In just a couple of months’ time, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted healthcare delivery across the world in ways that most health plans, health systems, provider organizations, health information exchanges, government and non-governmental standards & research organizations were simply not prepared for. While resuscitating their organizations by offering telehealth is certainly appropriate at this time, to thrive beyond the pandemic requires rapid innovation, accelerating digital transformation initiatives, and expanding the capabilities and scale of virtual, telehealth services.
As we pass the midpoint of May, HCEG and its sponsor partners have presented content aimed at not only helping leaders resuscitate their organizations to survive these tough times but also thrive on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights of May’s Virtual Sessions Presented by HCEG Partners
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) kicked off HCEG’s Sponsor Partner Virtual Events for the month of May 2020 with its WEDI 2020 Virtual Conference. This digital event took place for a couple hours over each of three days. Healthcare executives, thought leaders, and change-makers from public and private organizations on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic shared information about the following:
The information shared in the multi-day WEDI 2020 Virtual event underscored that effective health information exchange has never been greater. The content is one example of the value WEDI offers its members and we’re pleased to share select portions of that content here in partnership with WEDI.
On Cinco de Mayo, HCEG’s Executive Director Ferris Taylor opened up moderation of “The Silver Lining of COVID-19: Accelerate Innovation on the Road to Transformation” with an English-language proverb: “Necessity is the mother of invention” – roughly meaning: the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need.
In response to Ferris’s quote, Peter Kung, VP & Chief Innovation Officer, at SCL Health noted: “COVID19 has changed, overnight, how people will interact with the healthcare system.”
This webinar, presented by our partner World Health Care Congress, shared additional insight from Peter Kung and leaders of other large healthcare systems on how their organizations have been changing their innovation programs over the last couple of months; and how specific actions they are taking now will position them to not only survive the pandemic but thrive afterward.
Huge Growth in Virtual Visits – Telehealth’s Breakthrough Moment?
Michelle Stansbury of Houston Methodist Hospital related how before the COVID19 pandemic, her organization provides about 2000 virtual encounters per month. Now, telehealth consultations are being performed at a 101k per month run rate and climbing. Michelle shared how her organization transformed their “Innovation Center” into a “Telehealth Training Center” and suggested people check out this story on how that was accomplished. Michelle also offered a personal tour to interested parties.
Michelle also shared how the ‘Clinic of the Future’ will be supported by “ambient listening” with smart speakers installed in patient rooms to allow patients to self-serve: play music, communicate with loved ones, interact with the internet, etc.
Sustainability of Telehealth After the Pandemic
Ferris Taylor asked panelists: How are payers keeping up financially with the new rules on payment for telehealth services? Is this ‘sustainable’ or will reimbursement return to pre-pandemic models?
Daniel J Durand of LifeBridge Health suggested that it will be up to “people, patients, and voters to demand and clamor for more telehealth services and value-based care arrangements; otherwise progress made due to COVID19 may be lost.”
Emma Fauss of Medical Informatics, a vendor of patient monitoring and real-time predictive analytics, shared that “it’s a bit of fallacy that many people think that telehealth services and its many variations are all a direct, 1-to-1 use case replacement for traditional office visits and other procedures.” Emma went on to propose that combinations of traditional physical and rapidly emerging virtual encounters will augment each other and should be integrated into your workflows.
SCL Health’s Peter Kung offered that “Economic pressure on Medicare and other government programs dictate a march toward value-based care and continued use of virtual services.”
Key Takeaways on “The Silver Lining of COVID-19”
Ferris wrapped up the webinar by asking panelists to share 1 or 2 takeaways for leaders’ intent on ensuring that their healthcare organization not only survives the pandemic but thrives afterward – however the ‘new normal’ turns out to be. Here are their replies:
“Doing something new well requires that you not be afraid to ask people who know more about a subject than you do. Figure out the perspectives of others who have come before you.” – Daniel J Durand
“Dynamic pressures are forcing people and companies to be innovative. You don’t get extra points for originality. Start somewhere, iterate, and expect to pivot as you learn more.” – Peter Kung
“If you don’t know where to start, reach out to others. Avoid the pitfalls others have made.” – Michelle Stansbury
“It’s all about execution. With the new normal, MANY small innovations – changes, shifts, and pivots – will be the norm to build a new path forward.” – Emma Fauss
Innovations in Managing Healthcare Consumer Goals & Messaging
A Consumer Experience (CX) framework built upon consumer experience technology that healthcare organizations can use to prioritize and manage consumer goals and messaging during COVID-19 will be presented. Actionable information and ideas on streamlining outreach to specific individuals prioritized across-departmental objectives will be shared.
