A Data-Centric Approach to Healthcare Affordability

Jon Bray, Strategy Officer

 

One of the most pressing topics in the United States is the cost and availability of healthcare services. A​​ 2017 report​​ by CMS estimates a continued 5% annual increase in U.S. healthcare spending, amounting to almost 20% of the national GDP. We are on a mission to help hospitals and institutions create new streams of revenue while simultaneously helping researchers and scientists partner to find better treatments and cures for disease using anonymous and de-identified health data.

Many factors affecting the cost and efficiency of healthcare stem from data-management. The desire for clinical standardization — especially regarding the 10+ years-worth of records which hospitals are required to maintain — and a desire for expanded scope of services has been a contributor to the increased amount of mergers and acquisitions. The American Hospital Association (AHA)​​ released an analysis in 2017​​ outlining many of the benefits to acquired hospitals such as a 2.5% reduction ($5.8 million) in annual operating costs, concluding, in part, that:

“The type of efficiencies that mergers create are often the only means to obtain meaningful cost and quality benefits.”

But are mergers the only way to see these kind of results? We believe that many of the key findings can be achieved by any hospital, regardless of potential for acquisition or current operating costs, by providing a better way to manage and monetize their most undervalued asset — clinical data. The main drawback to traditional data-management services is their high upfront cost. In 2017, UnitedHealthcare spent $550 million to acquire data and build analytic departments. Data brokers can provide a means to buy and sell data, but come with upcharge fees between 50-150% and leave the seller with no compensation.

We aim to eliminate these inhibitive upfront costs, allowing hospitals a means to monetize their data directly on the marketplace in a secure manner while maintaining HIPAA compliance. EMR companies have started paving this road already, Cerner EMR sold their data set for $70 million in 2017. The entry of hospitals to the market creates more liquidity and competitive pricing, reducing the overall cost of data. When the cost of data goes down, affordable pathways to innovation have room to flourish. For the first time ever hospitals can let data they already own work for them, take part in advancing scientific discovery, and become better equipped to help serve the patients and communities that depend on them.

In addition to a new revenue system we hope to prepare hospitals, providers, and other stakeholders for future advances in legislation and technology, including becoming​​ TEFCA​​ compliant and pushing for wide adoption of a connected, interoperable health care landscape. Data is the fuel that powers the rapid integration of information technology into the healthcare industry, it is both valuable and functional. We provide a means to make data more accessible and reasonably priced; an important step towards getting quality, affordable care to patients in the 21st​​ century.

 

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A Data-Centric Approach to Healthcare Affordability