Is healthcare innovation more challenging in a public healthcare system? We sat down with the Chief Medical Officer & Director of Innovation for the Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Dr. Julio Mayol, to find out! A large, academic research hospital in Madrid, Hospital Clinico San Carlos is an 800-bed facility that has served Madrid since 1717. The hospital counts the entire population of the city (all 6.5M of them) as their patient base and, as such, takes a different approach to integrating new health technology and innovations. Dr. Mayol unpacks the way he leads population health initiatives in his institution, talking through his approach for engaging physicians, external partners, and patients alike to improve the quality of care. Is it different than the way it works in the U.S.? Tune in to find out!
Filmed at Barcelona Health Hub Summit in Barcelona, Spain, October 2019.
As we near the end of the year, rather than reflect on fond memories of 2019 (for which I’m grateful for my family, friends, readers, and Twitter followers), I’ve already started thinking about 2020. If you ever wanted to get inside my brain for 5-10 minutes (scary proposition I know) related to healthcare startups and innovation, here are some areas or trends that I will be following in the new decade.
1. Medicare-For-All Will Be Everywhere
As we move closer to the Democratic Presidential caucus, some of the top-polling candidates (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang) are endorsing a Medicare-For-All (M4A) platform. If one of those candidates receive the nomination for the 2020 Presidential election, private v. public health insurance will be front and center. It will dominate all major news. I’m watching how the weight of the entire healthcare industry will politically respond to a national Medicare-4-All Presidential debate (both publicly and privately).
2. Updating Physician Anti-Trust Rules To Support Value-Based Care
In October, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their long-anticipated proposed rules to update the anti-kickback and physician referral regulations, to help spur greater provider participation in value-based care arrangements. Any changes once finalized would affect the Civil Monetary Penalties Law, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Physician Self-Referral Law (“Stark Law”). After comments are received, I’m watching how the healthcare machine helps craft these new regulations that some would say, stifles innovation in provider care delivery.
There are many public health
conferences that focus on young people, or that center around youth issues, but
very few that actually include the young people’s voices that we are claiming
to uplift as public health professionals.
There are also very few conferences
that emphasize innovation in healthcare, that are pointed towards solutions
rather than discussing problems at length without clear ways of solving them.
These core issues are at the heart of the annual YTH Live conference. Each year (we’re on our twelfth!), we showcase the boldest technologies in health and cutting-edge research in all facets of youth health and wellness. We also have attendees that range from IT professionals to high school students, with over 25% of last year’s attendees and speakers being young people themselves.
YTH’s Communications Coordinator
Erin McKelle has first-hand experience of this. “I first attended YTH Live when
I was a senior in high school. It was the first conference I ever spoke at and
all of my fears about being the only young person in the room were quickly put
to rest, once I saw that YTH plans a youth conference that actually centers
around youth voices,” she says. “I’m proud to now be working for the
organization years later, after serving on the Youth Advisory Board, paying the
mission of youth empowerment forward to the next generation of youth leaders.”
The 2019 Health 2.0 conference just wrapped up
after several days of compelling presentations, panels, and networking. As in
the past, attendees were a cross section of the industry: providers, payers,
health IT (HIT) companies, investors, and others who are passionate about
innovation in healthcare.
One of the more refreshing themes of the
conference was an emphasis on how health IT can enable the delivery of
services. This is a welcome perspective as too often organizations believe that
simply deploying technology will solve their problems. In my 30+ years in
healthcare, I’ve never seen that work. What does work is careful attention to
the iron triad of people, process, and technology. Neglect one of these and you
will fall short of your goals. Framing opportunities as services that are
enabled and enhanced by technology helps us avoid the common pitfall of
believing “Tech = Solution” and forces us to account for process and people.
Provider Burn-out and Health IT
Several sessions focused on the impact technology is having on end-users, especially clinicians. One session featured a “reverse-pitch” where practicing physicians “pitched” to health IT experts on the challenges they face, especially with EHRs, and what they need in order to do their job and have a life. This was summed up elegantly by a physician participant as, “Please make all the stupid sh*t stop!” There’s increasing evidence that the deployment of EHRs is a major factor for clinician burnout and the impassioned pleas of the attendees resonated throughout the conference.
Other sessions explored how to we might address these problems with improvements in user-interface design, workflow, and interoperability. Demonstrations of advanced technologies like voice-driven interfaces, artificial intelligence, enhanced communications, and smart devices show where we are headed and hold out the promise of a more efficient and pleasing HIT for providers and patients.
In the Pacific Northwest, “accelerator-slash-think tank” Cambia Grove is quickly expanding as the region’s go-to healthcare innovation hub. Fully funded by Cambia Health Solutions, the organization is functioning as a neutral party to bring startups and healthcare system incumbents together to identify innovation priorities. What else is happening in health tech in Seattle, especially with a few of those famous big consumer tech companies headquartered up there? Tune in to find out!
