurance and dental plan led him to start Stride Health, where he is CEO.

Stride Health’s goal is to offer guidance for the independent working American (think Uber drivers in the gig economy) to help individuals understand the benefits of health care plans. They have raised $15.4M and are currently backed by companies such as Venrock, NEA, and F-Prime Capital. Back in March, Noah visited the Health 2.0 office where he talked with Matthew Holt about Stride Health and where they are headed. Check out the interview:

Priya Kumar is an Intern at Health 2.0, and a student at George Washington University