Last week a lot of planning, coordination and content development by the HealthCare Executive Group came together at the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress in Washington, DC. For this year’s congress, HCEG partnered with World Congress Events to present the CIO & CTO Strategy Track. This post recaps a few highlights of the 2019 World Health Care Congress, shares some insight from the healthcare leaders and champions presenting at the event and in our the CIO & CTO Strategy Track, and provides some select presentation materials, recordings and other content from the event.
HCEG Top 10-Related Highlights From 2019 World Health Care Congress
As expected, many of the sessions and keynotes at the WHCC event addressed items on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list with “social determinants of health” (#3 on the 2019 HCEG Top 10) and “value-based payment” (#4 on the 2019 HCEG Top 10) being pervasive themes throughout the keynotes, sessions and exhibit hall.
Value-Based Care – It’s More Than Just Adding An Alternative Payment Model
One of the sessions in the Provider Transformation track, ‘Do Medicare Changes Enhance or Hinder Clinical and Payment Transformation‘ emphasized the role of the primary care doctor in the shift from the dominant fee-for-service reimbursement model to new value-based-payment methods. Panelists also called out that to truly transform our health care system, change must not just focus on payment models but also deliver scalable clinical and operational methods. And HCEG members acknowledge this as “Operational Effectiveness” is ranked #8 on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list.
Defining, Measuring, and Communicating Quality Measures are Key for Leveraging Social Determinants of Health
Another session titled “SDoH Business Strategy: Quantify and Communicate the ROI and VOI of SDoH Initiatives” shared the following key points and considerations for healthcare organizations looking to address social determinants of health as barriers to care:
Quality measures that incorporate social determinants of health must be developed and understood BEFORE starting programs and initiatives.
Readily available public data is not granular enough to capture SDoH factors needed appropriate quality measures.
Conducting clinical trials on proposed quality measures can help to understand and quantify the benefits of SDoH initiatives.
Incorporate patient/member personalization into a standardized, common infrastructure that enables economies of scale.
Predictive analytics – a perennially high-ranking item on HCEG’s Top 10 lists – is THE critical component of SDoH programs.
Combining clinical data from EHR’s with claims and other administrative/demographic data records allows health plans/health systems opportunities never before easily attainable.
Health plans, health systems, and providers must clearly understand and communicate the benefit that addressing social determinants of health can have for their members and patients.
Organizations should strive to assign a financial measure assigned to each quality measure.
CIO & CTO Strategy Track at World Health Care Congress
Alan Abramson shared four areas of focus for HealthPartners:
Formally chartering projects to deploy technology-based approaches to largely manual processes
Carving out and focusing on efforts to improve patient experience
Address inefficiencies in technology ecosystems, business policy, and processes
Establishing R & D projects to assess opportunities and benefits of new, emerging technologies
Increasing Operational Effectiveness in Health Plans & Health Systems
Alan went on to share that the #1 initiative his healthcare organization has been focusing on last year, in 2019 and will continue to focus on in 2020, is increasing Operational Effectiveness (#8 on the 2019 HCEG Top 10). Alan provided some examples as to how HealthPartners is achieving greater operational effectiveness including:
Utilizing Lawson Financials to consolidate multiple disparate functions
Rehosting and re-platforming administration systems such as employer group setup, utilization management reporting, new member enrollment, and patient admission, discharge and transfer.
Positioning systems, policies, and procedures to accommodate increases in individual health plan coverage
Consolidating four different laboratory systems into one system
Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate user administration and security
Using AI-powered bots to automate 27,000 software QA tests that took three weeks to complete and that now take 17 hours.
