Month End Wrap Up and Re-cap: ACOs, Population Health and Stuff

By Fred Goldstein, MS and Gregg Masters, MPH

This week join PopHealth Week hosts Gregg Masters, Doug Goldstein and Fred Goldstein for our month end review. This month’s cFarzad Mostashari MD Health Datapaloozaommentary will touch upon what we learned from our first two ACO guests, Farzad Mostashari of physician led ACO management company Aledade and Gerry Meklaus of Accenture (more on tap for September as the interest level in un-bundling the model types and sharing this experience to date has been quite substantial). phw_aledade

We also discuss a recent interview of Ronald Bayer where he had some pretty strong thoughts on Precision Medicine versus Population Health- see: ‘Precision Medicine a Threat to Population HealthIs it a binary choice and might there be a need for some definitional guidance?

And as is typical Doug (@efuturist) is gallavanting around the world and we’ll get an update from him on his travels, connections and insights from ‘Digital Health España‘ aka Digitalhealth.es. Innovation is NOT limited to the domestic conversation. Doug will fill us in on his discoveries to date.

Katherine Schneider MD | Population Health Colloquium | Delaware Valley ACO
For some insights from the largest ACO in the Delaware Valley, check out Doug’s interview with Katherine Schneider, MD,  President and CEO of Delaware Valley ACO.

And for a developing resource in the digital health space courtesy of Health Innovation Media, check out DigitalHealth.domains an emerging digital health library of sorts.

 

 

 

 

Population Health and ACOs: A Deep Dive Into Model Type and Results To Date

by Gregg A. Masters

As we continue our journey into population health and it’s relationship to and ACO Watch @ACOwatch @ACOalliancesynergies with all forms of innovation enabling the broad brush outcomes of the ‘triple aim’, better health outcomes, improved user experience and lower per capita costs, we shift our focus to the accountable care industry and ACOs in particular.

The month of August we’ll chat with executives from each of the following types of ACOs: physician led, hospital sponsored and health plan enabled.

On the first broadcast at 12 Noon Pacific/3PM Eastern we’ll provide an overview of the space and touch on the history and origins of ACOs, the motivations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), then pivot to the pros and cons of the various models in the market and to the extent we can compare and contrast results, we’ll offer up data posted to the public domain.

Join Fred Goldstein @fsgoldstein and Gregg Masters @2healthguru for this exploration into an timely and relevant topic.

 

 

PopHealth Week Month End Wrap-Up: Wednesday June 24th

by Fred Goldstein, Gregg Masters and Douglas Goldstein

In our second month end ‘news/e/um‘ style PopHealth Week Review Wednesday June 24 at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET we’ll feature hot topics in the news. Our regular panel of Fred Goldstein @fsgoldstein, Gregg Masters @2healthguru and Doug Goldstein @efuturist will identify newsworthy stories and offer commentary along the way.
The initial slate of stories in the news includes:

  • Healthways revised guidance
  • Fitbit’s IPO and Garmin’s lawsuit
  • Ochsner Health System
    • What they are been getting news about Apple Watch – Chronic Care Management
    • News B4 the Release – what they are working on the New Mission Control”
  • The physician led ACO management company Aledade’s VC raise
  • Insights from the Personalized Medicine Coalition Study
  • Anthem’s sparring bids for CIGNA (and Aetna’s pursuit of Humana) Could the ‘Big Five’ be reduced to the ‘Big Three’?

Here’s some background:

Healthways: A Perennial Disappointment?

PHW_healthwaysThis company just reported revised downward guidance and their stock was hammered.  Last month, on May 18th their longtime CEO Ben Leedle stepped down and last year a group of dissident sharedholders filed to take over the Board, though they ultimately came to an agreement with a few of them joining the Healthways Board.  As one of the largest population health companies, with unique programs like Silver Sneakers, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, and relationships with Blue Zones and Dean Ornish, how can they miss?  Well the irreverent 3 have some thoughts you don’t want to miss this.

We’re sourcing our discussion from recent news: ‘Healthways Revises Financial Guidance for 2015‘ and Healthways (HWAY) Stock Sinks on Lower Full Year Revenue Guidance.

Fitbit: The Wallstreet Darling of the Wearables Industry?

Fitbit went public, Woohoo! Lets take a walk as we discuss:phw_fitbit

  • the opportunities for wearables
  • Fitbit’s first day pop (can you say JUMP) you know, we can get them to exercise, but hey its only the first month, is it sustainable?; and
  • the recently announced Garmin lawsuit (what? So they hired employees from a competitor….. but maybe… they took more than their minds with them)

The company narrative is here, and recent discussions found via CNBC ‘Fitbit soars 20% on second trading day‘.

