Category: MedeAnalytics

Halfway Through 2018 – Where Is Healthcare Headed?

With the first half of the year behind us, we thought we’d share some of the current healthcare trends that are gaining traction in this week’s blog post.  We’ve outlined the top four to keep watch for over the remainder of 2018.

Revenue Cycle Management – Providers recognize the need for more efficient revenue cycle management (RCM) operations to collect payment for services. Implementing RCM technology can help organizations automate this process. In fact, Health Data Management recently named MedeAnalytics to its list of 20 leading revenue cycle management vendors.

In our blog post by Tom Schaal, director of product management, he outlines the need for healthcare organizations to prioritize and develop a RCM strategy that addresses cash collections, bad debt, denials, productivity and what providers should look for in an analytics partner.

Artificial Intelligence – AI is still top of mind and according to research from Accenture, healthcare’s AI market could increase to $6.6 billion by 2021. Many executives think it could take over some clinical tasks, leaving providers with more time to focus on patients. Google is dominating this space in healthcare by debuting its Google Duplex and developing ways for machines to diagnose patients – much like a physician would do.

But staying ahead of the of AI curve can be challenging. Our blog post from Tyler Downs, chief technology officer, offers advice for healthcare organizations to achieve success, like adopting security applications and making sure they have the right team to develop AI.

Prescriptions to Your Door – Amazon has been making headlines in the past few months, from choosing its new CEO for its mega-merger with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to announcing its plans to purchase PillPack which offers presorted medication and home delivery. Could PillPack soon be a part of the Amazon Prime membership? It’s possible that prescriptions will quickly be delivered in a cost-effective way right to your doorstep.

Doctors Embracing Consumer Membership Fees – Growing patient and physician frustrations around healthcare costs have led to the rise of doctors embracing their own membership fees. In lieu of working with payers under the traditional structure, physicians across the country are opting for a membership model where patients pay these monthly membership fees for their services.

According to a direct primary care physician, there could be as many as 800 direct primary care practices across the U.S., which could increase in the next few years if healthcare costs continue to rise.

Bottom line: the healthcare landscape is always changing, and organizations need to stay on top of trends. MedeAnalytics partners with clients to help them solve these ever-changing challenges. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us here.

A Q&A with Neal Schwartz, MedeAnalytics COO

In March, we welcomed Neal Schwartz as our new chief operating officer (COO). Neal was brought on to oversee daily operations, define goals and metrics, and create a culture of customer success and satisfaction. Neal brings more than 25 years of consulting and executive leadership experience to the role. We caught up with Neal to hear more about his background, what he’s observed so far, and what he hopes to accomplish in the year ahead.

Q: What can you tell us about your experiences prior to joining MedeAnalytics?

A: I’ve worked in healthcare IT for 15 years, most recently with Cerner. My first 11 years there were with CernerWorks, a remote data center operation, which we grew to more than 450 clients and a billion-dollar business. We found great success in client satisfaction and value achievement.

I spent the next few years with Cerner running their worldwide consulting operations, driving operational efficiencies, building methodologies, boosting leadership development, and other activities to support our 5,000 consultants in the field.

Before Cerner, I worked at an e-procurement company and in my family’s business. From day one, I’ve been focused on operations. It’s in my DNA. I see everything through the lens of continuous improvement and operational efficiency, looking at operations with a critical eye to find ways that we can be better.

Q: What do you want to say to our clients?

A: My intention is to be very hands-on with our clients and do all I can to work with our account managers and delivery associates to improve our client partnerships. I pride myself on being transparent and will make myself available to those clients who would like to meet with me. I recognize that Mede has gone through significant change over the past year or so, and change isn’t always easy. But we’re listening and driving continuous improvements throughout the company that will only make our client relationships stronger.

Q: In your first few weeks at Mede, what have you seen and what are you most excited about?

A: There are three areas where I’ve witnessed great activity within MedeAnalytics: our technology, our clients, and our employee base. Having been in healthcare IT and with Cerner for as long as I was, I can tell you that the elite capabilities in the MedeWorks platform are not available anywhere else in the industry. The platform ingests data sources from all walks of healthcare, uses cutting-edge data orchestration technology, and makes data meaningful for our clients. Nobody else does this holistically across payers and providers the way that we do. I’ve had the privilege to dig in, and the technology our teams are creating is incredible; it’s actually jaw-dropping.