Alan noted that achieving success via ‘standardization’ in one area often leads to end users demanding improvement via standardization in other areas.
Payer-Provider Data Sharing and Interoperability Critical in Risk-Sharing Relationships
Kim Sinclair’s healthcare organization serves approximately 400,000 members and patients via its health plan, hospital, and medical centers – 80% of whom are Medicaid beneficiaries and represent 15% of the state’s Medicaid population.
Like other integrated healthcare delivery systems – especially those entering the nascent world of ‘accountable care,’ Kim noted that investments in provider network management and payer-provider interoperability have often lagged that of other initiatives. Moreover, a competitive market with many small medical practices lacking sufficient IT systems and a tendency to ‘throw bodies at a problem’ has increased the challenges her organization faces.
Kim also shared some examples of how her organization is addressing their challenges, issues, and opportunities:
Integrating various systems with a focus on creating an industry-leading accountable care organization (ACO).
Formal projects to identify and stratify members and patients with complex care management needs.
Revising policies, procedures, teams, and systems to effect a truly integrated system.
Reducing pended claims and time to pay – particularly important where both payer and provider are sharing risk.
Focusing on change management and investing in payer-provider interoperability and support.
Cybersecurity – Think Beyond Enterprise and Employee Training
In this CIO & CTO Strategy Track session, panelists discussed cybersecurity at the end-user level. They emphasized the importance of leadership having a strong grasp on the ‘foundational’ components of cybersecurity (patch management, identity/access management, perimeter security, etc.) And also encouraged the audience to pay attention to data assets outside their own four walls. For instance, the use of Software as a Services (SaaS) and 3rd parties they contract with (outsourced vendors) who possess their organization’s sensitive data.
HCEG board member Eric Decker and SVP of IT & CIO at Independent Health spoke about how his mid-sized health plan has evolved beyond the core technical cybersecurity team as the ‘first line of defense’ by chartering a Risk Office responsible for creating and testing their cybersecurity framework. His organization also has an Internal Audit team that regularly audits core controls as well as the cybersecurity framework.
Think holistically – consider the psychology of cybersecurity and how to optimize your workforce against threats.
Tim Thull, SVP of IT & CIO at Medica Health Plan spoke about how it is important to have strong oversight, governance, and controls framework around information risk management from your board of directors to individual staff. Medica has implemented HITRUST as common security framework with an information risk program which provides sound technology solutions and controls. Robust training and awareness remain a critical component in ensuring everyone is an active participant in strong cybersecurity defenses.
Optimize Information Sharing to Generate Real Value from Data
Latecia spoke about the importance of viewing data as a strategic asset, explained that “the ‘Why’ we share information matters” and offered some lessons learned during the Opioid Symposium and Code-a-Thon sponsored by HHS.
Data are in silos
Data sharing is inefficient
Analytics capacity is uneven
Data sharing is costly
Video Interviews by Mabel Jong at 2019 World Health Care Congress
One of the interesting and informative parts of the WHCC event was their WHCC TV feature where Mabel Jong – professional on-camera interviewer and panel moderator specializing in healthcare – does short interviews with keynote speakers, session panelists, and other healthcare leaders and champions participating in the Congress.
Mabel interviewed Ferris Taylor, recent Chief Operating Officer of Arches Health Plan and HCEG’s executive director. More about this interview will be shared as the recordings are released. In the meantime, you can find many of the interviews performed by Mabel Jong on the World Congress Events YouTube Channel.
HCEG Member Feedback on 16th Annual World Health Care Congress
HCEG Board members Cate McConnell, Healthcare Payer Industry Practice Lead at Appian Corporation and Eric J. Decker, SVP of IT & CIO at Independent Health shared their insight on the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress:
What was unique about the WHCC event?
Eric:The keynotes went right to the heart of the issues impacting our industry today (transparency, value-based payments, social barriers, member engagement, and affordability). Likewise, the breakout sessions were plentiful and offered a diverse array of topics to choose from.
Cate:WHCC, being in Washington DC, includes policymakers in greater numbers than most conferences. It was good to hear some of the interesting ideas shared by the policymakers. I would have liked to have more people from the current HHS/CMS administration who are shaping healthcare policy speak at WHCC.
