Category Archives: Analytics

Healthcare execs weigh in on population health and value-based care

There is no common definition for population health. But if you ask enough healthcare executives, you’ll get a clear sense of what it means in terms of how it challenges them. That’s what I discovered at the Value-Based Care Conference hosted by 3M in New York City.

In a conference survey, I asked 42 leaders from health plans, government agencies, health systems, quality review organizations and consulting firms what they thought about population health. Their responses are a good gauge for where these organizations will be investing their efforts in the coming months. Continue reading

Using Scrum to tackle technical debt

I guess I may be part of a revolution and that revolution is called “Scrum.” Like many health IT leaders who are challenged with an ever growing backlog of work, there is no good, quantifiable way to prioritize that backlog, and it just keeps growing.

Enter what Scrum can do for healthcare IT. Continue reading

Attention Physicians and Coders: CMS’ Advanced Analytics Paying Off – Big Time

My mother taught me that it’s impolite to say “I told you so.” My daughter tells me I’m bossy and health care compliance is pretty dry (she’s trying not to be impolite and say “boring”) but when millions of dollars are connected, it’s much more interesting and news worthy.

So, sorry Mom, but I told you so and I’ve been telling you since I began blogging. And yes, big brother and his whole family are watching. Continue reading

The Internet of Things in Health Care

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were watching an interview with Dr. Michael Roizen, who leads the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Roizen was describing his “7 Action Steps to a Healthier You,” one of which is “Walk 10k a Day,” where one tries to take 10,000 steps each day. Dr. Roizen explained that this 10K threshold seems to impart important health benefits, although the mechanisms aren’t fully understood. While my wife and I try to get out most mornings and walk for 30-60 minutes—at least that’s our intention—we had no idea how many steps we were taking. Continue reading

Why I get excited about APCDs (hint: also a memoir and album by Herbie Hancock)

I love hearing about multi-source or all-payer claims databases (APCDs). I’m not a data scientist, but I know enough about analytics to appreciate the possibilities within an APCD. Each announcement of a new state APCD (or private data alliance) feeds the expectation that someone will discover something new and useful and that maybe, sometime soon, the information will change the healthcare system for better.

I get excited about the possibilities. (Jazz musician Herbie Hancock chose “Possibilities” as the title for his memoir. It’s a tribute to those who aren’t afraid to explore in music and in life.) Continue reading

Looking for a Future in Healthcare IT? Think About a Career in Data

Data as a career may be a bit ambiguous. How about looking for a career in data modeling, preserving, securing, delivering and making data readily available?

Beyond the obvious solutions available within healthcare data to inform products and influence reform, there is a residual need for how to carefully steward and retain the data. Some refer to this as data governance. I call it simply, “a retention and capacity strategy in need of professionals.” Over the last five years, the healthcare industry has lost a tremendous amount of talent to the promise of “big data” and data driven analytics. The industry need is greater than ever to field a new set of talent. Continue reading

Swiss Cheese and the Balkanization of Big Data in Healthcare

Reading the title, you are probably wondering how the two go together. In relation to big data, both terms produce some of the largest challenges we experience with the efficacy of data within the realm of healthcare big data analytics. These pains, explained later, can be addressed early in building useful, large datasets. Understanding them may be the key difference in managing a successful “big” dataset versus another collection of useless binary. Continue reading

Top Issues Facing Payers on the Journey to Value

We recently held our biannual payer client conference in Orlando, FL, and it was another very productive meeting. Several plans shared their respective progress and challenges as they each journey forward on the path to value. Based on the feedback, my colleague, James Lawson, Vice President, Client Experience, Payment and Population Solutions, shared some key takeaways from the meeting: Continue reading

Airbags and Analytics

I am not a fan of cold weather. Not a snow lover, don’t like sleet, detest freezing rain and ice and the resulting traffic accidents. Most folks don’t think about their airbags until they begin to skid on an ice-covered road and suddenly it becomes one of the most critical components of the vehicle.

Bad weather makes me think about the news reports of the frightening problems with faulty airbags. I was surprised to hear reports that the problem impacts the entire price range of vehicles – from economy to luxury brands. The news got me thinking – is an airbag a component auto manufacturers would compromise? Continue reading

Who’s After Your Healthcare Data?

It has been impossible to ignore the number of data breaches in the news lately. Whether you have been directly affected or not, one thing is certain: data security should be a top priority, especially in the healthcare industry. This eye-opening article talks about the new focus of hackers: targeting healthcare data. Healthcare data is extremely valuable when compared to the current value of Social Security numbers or credit card numbers on the black market. John Halamka, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, sums it up:

While a stolen Social Security number might sell for 25 cents in the underground market, and a credit card number might fetch $1, “A comprehensive medical record for me to get free surgery might be $1,000,” Halamka says. “It is a commodity that is hot on the black Internet [market].” Continue reading