As for our clients, it’s clear that they are some of the most sophisticated people in healthcare. One of the reasons I joined the company is the litany of prestigious clients that Mede has. Because they are so sharp and knowledgeable, it only makes us better. They’ve raised the bar, and we’re doing all we can to meet their expectations.

Internally, our employees are very optimistic and driven to succeed. They’re hungry for knowledge and show great sophistication and intellectualism. Plus, they make work fun!

Q: What are some of your primary objectives now that you’re on board?

A: The primary lynchpin of the company rests on our ability to upgrade clients to the new SaaS MedeWorks platform. I give great credit to Scott Hampel for his work in laying out our product strategy and to Tyler Downs and his team for building the platform from the ground up. With product strategy and technology firmly in place, we now need to shore up the operations side of the business to ensure the structural integrity of the proverbial three-legged stool. This will involve building the methodology, infrastructure, project management disciplines, and more to upgrade our clients as quickly as possible so they can benefit from the platform.

Q: What do you see as the biggest opportunity for MedeAnalytics clients?

A: There are many clients who have partnered with Mede for a long time. The future for our clients lies in the SaaS capabilities we’re developing to transform to a platform as a service. This will give them the ability to customize and create different solutions to achieve the flexibility and capabilities that they don’t have today.

Q: What are Mede’s priorities for the coming year? What role will you play in making those priorities a reality?

A: I’ve talked a lot about the MedeWorks platform, so that’s certainly a priority. On top of that, we want to invest in the company to improve the maturity of the operations side of the business. This is all about scale and efficiencies so we can more rapidly meet our clients’ needs. If we’re able to do that, we’ll see far more certainty in the eyes of our clients.

Q: How do you see MedeAnalytics growing or evolving to support our clients?

A: Paul (CEO) says we want to move from a systems integration company to a SaaS company. If we can build the capabilities and functionality on a cutting-edge platform, clients can do with it as they may. We can help our clients achieve their goals through a simple, easy-to-use, accessible, and modern platform. This will give our clients the flexibility and autonomy to do what they need with their data to meet their strategic goals.

At the same time, we’re going to hold ourselves accountable to deliver the most optimal client experience. Equally important as the platform is being true partners to our clients, sharing the same objectives, and collaborating to meet their goals.

At the end of the day, it’s all about being intentional about client services, accountability, and measuring client satisfaction. Our clients will certainly benefit from this change.

MedeAnalytics strives to help consumers make #evensmarterdecisions when it comes to healthcare. With Neal’s expertise, we’re better able to help our clients improve upon their overall organizational goals. To learn more about Neal and the rest of our leadership team, click here. To understand how we can help your organization, contact us here.

Payer Innovation Exchange Lets Payers Influence Product Direction

As part of our continued commitment to improving the client experience, we recently launched the inaugural Payer Innovation Exchange, a community of health plan leaders who use data analytics to achieve their important objectives. This program enables members to preview new solutions from MedeAnalytics, offer insights and opinions on new capabilities, and influence product direction and feature prioritization.

On May 22-23 in Dallas, we held our first in-person meeting. The meeting gave members the opportunity to discuss industry challenges with MedeAnalytics leadership, explore opportunities to address those challenges, and engage with peers to exchange ideas and best practices.

The two-day meeting agenda included:

  • Opening remarks from CEO Paul Kaiser
  • MedeAnalytics product strategy overview from Chief Product Officer Scott Hampel
  • Product line roadmap reviews on all payer solutions and the MedeAnalytics platform from subject matter experts
  • Client support strategy discussion from COO Neal Schwartz
  • Member discussion and feature prioritization voting
  • A tour of the new MedeAnalytics headquarters
  • A dinner and cocktail event

The initial meeting was very well received. One member said, “I enjoyed the thoughtful dialog and voting process. It’s incredibly beneficial to know what is on your roadmap. I was happy to hear that your roadmap aligns very nicely with our roadmap for deliverable, actionable analytics.”

Another said, “For the first Payer Innovation Exchange meeting ever, I believe it was a great event and well worth my time. It was great to have insight into the development plans within the different categories and to have the opportunity to weigh in on what is most meaningful and valuable to us. It was also great to network with other clients.”

The group will meet in person twice a year and remotely twice a year through facilitated webinars.

In general, members look forward to seeing how their thoughts and opinions will shape their data analytics solutions. If you’re a MedeAnalytics payer client and want information about becoming a member of the Payer Innovation Exchange, contact your account manager.

