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A Conversation with Shaye Mandle, President and CEO, the Medical Alley Association

April 16, 2018
by Pamela Tabar
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Shaye Mandle

Breaking down healthcare’s information siloes has become a mission for Shaye Mandle, president and CEO of the Medical Alley Association in Minneapolis, one of the largest medical technology consortiums in the country. Under Mandle’s tenure, the consortium has evolved into a 650-member conversation on how to overcome technology barriers and meld the interests of all healthcare sectors. Unlike many industry groups, the Medical Alley deliberately courts members from across the spectrum of healthcare, including payers, providers and vendors.

Editor’s note: Why is the Medical Alley Association nicknamed the “Silicon Valley of the Midwest?” Read Healthcare Informatics’ profile of the innovation group in Part 1 of this two-part piece.

The cloud-based world and the dramatic rise in consumerism in healthcare seem to have stamped an expiration date on proprietary platforms, making cross-sector collaboration more important than ever. The best way to solve healthcare’s technology challenges and innovate, Mandle says, is to bring every aspect to the same table.

Healthcare Informatics recently spoke with Mandle about emerging innovations, industry trends and the surging impact of digital health.

How would you describe the culture change in healthcare IT these days?

Clearly, there are a lot of big healthcare players that have their own impact on the market. Until about three years ago, those proprietary lines drove almost everything. Part of the reason for the Medical Alley Association and its activities is to encourage that shift in the market. There's a real value shift happening now, and it involves some significant underlying cultural changes in perspective. We’re seeing a new emphasis on getting to know what the consumer needs and wants, and how to engage them in their own health.

How is the digital health movement changing the way companies need to think about consumers?

A lot of these larger, more established companies, particularly device companies, have been the major players in healthcare for a long time, but their relationship hasn’t traditionally been with the actual consumer. They’ve typically targeted the physician expert and clinical data/ IT sides of the equation.

But as consumers become more and more educated, these device companies are going to see a change to a more consumer-focused realm. We’ll see it happening with the payers, too. It's not just about convincing the hospital to buy your product anymore. It's also about who’s using it and what that experience is like.

What types of convergence do you see on the near horizon?

One of the things that will be interesting over the next few years is the convergence of what’s happening in Silicon Valley, which is known for great consumer service, and what’s been going on in the legacy healthcare space. I think we’ll see those worlds starting to come together.

From our vantage point, we're seeing a lot of interesting healthcare expertise migrating into higher tech and into the consumer interface realm. But while we consider the demands of consumers and their connection to healthcare, we also need to bring the healthcare expertise to get it all done in a way that is both compliant with legal and regulatory parameters and can produce results in a systematic shift.

How is the value-based purchasing world changing business intelligence?

The definition of business intelligence is really expanding now. The importance of data collection continues to grow, but we're definitely in a period now where it’s also about the ability to apply that data and create information that is actionable.  Then there’s what I call the “soft business intelligence” side—it’s data-driven, but it’s more about what intelligence is relevant to the emerging definitions of value, and how that data translates across legacy platforms. There are still so many inhibitors to getting to where everybody ultimately needs to be.

What are some of the innovations heating up?

Personalized medicine is really hot. “Pharmacos” are working on clinical decision support tools that will allow for prescriptions that are based on your genetic makeup instead of guessing which medication will work best. Mental health is another place where we're seeing some interesting work. One company is developing wearables that can capture behavior patterns and what the body is doing during episodes of various mental health disorders to allow for better data collection. Then the therapist can use that when talking with the patient.

I’m also very interested in virtual reality and artificial intelligence, because I think the most important component of fixing healthcare ultimately will be about the ability to change behavior patterns. I think there are plenty of questions about where those applications are in development, but an AI/VR clinical support technology platform could get individual consumers to engage in better behavior, better adherence to their prescriptions and therapies and better manage their health through the life cycle. If we can make that happen, then I think most of the conversations we have today about healthcare challenges will be easily managed. 

Learn more about technology innovation and digital health at the Healthcare Informatics IT Summit in Minneapolis, June 13-14, 2018.

The Health IT Summits gather 250+ healthcare leaders in cities across the U.S. to present important new insights, collaborate on ideas, and to have a little fun - Find a Summit Near You!


Survey: Healthcare Orgs Ramping up Investment in AI, Confident about ROI

November 16, 2018
by Heather Landi, Associate Editor
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The majority of health care executives (91 percent) are confident they will see a return on investment (ROI) on artificial intelligence investments, although not immediately, and foresee the greatest impact of AI will be on improving health care, according to an OptumIQ survey.

Most (94 percent) health care leaders responded that their organizations continue to invest in and make progress in implementing AI, with 75 percent of healthcare organizations say they are implementing AI or have plans to execute an AI strategy, based on OptumIQ’s survey of 500 senior U.S. healthcare industry executives, primarily from hospitals clinics and health systems, life sciences organizations, health plans and employers. OptumIQ is the intelligence arm of data and analytics of Optum, an information and technology-enabled health services business that is part of UnitedHealth Group.

While many healthcare organizations have plans, progress is mixed across sectors. Of the 75 percent who are implementing AI or have plans to execute an AI strategy, 42 percent of those organizations have a strategy but have not yet implemented it. Employers are furthest along, with 22 percent reporting their AI implementations are at a late stage, with nearly full deployment.

The average AI implementation is estimated to cost $32.4 million over five years. The majority of respondents (65 percent) do not expect to see a ROI before four years with the average expected period being five years. However, employers (38 percent) and health plans (20 percent) expect ROI sooner, in three years or less, according to the survey.