How did WHCC’s event differ from what HCEG presents with its Annual Forum?
Eric:Many healthcare conferences – WHCC included – include limited time for questions and answers, not only in the keynotes but also the breakout sessions. The event had nowhere near the time that HCEG’s forum includes for questions (and even debate).
Cate:WHCC is much bigger than HCEG’s annual forum which leads to fewer and less intense opportunities for networking and discussion. The large exhibit hall/show floor can sometimes be a distraction.
What didn’t you see or what could have been better about WHCC?
Cate:Pricing transparency is ‘critical’ in healthcare – in terms of procedures, tests, and drugs – but there weren’t any discussions of how to do this, and what this means to provider compensation. The free market disruptors will likely force this on the industry, which appears unwilling/unready to address it themselves. A speaker made the point that of the two industries that don’t have price transparency – college education and healthcare – prices increase many times greater than inflation because there are no incentives to become more efficient.
What were some things you felt were ‘most important’ for WHCC attendees to absorb?
Cate:Many speakers acknowledged that disruption is coming and that Amazon, Google, and Apple are the prime disruptors. Yet most executives shrugged off this threat with “they will learn healthcare is complex.” This seems to be an “innovator’s dilemma” situation where current industry players are unable to disrupt themselves due to entrenched business models. But what will happen to healthcare if Amazon drives sweeping disruption as it did in retail? Are we ready for widespread bankruptcies?
“External Market Disruption” is ranked #7 on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list.
Other Recaps & Insight from 2019 World Health Care Congress
Here’s a bit about what others are sharing from the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list at the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress:
A Unique Opportunity for Healthcare Executives, Leaders & Champions
The 16th Annual World Health Care Congress was a great opportunity for those working to transform the healthcare industry during these uncertain times. And the HealthCare Executive Group was honored to have partnered with World Congress Events to host the new CIO & CTO Strategy Track.
For another opportunity to learn about new strategies and approaches to addressing the challenges, issues, and opportunities facing healthcare leaders – and to establish new relationships to facilitate your organization’s digital transformation – consider joining other healthcare executives, leaders, and champions at our 2019 Annual Forum in Boston on September 9th through the 11th. The year’s agenda is centered around the following major themes supported by the 2019 HCEG Top 10:
Technology & Its Role in Transformational Industry Change
Digital Health: Consumer & Organizational
Pharmacy Costs and Opioid Management
In addition, all participants in our 31st Annual Forum will be treated to a special networking event between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 9th – at no additional charge.
The HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG) has been convening and supporting leaders of health plans, health systems, and provider organizations for over three decades. Similarly, and for nearly two decades, the World Health Care Congress has been connecting leaders from all parts of the health care ecosystem to catalyze and support relationships that ultimately transform the delivery, affordability, and quality of health care. And next month starting April 28th, the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress (WHCC) convenes in Washington, DC with over 1,500 of the industry’s best and brightest minds gathering to learn from peers, form new relationships, share insights and strategies, and discuss policy, innovation, and disruption impacting individual organizations and the healthcare industry as a whole.
Special discount to 16th Annual World Health Care Congress when registering with HCEG2019
HCEG Partners with WHCC on CIO & CTO Strategy Track
In this year’s 2019 World Health Care Congress, the HealthCare Executive Group is pleased to partner with WHCC to provide and moderate the CIO & CTO Strategy Track – a series of sessions designed to bring together policymakers, technology leaders, and health plan and health system professionals supporting enterprise decisions around information technology. The sessions presented in this track will be based on select items on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list of challenges, issues, and opportunities facing healthcare leaders.
This post provides some insight into CIO & CTO Strategy Track sessions, the healthcare champions who will be presenting and participating in the various sessions, and presents a unique discount offer for HCEG members and associates considering attending this high-profile healthcare event.
