Although there are major healthcare debates in the nation's capital, there is little debate that a focus on population health can influence tomorrow's healthcare for the better. Alignment Healthcare is a population health management company that utilizes an integrated care coordination model to improve quality of care and attack waste in the care system through smart use of data and analytics. Here, John Kao, the company’s CEO, answers four questions on how Alignment Healthcare is utilizing outcomes data to provide the most complex patients with personalized care.
Oliver Wyman Health: Disruption is a central issue in today's healthcare environment, and everything from new technology to the creation of new consumer experiences is shifting the existing landscape. How does your organization think about disruption?
John Kao: At Alignment Healthcare, we believe the most meaningful disruption comes from within the industry, from those who have seen first-hand the challenges of today’s healthcare system and are willing to think differently and bring new solutions to solving age-old problems. I am invigorated by the new entrants and young companies coming into the market, but see them struggle to implement effective change. With an industry that’s this complex, there will always be barriers to success. As we move towards real disruption in market, collaboration and strong partnerships will be as important as ever. By holistically working together as an industry, we’ll see positive disruption instead of disruptive consequences.
OWH: How can population health be a positive disruptor and play a key role in the future health market?
JK: The power to see and analyze large data sets that can affect the health of a broader demographic is enormous. With reliable data and predictive analytics, we can now quickly spot overarching trends that may impact individual patients and combine that with personalized treatment options that look at the whole patient population to drive positive outcomes. I am motivated by the real results we have already achieved from data-driven population health. But as an industry, we need to do a better job using the data we have available to understand, predict and mitigate negative health outcomes – while ensuring we don’t lose sight of the personalized needs of patients.
OWH: How is your organization driving the type of change that defines next generation population health?
JK: We’re focusing on the use of data and analytics to better predict patient outcomes and get ahead of patients’ needs. We’ve armed our clinical teams with data and technology that can predict and alert them to potential patient issues before they happen. This allows them to pro-actively reach out to and care for patients as is appropriate – whether that’s by phone or video, or in person at the patient’s home or at a care center. For example, our remote monitoring program features proprietary patient-risk alerts and virtual physician visits by phone or a tablet. The overall 30-day hospital readmission rate among our patients enrolled in that program is less than 10 percent – 0 percent for all of 2016 in Florida – compared to the national Medicare average of 18 percent. This is especially significant considering that this program is currently provided only to our sickest patients. As innovation grows in population health management, we will continue to focus on using data and technology that can inform more effective patient-provider interactions and consumer-focused care.
OWH: Where do you see population health in 10 years and your organization’s role in that future vision?
JK: I expect to see the ongoing focus of providing highly personalized, consumer-driven healthcare, informed by data and analytics. As a company, we see the highest value in using population-level data to make more personal healthcare decisions – using population health trends on the macro scale to apply to individuals. It’s about scale; as population health technology becomes more widely adopted, the more individual patients can benefit. Through our clinically based, digitally enabled, high-touch model of care, we plan to be at the forefront of the evolution of healthcare.