The good here, and some questions, here and here. And then there’s the ‘always-in America’ litigation angle via ‘Fitbit Sued by Jawbone for ‘Plundering’ Employees, Secrets‘ with all the gory details of the complaint here.

Ochsner Health System: The New Normal?

Doug Goldstein recently visited Ochsner Health and has some interesting insights to bring us. Perhaps more interesting is this announcement:phw_ochsner

Ochsner Health System First in Nation to Manage Chronic Disease with AppleWatch….’

We all know how much buzz the product (better yet, platform) has produced in the digital health and exploding apps market, we’ll lean into the real world implications for its deployment to population health via Ochsner’s first mover vision inside their EHR (uh, can you say EPIC?).

Select Highlights:

…it’s not about the wearable – it’s about the “new mission control” being built into the EPIC workflow that will change how doctors support patients in life, fitness, health and healthcare.’ Douglas Goldstein

Aledade: The Physician Led ACO Management Company “ACOcor” Revisited?

phw_aledadeAledade just completed a $30 million series B raise, see; ‘Bethesda health tech company raises $30 million‘. What implications if any can we draw from this continuing investor confidence in the approach and ‘secret sauce’ enabling the transformation of the U.S. healthcare ecosystem from volume to value? What does this say about the ACO market writ large and the continued embedding of the ACA’s moving parts as the new normal for American healthcare? For discussion of this milestone event, see: Leading the Transformation: Aledade’s Growth authored by Aledade CEO Farzad Mostahari, MD.

Themes: ACOs continue their market penetration, and the need for physician led ACOs can only be expected to continue to grow as well. Someone need fill that void. Aledade intends to be a front runner.

ACA repeal types are increasingly irrelevant and the King V Burwell trial decision –  which could hit this week – is likely to only affirm the continued availability of Federal subsidies within the broad intent of the law and ‘language issues’ notwithstanding.

Physician led ACOs are another shot at the bow of traditional hospital system led innovations including any ACOs the sponsor.

Personalized Medicine Coalition Study 

phw_personalizedmedMost of us have heard about the 17 year time-line for innovation to transfer from ‘bench to bedside’ into mainstream medicine. Clearly in days past, we could tolerate such a delayed ‘on-ramp’. Yet in the Internet age, with Moore’s Law, the explosion medical information and informatics/big data analytics, plus opportunities for crowd sourcing and the connected global village are within the means of anyone carrying a smart-phone, laptop or traditional PC access, such a delay is, well so 1900’s…

Yet, there’s more in the way of ‘innovation uptake’, you know that ‘calcified hairball’ so aptly tagged by the powerhouse Esther Dyson (@edyson). A recent study by the Personalized Medicine Coalition outlines some of these concerns, particularly as it relates to ‘alternate payment models’ (APMs):

“..as APMs continue to develop and these, and other alternate models are proposed, it will be important to consider what effect changing incentives and payment systems will have on the decision by interested stakeholders to invest in personalized medicine. The Report concludes that “if new incentives begin to hamper access to personalized medicines in a meaningful way, the ability to invest in research and development of highly personalized therapies and diagnostics will likely shift to align with the inflexible payment systems.”

“Understanding the dynamics and challenges facing the industry as payors move toward APMs is the first step to ensuring that these therapies can continue to be developed and made available to patients. This Report is an important first step to raising the awareness of these issues as payment models continue to evolve.”

Practical Impact or ‘Reading the Tea Leaves’

As the challenge of integrating the promise of precision medicine (utility of biomarkers and better understanding of disease pathology and associated risk management opportunities) informing and guiding to day to day lifestyle (including health) choices, another potential uptake inhibitor are the hoops payors or risk bearing organizations may require before deeming the application of such technology to better patient outcomes. So in a way, it’s not just about tech innovation adding value to medicine and healthcare, but also the bureaucracies we create to protect the public while stimulating innovation.

PM remains an on the come potential to current medical practice. The theory is compelling, but the 17 year bench to bedside standard is not likely to step aside any time soon. Perhaps incentives [and compelling outcomes studies] can accelerate an otherwise glacial pace of [tech transfer] adoption.

Anthem’s Determined Dance to Acquire CIGNA

Are we revisiting the Big 6, then Big 4, and ultimately fill in the ____ of the too big to fail accounting firms [RIP Arthur Anderson] but now squarely laid at the feet of America’s Health Insurance Industry market leaders….?phw_anthem

This is a story on a number of levels! See: Anthem continues $47B Cigna takeover battle and Anthem offers $47 billion to buy Cigna.

