Healthcare Transformation Starts With the Data


Jason Cooper, vice president and chief analytics officer at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, understands that data analytics must play a key role as the health care sector transforms itself with a great focus on healthy lifestyle and preventive care, rather than simply treating what ails you.

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper

"There's a lot of culture change that has to happen, and we have to cover it not just with an internal lens but with an understanding of what are the external drivers. It's everything from providers to members to partners," said Cooper in a phone interview last week.

Cooper is a career analytics professional with more than 20 years of experience with Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations, Cigna, CVS Health, and NASA.

He can discuss how far managed healthcare has come in the past decade and where it can go in the years ahead. "It all starts with the data," he says. "It's not just the amount of data and types of data, but how quickly it comes at you." Healthcare organizations today have access to new types of data, such as that drawn from social media, and huge amounts of data released every year by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Cooper will be among the speakers on Wednesday when SAS hosts its SAS Health Analytics Virtual Forum from 8 am to 4 pm ET. Registration is free.

Cooper will participate in an executive panel session, Data-Driven: The Analytics Journey in Health Care and Life Sciences, along with Joseph Colorafi, vice president and chief medical information officer for Dignity Health; Curtis Smith, senior director, commercial innovation for Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and Kimberly Nevala, director of business strategies, SAS Best Practices.

That panel will examine how healthcare and life sciences organizations are being challenged to rethink the business of medicine. The panel will explore how organizations are evolving to meet these challenges and the role analytics play in this transformation.

It's one of seven panels and general sessions in this week's virtual forum. The morning keynote is by Eric J. Topol, MD, Director of Scripps Translational Science Institute and author of The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands and The Creative Destruction of Medicine.

The changes that presenters will be discussing throughout the day include the evolution of healthcare technologies, from the powerful analytics systems down to the Fitbit on your wrist and your smart phone, where analytics come into play throughout the healthcare system, the role of big data, improving patient care while maintaining profitability, and what has come to be known as the value mandate.

On that last point Cooper notes, "We're already at a tipping point where we are moving away from the fee for service model. Now we need to embrace the concept of fee for value, payment for quality."

— James Connolly Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter

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James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Healthcare
  • 5/29/2015 11:30:35 PM
NO RATINGS

Jamescon, the healthcare organizations either suffer from the belief that that sort of mass market dissimination of knowledge is beneath them; or they hide behind medical malpractice risk and HIPAA privacy rules.

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/29/2015 8:25:03 AM
NO RATINGS

@Broadway. I think that some segments of the healthcare industry have figured out the Internet, but not most. Other than the exceptions like WebMD, those in a position to provide information to patients are far behind their patients when it comes to understanding the web's capabilities as a source for medical information and actually interacting with their patients.

Your mention of how fast WebMD took off sent me back to see when they were founded. It was 1996, only about three years after chatter about the web's existence started spreading. Most of the sites founded in that timeframe are long gone. The WebMD folks knew what the potential was and came up with a great idea. Another founded the same year and still a favorite: IMDB.

 

 

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/28/2015 11:10:13 PM
NO RATINGS

Jamescon, there's a reason that WebMD got so big, so fast, when the Internet started taking off. Besides porn and Katy Perry videos, medical info has to be the top reason people search for stuff online. The fact that it's taken health care so long to figure that out ... though certain organizations like the CDC and the Mayo Clinic have always been pretty good about their content.

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/28/2015 11:08:12 PM
NO RATINGS

I have something similar through my doctor. It's done through the primary care doctor, through their health system. When I first signed up for it, all it required was me signing a one-page privacy release form. After that, they gave me the website URL and the initial password to use ... simple as that. I believe my HMO has something similar, though I haven't used theirs yet.

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/27/2015 12:18:21 PM
NO RATINGS

Thanks, Seth. And was this through your physician's office, an HMO or PPO, or other organization?

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/27/2015 12:16:28 PM
NO RATINGS

@ Terry, no it was a simple sign up with my medical number and social security number.  The data wasn't immediatley available, it took around 24 hours before it appeared. 

 

 

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/27/2015 11:33:20 AM
NO RATINGS

Agreed! Access to our own medical data online... what a concept!

Seth, mind saying who this healthcare provider was? And did you have to sign a mountain of releases around privacy, confidentiality, etc.?

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/27/2015 10:06:04 AM
NO RATINGS

@Broadway. Something that doctors and the medical field at large don't understand and adapt to. The vast majority of their "customers" see a rash, feel a lump, or see an odd test result and immediately start to wonder how soon they will die. Are the patients wrong? Yes. Should the system do something to alleviate those fears? Yes.

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/26/2015 10:03:07 PM
NO RATINGS

Jameson, if I remember, the online version of the lab results contained just enough explanation to make you worry if you weren't within nornal ranges. But the point made about docs not bothering you if the tests results are Ok is completely valid and entirely within my own experience. I have had friends and family members not get calls back from docs for SERIOUS tests --- and the docs are not calling back simply because the results were AOK. It's not just an info clog ... it's poor customer relations management (and human understanding).

Re: Healthcare
  • 5/26/2015 8:55:54 AM
NO RATINGS

@Broadway. What you experienced wasn't a problem with online data but a problem with the information flow. Call it a data clog. I'm sure the doctor got the results at the same time you did, maybe even earlier. That would have been the time to reach out to you to explain the situation. Or, imagine if someone actually took the time to make those reports specific enough for the lay person to understand them! I've seen lab results that included two sets of numbers, mine and the "target" or "normal" numbers. Have the lab include footnotes in the report along the lines of "what the numbers mean". That might have been a problem (cost) when everything was paper based, but, as we known, bytes are cheap.

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