MedeAnalytics Clients to Speak at the 7th Annual Becker’s Hospital Review

On Friday, April 29, our clients will be presenting at this year’s 7th Annual Becker’s Hospital Review Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Illinois. Here’s a breakdown: Dr. Joseph Scott, FACHE, President and CEO of Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) will present on our closed-loop performance management solution. Dr. Richard Boehler, MD, MBA, FACPE, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph Hospital/Covenant Health will discuss the implementation of our employee-based population health management solution.

The first session taking place from 2:30-3:10 pm CT will be hosted by Joseph Scott who will cover how JCMC was able to rise to the top 10 percent nationally in care metrics using a closed-loop performance management solution. Utilizing this solution enabled them to do the following: 

  • Identify areas or departments that could benefit from a standardized workflow approach across the hospital
  • Improve planning and execution cycles on care metrics for key organization goals
  • Create streamlined processes for collecting and reporting real-time metrics 

Joseph Scott will discuss how the success helped the hospital define complex systematic objectives and distill them down to concrete tasks and accountability measures, along with reducing process time by 50 percent to achieve internal target goals for the hospital. He will speak about how JCMC earned the prestigious Vision of Performance Excellence Award, a state level Baldrige award.

The second session taking place from 4:15-4:55 pm CT, hosted by Dr. Richard Boehler, will focus on how St. Joseph Hospital/Covenant Health implemented an employee-based population health management solution as a step towards Accountable Care. This strategy allowed them to do the following: 

  • Identify how analytics enhances population health management and its role in creating a cost-effective, value-based care system
  • Share insights on plan usage and address costs of chronic conditions and outliers
  • Outline ways hospital employers can go beyond traditional employee wellness programs

Dr. Boehler will discuss the benefits of starting an employee-based population health management program before expanding to a larger ACO model, along with ways hospital employers can go beyond behavioral and cultural changes among physicians and the employee patient population. He will also discuss how analytics allowed them to identify one of seven COPD patients responsible for $550k of the total $600k medical costs of COPD.

The upcoming 7th Annual Becker’s Hospital Review Meeting brings together hospital business and strategy leaders to discuss how to improve bottom line and address challenges that frequently come up. It is a unique opportunity for experts in the hospital field to discuss and provide practical and useful guidance on ACOs, physician-hospital integration and improving profitability. 

For more information on the 7th Annual Becker’s Hospital Review Meeting, visit here.

Cheers to a Successful 2015 and an Even Better 2016

2015 was a great year for MedeAnalytics, from our new partnership with Thoma Bravo, to the expansion of our Emeryville office, to exhibiting at more than 20 trade shows across the country – we are making waves in the industry.

Last year marked the third consecutive year that we grew bookings by more than 30 percent. We are handling more data than ever from our over 1,500 health plans and providers in the US and UK (three billion unique episodic encounters tracked, 24,000 data feeds processed daily and 600 terabytes of data). In fact, some of the results with these customers are covered in USA Today, Becker’s Hospital Review and RevCycleIntelligence.

We didn’t let the big picture overshadow the day-to-day though, doubling our corporate office footprint to accommodate our growing workforce and making a spacious and bright work environment. It’s no surprise that we were named one of Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work in Healthcare for the second year in a row.

The outlook for 2016 is on a great trajectory. With the insights and partnership with Thoma Bravo, the company is positioned for impressive growth once again this year.

And while we’re still riding high on the media coverage we received at HIMSS15, we are looking forward to our clients’ presentations at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas. During the industry’s largest event of the year, Baptist Health System, Jersey City Medical Center and the Mississippi Division of Medicaid will share how MedeAnalytics helped them achieve their analytics and quality performance goals, along with lessons-learned and tips for their peers.

If you want to take a look back at some of our notable media coverage, check out our “In the News” page. We expect another strong year in customer and company growth as we continue to lead the industry in financial performance analytics. 

How MedeAnalytics Builds a World Class Data Team

According to the Society for Information Management’s 2016 IT Trends Study, 46 percent of IT leaders cited analytics/business intelligence/big data as the number one most difficult technical skills group to find and recruit. In addition, hiring managers cited those same skills as the number two most important capabilities needed by organizations (cited by 47 percent). With a high demand for strong analytics and business intelligence skills across the healthcare industry, how can companies address the skills deficit? 

Healthcare analytics company, MedeAnalytics strives to overcome this industry trend with a mixed approach.