Themes: Is health plan consolidation the antidote to counter the recent and persistent wave of hospital, health system and medical group mergers? One CEO’s post merger standing in way of merger. Will investors stand by and watch a premium bid sit idle?

Bottomline? Might market consolidation for price leverage (and oh yeah, scale and operating efficiencies) enable the construction of a virtual single payor (or Ellwood vision of “SuperMeds”) via acquisitions or arrangements? Is this scale required by ACA as some opine? Or just more opportunity to generate fees and exit packages for senior executives? When has scale reduced costs?

So pull up a chair, get out on a walk, put on your headset, and tune in to PopHealth Week!

 

PopHealth Week: The Monthly Wrap with Fred, Doug and Gregg

By Fred Goldstein

Join Gregg Masters @2healthguru, Doug Goldstein @eFuturist, and me @fsgoldstein as we discuss recent news and issues in population health. This week’s show will focus on Evolent Health and their recently announced IPO as well as the Quantified self and health care data, who’s using it, and what are some of the issues the industry and we face.

Here’s some background on the two topics:

Topic 1 – Evolent Health Announces Their IPO

Evolent Heath announced their IPO this past month. Here is some information on Evolent from their website (www.evolenthealth.com)

A PARTNERSHIP DRIVEN BY A GREATER PURPOSE

Evolent Health helps progressive health care systems lead, build and own the path to value-based care. No matter your current state of transition, we partner with you to drive real, lasting transformation from the inside out.

OUR COMPANY

Founded in 2011 by UPMC Health Plan and The Advisory Board Company, we are a high-growth firm headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Across multiple Evolent and partner system sites, our 750-member team of experts works shoulder-to-shoulder with provider leadership to shape the future of health care. Evolent is proud to partner with leading providers and physician organizations in over 25 markets across the country.

OUR OFFERING

Evolent provides the integrated technology, tools and team to advance value-based care. Our work begins with the Blueprint, an immediately actionable strategic roadmap that defines target markets, assesses needed clinical and operational capabilities, and is supported by a detailed business case. We implement the Blueprint through our Market Facing Solutions, which accelerate the path to value and embed and connect crucial capabilities through a Value-Based Services Organization:

  • Tailored clinical programs, patient engagement tools, quality and risk coding, and specialized care teams to deliver Population Health Performance
  • High performance network optimization and management, backed by proven physician compensation models and integrated specialty partnerships foundational to Delivery Network Alignment
  • Leadership, scalable back-office infrastructure, and analytics and reporting teams required for Financial And Administrative Management
  • Organizational governance and design, physician-led practice transformation, and change management to drive “inside-out” System Transformation
  • Data integration, clinical and business content, EMR optimization, and value-business applications through our purpose-build technology solution—IdentifiSM

From Evolent’s S-1:

Financials

2013               2014

Revenue         $40.3M           $100.9M

Loss                 $32.8M           $52.3M

Assumptions

They believe the current market opportunity is $10B and will be $46 by 2020, that health expenditures will increase from $2.1T to $3.2T by 2020, value based care will increase from 10% to 50%, the provider sponsored health plan market will grow to 15% of the total health plan market and they estimate $1T in waste in the system.

A good blog on the topic was posted by Stephanie Baum of MediCity News: ‘6 Takeaways from Evolent Health $100 Million IPO Registration

Also an interesting piece from Rock Health on who might be next for an IPO.

Topic 2 – Quantified Self, Data, Privacy and Meaningful Use

The second issue we’ll discuss is the quantified self, and the incredible growth in personal data that is being gathered and used from wearable devices and other sources.

The Washington Post had a recent article entitled ‘The Revolution will be Digitized‘ by Arianna Eunjung Cha, posted May 9, 2015.

And from the Kojo Annamdi Show on NPRThe Digital Fingerprints We Leave Behind Online’ with some interesting information and statistics.

There have been numerous data breaches including this one: ‘CareFirst Data Breach.’

And the recent hacking of an adult dating site and sharing of intimate details online.

Issues like who owns the data, whose using it, its value, the ‘No MU without Me‘ campaign and others will be addressed. So join us at 12 pm Eastern at www.pophealthweek.com and follow us on twitter @pophealthweek.

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Frederic S. Goldstein is President and Founder Accountable Health, LLC, Past Board Chair, Board of Directors, Population Health Alliance, and co-founder of PopHealth Week.