It’s National Health IT Week!

This week, Sept 23-27, is National Health IT week.

Is that a thing?! Yes it is! Check it out here: https://www.healthitweek.org/

National Health IT week is founded and sponsored by HIMSS Media, and this year’s themes include some of my favorite topics: Advancing Population Health, and Addressing Social Determinants of Health.

Note that it says addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDoH), which is great. In Pop Health Analytics we are still working on including Social Determinants (income, education, race and ethnicity, access to food and [...]

Population Health For All

Physician and Penn Vice-Provost Ezekiel Emanuel Advises Candidates: The First Priority, For A Majority of Voters, is The Cost of Healthcare

Last Friday morning, Zeke Emanuel, physician and vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, authored an op-ed in the New York Times about the real issue in USA health care: the cost. He proposes four specific actions to start driving down the cost of care – and by doing so making it more available and affordable for everyone:

  1. Bring down drug prices through national and Medicare negotiation with pharma toward value-based drug pricing [...]

Too Much and Not Enough at The Same Time

Too Much, Not Enough, All at Once

The title of this post is from a Jack Kerouac quote, having to do with falling in love. I have a more prosaic interpretation: it’s the key problem in health IT, everywhere you look. Health IT solutions provide a lot of data, but it’s usually too much, and what the user is actually looking for is often missing. Too much and not enough at the same time. Because data itself only becomes useful when context and meaning transform it into information. This can be especially true when data and information are presented [...]

Future Cognitive Healthcare

Future Cognitive Company

Thomas Davenport in his article “AI for the Real World” describes how the “Future Cognitive Company” would use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help find answers to the key strategic questions for the firm. He writes: “Most cognitive tasks [performed by AI algorithms] do work that wasn’t done by humans in the first place, such as big-data analytics.”

Healthcare providers are Cognitive Companies — today and in the future. And as Value-Based Care continues to grow, the various reimbursement and incentive models make care delivery increasingly complex, adding to the need to be [...]

Health Services Platform Consortium

Where Progress Comes Together Last week I attended the annual meeting of the HSPC – the Health Services Platform Consortium. HSPC is a group of Healthcare Provider Organizations, Health IT firms, Implementation and Services Organizations working together toward a platform of interoperability, where health data is accessible to applications and systems outside the single-EHR walls.

HSPC is uniquely positioned to help push the Interoperability goal forward because:
  • It is primarily driven by Health Provider Organizations – not just Health IT vendors
  • Some of the large specialty organizations are members of HSPC (ACOH, AAFP, ACS) — with [...]

Using Social Determinants Wisely

A SDoH Recap In May 2018 this blog (Social Risk Adjustment for Provider Quality Measures), reviewed how Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) (data on a person or household’s income, education, housing, environment, transportation etc.) can be used to adjust performance scores for practices that serve disadvantaged populations.

In October 2018, our follow-up (A New Idea for Financing Key Investments in Healthy Communities) reviewed a paper proposing a funding and implementation structure to involve all the healthcare stakeholders (including insurers, government agencies, and [...]

Paper: A New Idea for Financing Key Investments in Healthy Communities

Social Determinants as Public Goods Taking Social-Risk Adjustment Beyond Care Quality-and-Performance Metrics In our May 2018 blog (Social Risk Adjustment for Provider Quality Measures), we addressed the need consider adjustments to healthcare-provider performance scores so that medical practices that serve disadvantaged populations don’t get penalized because diet, location, wealth, education level and environmental factors depress the wellness of these patients.

A recent paper published in the August 2018 issue of Health Affairs, Social Determinants as Public Goods, by Len M. Nichols and Lauren A. Taylor – takes [...]

Population Health Needs a Tight Definition to Succeed

populations of colorfully illustrated people, arranged as upward arrows on white background, representing population health definition The Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH) celebrated its 10th anniversary last week – Congratulations!! That means that the concept of Population Health is now well established, not the novelty and the experiment that it was a decade ago. But, in my travels and meetings with healthcare providers and health IT firms in the Pop Health space, I notice that there’s a lot of variation in what people mean by the term Population Health – and this variation [...]

HealthShare Exchange Hackathon Brings New Insights to Health Data Integration

Hacking teams competed to demonstrate how patients and consumers, as well as care providers and payers, can be direct beneficiaries and users of the Health Information Exchange (HIE) infrastructure

Social Risk Adjustment for Provider Quality measures

Physicians have two classic responses to quality or performance reports:

  1. My patients are sicker, or
  2. Your data is wrong.
We use risk-adjustment and data quality checks to address these concerns and to ensure that quality reports are accurate and fair.
But there is a third concern, very significant and real:
My patients…
  • …are poorer, less educated
  • …live in challenging neighborhoods
  • …don’t have access to healthy food, or for other reasons don’t eat healthy food
  • …don’t exercise, breathe unhealthy air or drink unhealthy water
  • …in short, are more “difficult”
We need to apply social risk adjustment to quality and performance metrics. This is not a [...]

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