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Health Innovation Think Tank @ HIMSS18: Moving the industry forward

The third gathering of the Health Innovation Think Tank brought together a diverse group of leaders, innovators and policymakers to identify best practices that can move the industry toward key clinical models associated with value-based care, connected health and virtual care. This unique meeting of the minds took place during HIMSS18 in Las Vegas and was co-hosted by Lenovo Health, Justin Barnes Advisors, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/Critical Care Medicine (UPMC/CCM), Inventiv Health and HIMSS Media.

“In the healthcare industry, we tend to work in silos but we don’t often sit down as a large community and build innovative strategies together. That’s what this Think Tank is all about,” said Justin Barnes, Director of Justin Barnes Advisors, who moderated the program, as a variety of industry “catalysts” sparked discussion with the event’s participants.

Here’s what these leaders had to say:
On the challenges associated with the move to value-based care: “Even though we talk about being in a value-based care environment, we are living in fee-for-service. But the storm is coming,” said Leigh Thomas Williams, Administrator, Business Systems, Health Information & Technology, University of Virginia Health System. She pointed out that while organizations need to set their sights on improving outcomes to succeed under emerging value-based models, they still need to focus on “catching fish” by concentrating on “getting claims out the door to succeed under the fee-for-service model.”

Hank Fanberg, Technology Advocacy at CHRISTUS Health, agrees that financial incentives need to more directly support the move to value-based care. “To me that's the conundrum. We have all this technical capability. We have the ability to be in touch with people 24/7, but we need to figure out how to make that financially viable for the providers as well,” he said.

On the usefulness of connected health: The power of connected health is being demonstrated at UPMC, according to Rasu Shrestha, MD, Chief Innovation Officer at UPMC and Executive Vice President at UPMC Enterprises. He pointed to the fact that his organization is providing patients with “devices, apps and access to portals” so they can enter data and stay in continual communication with care teams. This allows the healthcare organization to monitor patients and intervene before they “fall off the guard rails and end up back in the emergency department,” which is what typically happens with chronically ill patients, Shrestha noted.

On the importance of viewing virtual care strategically: As healthcare organizations move toward using virtual care technologies such as telehealth, however, leaders must define specific value-based care, access or quality goals for “stakeholders to be aligned,” said Sylvan Waller, MD, Principal at Waller MD. In addition, virtual care “can’t be a standalone technology. It really needs to be integrated into everything that an organization does and thought of as part of the overall fabric of care,” Waller said.

Discussion on these topics – and more – will continue at the Think Tank’s next meeting, which will be held later this year at a yet-to-be determined date and location.

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