In terms of recruitment, a good data engineer/analyst is hard to come by but there are events and specific demographic areas that a hiring manager can attend. Regularly participating in local tech meet-ups is a great way to network and get to know experts in the field. Also, collaboration with local colleges and universities can help fill the new hire funnel and gives your organization the opportunity to influence which technologies students are exposed to during their training.

Training and promoting talent within is also important as data science technology is ever changing and finding someone with complete, up-to-date expertise is difficult. Hiring managers and data teams can address this by offering internal training programs to fill skill gaps in-house.

With this strategy, MedeAnalytics continues to grow its team with top engineers and analysts. Think you have what it takes to join our data team? Check out our current job openings here

We’re on Modern Healthcare’s List of the 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare – Again!

We’re proud to announce that for the second year running we were named one of the top 100 companies in Modern Healthcare’s 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, it’s an honor to be recognized. This award represents top companies that empower their employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products and services.

Since receiving this recognition in 2014, MedeAnalytics has grown to nearly 350 employees, providing analytics solutions to the healthcare market. We are continuing our strong business momentum in the midst of our third consecutive year of greater than 30% growth, while also expanding with the acquisition of OnFocus Healthcare. In addition, the company has continued to expand operations in Richardson, Texas with future plans for expansion of our Emeryville headquarters.

It’s the hard work and commitment from our employees that have contributed to our company growth and the delivery of innovative solutions that help our customers improve care while managing their costs, quality, revenue and risk.

If you are interested in becoming part of the MedeAnalytics team, please visit our career page: http://medeanalytics.com/company/careers.

Why it’s Time to Create a Chief Data Officer Role for Your Organization

Last year, CMS announced the creation of a new Chief Data Officer role to oversee and manage data collection in hopes of improving insights that will impact organizations. This new role in the healthcare industry addresses and helps apply analytics to the vast amounts of data created on a daily basis. Gartner predicts that this year, 25 percent of large global organizations will have appointed Chief Data Officers (CDO). Tackling endless amounts of data is challenging, putting in place a new professional to handle it is even more difficult. However, the benefits are worth the risk. Here are a few things every organization should consider when creating a CDO role:

Why A New C-Suite Member

Creating a leadership role that is solely responsible for all data initiatives is essential to a successful healthcare organization. A lack of centralized approach is expensive and weakens an organization's ability to compete. With the recent exponential growth of data, there is a high demand to explore the meaning of this information, which can be achieved by appointing a CDO.

Why your Organization

In today’s data-driven environment everyone has the ability to capture data. The real challenge that the healthcare industry is facing is how to take this existing data and use it in an innovative way that benefits the patients and the organization. According to Accenture, 92 percent of companies that implemented a big data initiative are fully satisfied with their business outcomes. Analyzing your existing data allows your company to improve business functions and provide informed, personalized care. Managing this data is no longer IT’s responsibility, but the responsibility of the organization as a whole.

Why your Data

Healthcare organizations are constantly searching for innovations to help lower the cost of care. From implementing EHRs to optimizing revenue cycles, the industry is filled with IT solutions that optimize care and costs. CDOs offer a human, internal solution who can provide meaning to existing data. Through the leadership of a CDO, implementing data analytics is potentially a business opportunity of 300 billion to 450 billion dollars a year, according to consultants at McKinsey & Company. Understanding your data means adding to your bottom line.

Data is the key to innovation within the healthcare industry, but many organizations are slow in adopting the appropriate solutions and professionals to handle it. The insights and benefits are at their fingertips, they just need to put in place the right tools and leadership to take business to the next level.

How social media and fitness tracker data can revolutionize healthcare

For a healthcare data scientist, having lots of data is great. But according to Dr. David Mould in his recent IBM Magazine article, strong predictor variables are even more valuable than having a vast data warehouse. Dr. Mould explores the specifics on how new data sources such as fitness monitors trackers and social media can transform healthcare today.

Current healthcare data warehouses contain lots of data—perhaps even millions of rows of tabular data—and hospital data may be linked to pharmacy and physician data as well. Most of that data is from internal sources, and is relatively easy to collect. From a data scientist’s perspective, having lots of data is great; however, strong predictor variables are even more valuable than having more data. External data sources contain many strong predictor variables, but currently they are challenging to collect. Fortunately, progress is being made to make these rich data sources available to data warehouses.

