Wednesday, December 30, 2015

There is Nothing Permanent Except Change: Reflections on the Fall Managed Care Forum



Guest Blog from TCS Healthcare Technologies
Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Deborah Keller, RN, BSN
Director of Client Services
TCS Healthcare Technologies


According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “There is nothing permanent except change.” And the managed care industry is no exception to this truism. With a goal of understanding the changes in our industry, four members of the TCS team attended the Fall Managed Care Forum in Las Vegas, presented by the National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP), the American Association of Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems (AAIHDS) and the American Association of Managed Care Nurses (AAMCN). Like everyone in the industry, we understand the hot topic in the health industry right now is change and we wanted to participate in the conversation.

Although change is inevitable, it does not come easily and it does not happen quickly. Beginning with the opening presentation by Felizitaz Devine about change management, to the keynote address by Jacques Sokolov, MD, The Future of Healthcare, we all find ourselves on this journey to making sense of the changes to healthcare delivery and management.  What we found was validation from a variety presenters and conversations that some key focus areas are paramount to successfully navigating the changes.  As Sokolov mentioned in his keynote, “We are in a challenging, yet interesting, time for the healthcare industry.”

Data

Woven throughout the presentations was the need for data to support decision making at the clinical program and individual patient level.  Metrics to demonstrate compliance, satisfaction ratings, treatment efficacy, and population assessment are just some of many examples of the increasing need and usage of data.

Many of the details on the use of data to provide support validated the updates and improvements we have made to the ACUITY products. Our clients report great success in using the ACUITY platform to collect, analyze and report the data required to support their Care and Population Health Management programs.  Our Client Services team works with new clients to implement the platform including data integrations, access to critical data for the end user, automated and workflow supported data capture and finally the reporting required to support their business, regulatory and accreditation needs.

Provider Involvement and Engagement

The presentation, Tandigm Health:  Disruptive Innovation in Philadelphia, by Anthony Colletta, MD, MBA, focused on the importance of the Primary Care Provider (PCP) in managing cost and improving patient outcomes.  At the core of the quality based program approach is assuring that providers are given the information and tools that they need to manage the patients for whom they are responsible.   Providing ongoing metrics related to their practice is also key to make ongoing quality improvements to patient management processes and data collection.

New Technological Innovations

The convergence of medicine and technology continues to progress at a pace that some find dizzying while others find palatial, depending on where one sits in the chain of technology innovation and adoption.  What is clear is that there are limitless ways technology could be used to support patient health.  Dr. Thomas Morrow’s presentation, How Avatars Will Be Used in Changing Behavior, was a provocative look into the future.  In thinking of how just the presence of something as simple as a smart phone has changed behaviors already, it is natural to expect this same effect when the device is applied to the self-management of a disease.  Dr. Morrow discussed why people fail to take good care of themselves, why current approaches to address the issue aren’t working, and how a virtual health assistant (VHA) can be a solution.

While change is indeed the hot topic in managed care, some things haven’t changed.   One of these being the need to provide disease specific patient education.  Dr. Charles Vega reminded us of this in his presentation, Providing Optimal Treatment & Management Strategies for Asthma Control.  A key point was that patients need education on things as simple as how to use their inhaler properly as a high percentage of patients are currently using them incorrectly.

Final Thoughts

While we are a newer vendor to this conference, TCS is excited join the Fall Managed Care Forum conversation.  As we look to the New Year and reflect on 2015, it is safe to say that we are embracing change and look forward to what it will mean for the future of managed care and how we can continue to update the ACUITY platform to support these initiatives.


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Friday, December 4, 2015

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