The survey found that health care leaders universally agree the greatest impact of AI investment will be on improving health care. Thirty-six percent expect AI will improve the patient experience; 33 percent anticipate AI will decrease per-capita cost of care; and 31 percent believe AI will improve health outcomes.

Most health care leaders believe AI can make care more affordable and accessible. Ninety-four percent of respondents agree that AI technology is the most reliable path toward equitable, accessible and affordable health care.

AI will make care more precise and faster, according to respondents. The top two benefits respondents expect to see from incorporating AI into their organizations are more accurate diagnosis and increased efficiency.

The survey found that respondents are looking to AI to solve immediate data challenges – from routine tasks to truly understanding consumers’ health needs. Of those health organizations that are already investing in and implementing AI: 

  • 43 percent are automating business processes, such as administrative operations or customer service;
  • 36 percent are using AI to detect patterns in health care fraud, waste and abuse; and
  • 31 percent are using AI to monitor users with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as a wearable technology

With more organizations seeing the benefit of adopting an AI strategy, 92 percent agree that hiring candidates who have experience working with AI technology is a priority for their organization. To meet this need, nearly half (45 percent) of health care leaders estimate that more than 30 percent of new hires will be in positions requiring engagement with or implementation of AI in the next 12 months. However, health organizations seeking to hire experienced staff will likely face talent shortages.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform health care by helping predict disease and putting the right insights into the hands of clinicians as they treat patients, which can reduce the total cost of care,” Eric Murphy, CEO of OptumInsight, said.

“Analytics isn't the end, it's the beginning – it's what you do with the insights to drive care improvement and reduce administrative waste,” Steve Griffiths, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Optum Enterprise Analytics, said. “For AI to successfully solve health care’s biggest challenges, organizations need to employ a unique combination of curated data, analytics and health care expertise... We are already seeing a race for AI talent in the industry that will grow as adoption continues to increase.”






More From Healthcare Informatics


The 2019 Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Program is Open

November 15, 2018
by the Editors of Healthcare Informatics
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Providers and vendors can now submit their entries to the Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Program

The 2019 Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Program is now open for submissions. As always, it’s a great privilege and pleasure for us to sponsor this program.

And as many readers know, the concept of team-base recognition, which began with the 2009 edition of the program, has encompassed numerous sets of multiple winning teams that our publication has recognized for their achievements across a very broad range of areas.

As it always does, the Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Program recognizes leadership teams from patient care organizations—hospitals, physician groups, clinics, integrated health systems, payers, HIEs, ACOs, and other healthcare organizations—that have effectively deployed information technology in order to improve clinical, administrative, financial, or organizational performance.

The Innovators Program, as it has in the last few years, also recognizes vendor solution providers who are asked to describe their core products or services in five categories. We are asking vendors to submit their innovation in one of five critical health IT areas: Data Security; Value-Based Care; Revenue Cycle Management; Data Analytics; and Patient Engagement.

Indeed, again this year, the Innovator Awards program will again include two tracks for innovation recognition—one for healthcare provider organizations and one for technology solution providers.

The submission form link for both tracks is right here. The deadline for submissions is January 4, 2019.

What’s more, the winning teams will be featured in an upcoming issue of Healthcare Informatics, and winning vendor teams will be awarded free digital distribution of whitepapers to all HIT Summit Series attendees.

At Healthcare Informatics, we are honored to be able to showcase these kinds of case studies from both providers and vendors, which we believe embodies the spirit of innovation around adaptive change that will light the way for their colleagues from across the industry.

At a time of extraordinary change in healthcare, now is as great a time as ever to showcase your innovations. Please consider submitting an entry to our program, and good luck in your entry!

--The Editors of Healthcare Informatics


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New Blockchain Project Sets to Tackle Provider Credentialing

November 12, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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A group of five healthcare enterprises—National Government Services, Spectrum Health, WellCare Health Plans, Inc., Accenture, and The Hardenbergh Group—are linking up to participate in a distributed ledger program aimed at resolving administrative inefficiencies related to professional credentialing.

The project, Professional Credentials Exchange, is being developed by ProCredEx and Hashed Health, a blockchain innovation consortium. The exchange leverages “advanced data science, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies to greatly simplify the acquisition and verification of information related to professional credentialing and identity,” according to officials.

In an announcement, officials noted that credentialing healthcare professionals “is a universally problematic process for any industry member that delivers or pays for patient care.  The process often requires four to six months to complete and directly impedes the ability for a healthcare professional to deliver care and be reimbursed for their work.”

They added, “Hospitals alone forfeit an average of $7,500 in daily net revenues waiting for credentialing and payer enrollment processes to complete.  Further, nearly every organization required to perform this work does so independently—creating a significant administrative burden for practitioners.”

As such, the groups, via the exchange, will aim to address the time, cost, and complexity associated with these processes by facilitating the secure, trusted exchange of verified credentials information between exchange members.

Included in the collaboration are WellCare Health Plans, which serves about 5.5 million members, and Spectrum Health, a 12-hospital health system in western Michigan. National Government Services is a Medicare contractor for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and processes more than 230 million Medicare claims annually.

"A fundamental component of developing the exchange lays in building a network of members that bring significant verified credential datasets to the marketplace," Anthony Begando, ProCredEx's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.  "These are the leading participants in a growing group of collaborators who bring data and implementation capabilities to accelerate the deployment and scaling of the exchange."

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