There are two categories of newly available, potential data sources: real-time data and external data. Access and use of both these data types have the capability to significantly contribute to improved patient outcomes, which in turn helps reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare for society.

Data feeds to monitors and tracking devices

Real-time data sources include digital activity trackers that have been used by physical fitness buffs for close to 15 years. Some brand names include Fitbit, Jawbone Up, and BodyMedia. These wearable devices track activity and other biometrics by monitoring location with Global Positioning System (GPS), heart rate, skin temperature, perspiration, calorie expenditure, and quality of sleep. Many of these trackers are generally worn on people’s wrists and are Bluetooth-enabled, which allows the data to be downloaded to a smartphone or computer in real time.

Activity tracking can also be used to assist elderly patients who want to live independently, allowing their adult children or caregivers to monitor the patient’s health from afar. For example, a statistically significant deviation in heart rate, temperature, or activity level will alert an adult daughter to a potential problem, prompting her to check in with her elderly mother. Thus, activity trackers can encourage taking proactive steps before a medical crisis takes place, and in this example help an elderly mother avoid an emergency hospital procedure and the accompanying cost.

Large technology companies such as Apple are also getting into the game. The yet-to-be-released Apple iWatch is rumored to feature monitoring of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, heart rates, and blood-oxygen levels; using optoelectronics to measure oxygen saturation of hemoglobin; and monitoring the sound of blood flow through arteries.

Programmable pacemakers have been around for years, and even more advanced and smaller surgically embedded devices are currently being developed. These new devices are expected to be embedded into blood vessels, lungs, the brain, and possibly other organs to track and monitor patients’ vital measures such as temperature, oxygen levels, blood flow, and blood pressure in real time. The data will be collected with Bluetooth-like transmissions to be analyzed on smartphones, and a text message can be sent or a phone call can be made to a primary care physician when something is amiss.

Physicians are now entering their notes on tablets or laptops, making this electronic data available in real time.

 

To read more about external data sources, visit Dr. Mould’s full article published in IBM Magazine, “Rich Data Sources for Abundant Innovation.”

From Working in Rice Fields to Mede CTO

Struggles and character-building experiences are the mark of a true leader. In the case of Mede’s Chief Technology Officer, Ping Zhang, it’s a story of constant bootstrapping that brought him to his leadership position today and inspired him to make a meaningful impact on today’s healthcare system. Here’s a preview of Ping’s rags to riches story that influenced his leadership style, along with his recommendations for other health IT leaders, check out his recent HIStalk post:

My journey into technology was a long road. The first 15 years of my life were spent in the Hunan province in rural southern China. My family had no running water, and more often than not, we went to bed hungry.

At five, I started working with my father in the rice paddies. I planted rice seeds while my father manually built rice rows and dug irrigation canals. Everything was done by hand. It wasn’t until I was 11 that I saw my first technological advancement — a tractor — on my way to school.

At age 15, I rode on a train for the first time on my way to college. It was only then that I realized the promise of technology and how it could save my father’s back and hands from the brutal years of manual labor.

My passion for mathematics helped me earn my bachelor’s degree at 19 in China. After the 1989 events in Tiananmen Square, I decided to try to migrate to the United States. In 1990, I landed in Fayetteville, Arkansas with only my bags and a hundred American dollars to pursue my PhD at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. My wife followed soon after.

Eighteen months after moving to the US, I had my first experience with the American healthcare system. Early one Friday evening in 1992, my wife suddenly felt a sharp pain in her stomach. We rushed to the emergency room. We waited and waited – and waited some more. Three hours later, she was finally seen by an OB/GYN doctor.

It turned out that she had an ectopic pregnancy. She had been pregnant, but the fertilized egg had become lodged in one of her Fallopian tubes. Two liters of blood had accumulated as she waited for treatment. She had come close to losing her life.

The next day, the doctor cleared her for discharge with a clean bill of health, leaving us with a bill of a few thousand dollars. One of her Fallopian tubes had been torn open and the other had become so clogged with lost blood that it would likely permanently block any egg. We were told the chances of her ever having a child were slim.

The experience was shocking, scary, and life altering. Thankfully, after years of infertility treatments, she was able to give birth to two beautiful boys.

That horrible experience was over 20 years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Part of the reason is that I have spent many of those past 20 years working within the healthcare system to change it myself. I want to share three key lessons…

To read more about Ping’s tips, visit his full HIStalk post, “Readers Write: From Rice Fields to Big Data.”