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TECHNOLOGY/QUALITY: A quickie on the DSM companies panel

This’ll be the last one today but it’s been an interesting conference. Some quick ones from the panel of DSM companies.

Carter Coberley from American Healthways likes neural nets to predict cost and therefore go for intervention early.

Frank Martin from I-Trax likes to tell people about the global cost of missing work through illness. Only 1/3 is health care cost, the rest is lost productivity and re-hiring costs. I-Trax has both the predictive bit and the onsite counselling and nursing services prosucing DSM.

Chris Selecky from Lifemasters wants to go for the intervention to the right person at the right time, using more and more sophisticated technologies–start with the high risk people, and then try to get to the people who are going to be sick, BUT they are held accountable for outcomes in only one year–so they have to be effective. Incidentally they are in-source and out-source, in that more case managers are using their system at customers than in their own centers. They are also trying to engage the patients.

I asked about the recent studies showing that it didnt save money. Chris Selecky’s response — people are buying it, and they wouldn’t if it wasn’t working (and she like Sam Nussbaum spent some time slagging off of the CBO report).

One of the biggest challenges is identifying a comparison. American Healthways did a controlled cohort with BCBS MN and showed a 14% PMPM improvement — the same as Anthem showed in the study that Sam Nussbaum showed at lunch. Plus Carter says DSM has an impact on standards of care for everyone else in an osmosis type of way.

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