Filmed at the Together.Health Spring Summit at HIMSS 2019 in Orlando, Florida, February 2019.
Barcelona has emerged a global hot-spot when it comes to healthcare innovation and health tech startups. And now, finally, Spanish startups with digital health apps, digital therapeutics, novel med devices, and other tech-enabled therapies can call the Barcelona Health Hub their home. What’s all the hype about? Barcelona Health Hub co-founder and VP, Josep Carbo, gives us the scoop on who’s there, what they’re doing, and how you can get plugged in.
Filmed at HIMSS/Health 2.0 Europe in Helsinki, Finland in June 2019.
GuideWell Innovation, in collaboration with Catalyst @ Health 2.0, is thrilled to announce the opening of applications for the GuideWell Matchmaking Summit – a new corporate/investor matchmaking event hosted at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando, FL on August 29-30, 2019.
This exciting opportunity connects established
healthcare organizations and investors with growing health technology
companies. Through professionally curated meetings, the event is designed to
encourage synergistic relationships while promoting the testing,
commercialization, financing and adoption of innovative digital health tools.
Meetings are arranged based on participating organizations’ needs and areas of
expertise, allowing for the cultivation of diverse partnership opportunities
between digital health innovators, healthcare corporations, and investors that
support the growing digital health ecosystem.
The GuideWell Matchmaking Summit is a 2-day
event that will be held at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando, FL. The
first day of the Summit will be a corporate matchmaking opportunity for invited
scale up health technology companies to meet with healthcare organizations that
are qualified customer prospects. participants will have a series of meetings
that are arranged based on “matched” areas of focus. Innovators will have the
opportunity to demo their technology, detail their value proposition, and
discuss business avenues with potential partners. Concurrently, healthcare
leaders can identify up-and-coming digital health products to utilize at their
The second day of the Summit will be an
investor showcase/matchmaking event for invited health technology scale ups to
connect with a national network of venture capitalists. Scale up health
technology companies will be competitively selected to attend the Summit based
on customer/investor fit with attending corporations and investors.
Introduction Every day and in every corner of the country, innovative health care leaders are conceiving of strategies and programs to manage their patients’ health, as an alternative to treating their sickness (see Figure 1).
The value-based contracts that have proliferated in this
country over the past decade and which now account for about half of the money
spent on healthcare allow these wellness investments to make good financial
sense in addition to benefiting patient health.
However, a phenomenon in health coverage in the US is
increasing costs, destabilizing care continuity and holding back the potential
of value-based care. It prevents us from making the long-term investments we
Churn refers to gaining, losing, or moving between sources of coverage. Every year, approximately a quarter of the US population switches out of their health plan. Reasons can be voluntary or involuntary from the perspective of the beneficiary (see Table 1) and vary from changes in job status, eligibility, insurance offerings, and preference, to non-payment of premiums, to unawareness of pending coverage termination.
In the 20th century, hospitals completed their
transformation from the hospice-like institutions of the Middle Ages, into
large, gleaming centers of advanced medical expertise and technology that save
and improve lives every day. But an unintended consequence of hospitals’
dazzling capabilities is a staggering cost burden that’s proving toxic to the
Today, hospital care accounts for approximately 33% of the US’ $3.5 trillion annual health care expenditures, according to CMS. The drivers of hospital costs are complex and hard to tackle, including (but not limited to) market consolidation that enables price hikes, heavy administrative burdens, expensive technology and patient usage patterns.
In The Innovator’s Prescription, Clayton Christensen et al. explained another important driver of high hospital care costs: conflation under one roof of business models designed to address very different needs—such as the need for diagnosis of unique, complex conditions and experimental treatments, versus that for highly standardized services (for instance, some surgical procedures). This common phenomenon makes optimization of either business model very difficult, and thus drives up overhead costs.
One solution to this seemingly intractable
problem is to make home and community the default locations for care, where in
many circumstances it can be provided less expensively, more conveniently, and
more effectively than in a hospital. Fortunately, business model innovation
toward this end is gaining traction.
Innovation in pediatric medicine requires a different approach than healthcare innovation aimed to help adults. Omkar Kulkarni, Chief Innovation Officer at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, explains some of the key differences healthcare innovators need to keep in mind when creating new health solutions for kids and their parents. A key area of focus for Children’s Hospital of LA? Understanding how to transcend the social determinants of health to help LA’s population of 2.5 million kids.
Filmed at the Together.Health Spring Summit at HIMSS 2019 in Orlando, Florida, February 2019.
Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew Holt.
Get a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.