Digital Technology – The Foundation of Healthcare Innovation and Disruption
While most of the sessions at the WHCC are focused on strategy, leadership, business transformation, and policy, the sessions in the CIO & CTO Strategy track will share insight, ideas, and actionable information on digital technology-related topics identified by HCEG members and associates in the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list – specifically:
Data Analytics (Top 10 Item #1)
Importance of Useable Technology (Top 10 Item #5)
Pharmacy Costs and Transparency (Top 10 Item #6)
External Market Disruptors (Top 10 Item #7)
Cybersecurity (Top 10 Item #10)
In addition, HCEG’s board chair Kim Sinclair, executive director Ferris Taylor, and board member Alan Abramson will share insights on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list of primary challenges, issues, and opportunities.
Technology-Focused Sessions Supporting Healthcare Innovation and Disruption
There are eighteen different tracks at the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress – something for everyone that can be mixed and matched to meet specific areas of interest and need. Use HCEG2019 when you register here to receive a discount not generally available to everyone.
Here are the sessions in the CIO & CTo Strategy Track that HCEG has partnered with the World Health Care Congress to present:
Optimize Information Sharing to Generate Real Value from Data (HCEG Top 10 Item #1)
Insight and examples of why using technology for technology’s sake simply do not work will be shared along with a discussion of machine language and artificial intelligence’s promise in flagging fraudulent activity more quickly; alleviating waste and abuse.
Cybersecurity – Think Beyond Enterprise and Employee Training (HCEG Top 10 Item #10)
Mon, April 29th at 2:30 pm
Jothi Dugar, Chief Information Security Officer in the Office of the Director at the NIH Center for Information Technology will join HCEG board member Eric Decker, Sr VP of IT & CIO at Independent Health, and HCEG Secretary Tim Thull, Sr VP & CIO at Medica to discussion cybersecurity – ranked #10 on the 2019 HCEG Top 10.
Discussion topics include:
Addressing cybersecurity at the end-user level by considering the psychology of cybersecurity and how to optimize your workforce against threats
What’s holding health care back from sophisticated approaches to providing private, secure PHI
Healthcare Innovation and Disruption Highlighted in HCEG Top 10 List & Industry Pulse
On Tuesday, April 30th at 2:25 pm, HCEG board chair Kim Sinclair, CIO at BMC HealthNet Plan, executive director Ferris Taylor, and board member Alan Abramson, Sr VP of IT & CIO at HealthPartners and Co-Chair of the Minnesota eHealth Advisory Committee will present ‘The HCEG Reveal: What CIOs and CTOs Care about Most in 2019 (and Why You Should Too).’ In this session, an overview and their insight on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 list of challenges, issues, and opportunities facing healthcare executives in 2019 will be shared including an overview of the impact the HCEG Top 10 can have on members, patients, providers, and others in our increasingly digital world.
The 9th Annual Industry Pulse Survey – Perspectives on Healthcare Innovation and Disruption
Attendees of ‘The HCEG Reveal’ session will also enjoy insight and commentary on the 2019 Industry Pulse research survey – an annual survey based on the 2019 HCEG Top 10 and scheduled for release in the weeks before the World Health Care Congress event. This 9th instance of the Industry Pulse looks not only at the marketplace challenges, trends, opportunities, and investments reported by industry leaders but also compares and contrasts those findings with what was uncovered in past Industry Pulse surveys.
More Details on 16th Annual World Health Care Congress and CIO & CTO Strategy Track
Here’s additional information on the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress. Feel free to reach out to us or contact WHCC if you have any questions regarding registration for this world-class healthcare event.
HCEG is pleased to offer its members and associates a special discount to this year’s 16th Annual World Health Care Congress. Use HCEG2019 when you register here to receive a discount not generally available to everyone.
Connect w/ HealthCare Innovators and Disruptors at 16th Annual World Health Care Congress
As uncertainty retains its grip on the healthcare sector, healthcare leaders now – more than ever – need to stay on top of the policies, regulations, technologies, and trends shaping the market. Consider joining your peers at the 16th Annual World Health Care Congress on April 28th in Washington, DC and register today!
Stay Connected with HealthCare Innovators and Disruptors
Healthcare leaders and those championing the transformation of healthcare can subscribe to our eNewsletter to stay abreast of information, events, and networking opportunities in 2019 and beyond.