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Up-and-Comers 2017: Quartet’s Venture into Behavioral Health

May 25, 2017
by David Raths
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Each year, to accompany our Healthcare Informatics 100 list of the largest companies in U.S. health information technology, we profile six fast-growing companies that could very well make The 100 in the future.

The growth trajectory of these startups suggests they could have a significant impact in health information technology. Most have drawn strong interest from venture capitalists. Others are coming at seemingly intractable problems in healthcare from completely new angles. The next such company on this year’s list is New York-based Quartet.

Editor’s note: All of the 2017 up-and-comer stories can be read, as they come out this week, right here.

Both Arun Gupta and Steve Shulman had plenty of experience with healthcare business ventures before founding New York-based Quartet in 2014. Gupta had served as a general partner at Accretive, a firm that has launched several companies including Accolade, which offers an on-demand healthcare concierge for employers and health plans. Shulman previously served as the CEO of Magellan Health, one of the nation’s largest behavioral health managed care companies.

Gupta says they found they shared a passion for solving some of the healthcare sector’s challenges involving behavioral health. “We saw how many people struggle to get a reasonable diagnosis and access to the right kind of treatment pathway,” he says. About 19 percent of the population deal with issues such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorders, he notes, and utilization data shows that population consumes roughly half of the healthcare resources every year. “Looking at all that data, coupled with Steve’s prior experience in behavioral health, gelled into what would become Quartet,” he says. The startup company uses a technology platform to make it easier for primary care physicians, patients and behavioral providers to coordinate care.

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Arun Gupta

In its earliest stage, the company, with Gupta as CEO and Shulman as chairman, went through a period of research and development, talking to primary care doctors, insurance companies and behavioral care providers. “There are some pretty good models of collaboration out there, largely in academic medical settings,” Gupta says, “but they hadn’t scaled.” They decided that the right communication software could help allow behavioral and primary care providers to collaborate fairly seamlessly and move toward universal screenings and diagnosis, which should result in less healthcare resource utilization overall.

Primary care physicians seeing patient that they believe could benefit from access to mental health resources can send that patient to Quartet with a few mouse clicks. “We take it from there,” Gupta explains. “We figure out the right behavioral provider match for the patient, who will take their insurance, and who is available. The primary care provider will get an update when the patient sees that provider. They get the information on the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment plan that they need to stay in the loop.”

Through Quartet’s platform, a primary care doctor could have a real-time phone consult with a psychiatrist about issues such as medication levels. Quartet also uses algorithms to suggest to the physician, based on the patients in their panel, people who could benefit from an initial assessment.

All of this is free to the patient, the primary care doctor and the behavioral providers. Quartet partners with large payers and enterprise health systems that sponsor the regional networks it creates. They started in Massachusetts with Steward Health Care Network and have expanded from there. Quartet has partnerships with Highmark in western Pennsylvania, Premera Blue Cross in the Puget Sound area, and Humana in New Orleans. Gupta says the company would announce partnerships in two new geographic areas this summer and a handful more by the end of 2017.

So the economic beneficiary is the enterprise partner but the user is the primary care practice and the behavioral provider. At first, that two-level aspect of their business model was daunting, Gupta admits. But eventually he decided it has been a good way for the company to get built because Quartet cannot cajole or require the users to do anything. “We can only provide value and try to show them we are useful,” he says. “We had to create a delightful user interface and experience to give them what they need. That is why we have user-centered design teams and onboarding specialists in primary care offices every day.”

Quartet’s first round of venture capital, $7 million, came in 2015 before it had earned any revenue or launched a product.  Then in 2016 it raised an additional $40 million led by Google Ventures. “That gives us access to some of the best and most epic Googlers,” Gupta says. Some of Google’s best product design, engineering, machine learning, recruiting and product marketing people now work for Google Ventures full time to help companies like ours get to maximum success. That has been fun.”

Gupta says Quartet will have more than 200 employees by the end of 2017. “We have hired more than 100 people in the last 12 months and will hire more than that in the next 12 months,” he says. Quartet is in a high-growth stage where it is being selective about partnerships. “It takes constancy of focus,” he explains. “We are only going to take on what we can do in a high-quality way, but I think we are clearly out in front on a huge issue in society that is driving a ton of healthcare cost. It is a hard problem.  

 


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LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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