Accountable Care, population health, Triple Aim

Blab the Blockchain: Healthcare Implications?

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

blockchain blab screen grab

Yesterday, April 27th 2016 I joined twitter colleagues and principal co-moderators and my ‘go-to Blab experts James Legan, MD (@jimmie_vanagon) and Charles “Chuck” Webster, MD (@wareflo) for a ‘Blab‘ on ‘blockchain implications in the heathcare space (both delivery and finance).

Our featured expert du jour Jeff Brandt was a no-show, so we winged it with an excellent overview and introduction by Chuck. We’re all learning in this space but one of the potential applications of the emerging technology might be in the granular if not seamless adjudication of complex bundled payments.

During the session many excellent references were included in the chat box. Several resources were mentioned including Smart Contracts, the Consensus 2016 conference, Youbase, and the article posted by Dan Munro on Health Standards, titled ‘Digital health lessons from BART‘.

I have a feeling there will be major application in the healthcare financing and delivery space as we progress into scaled assumption of risk under a value based healthcare incentive structure. Watch and see if you agree with some of the points made in the discussion!


Affordable Care Act, digital health, telemedicine

Must listen JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Webcasts: Teladoc

by Gregg A. Masters MPH

NOTE: This is one in a series of ‘Must listen’ webcasts produced at JP Morgan’s 34th Annual Healthcare Conference; for background and details, see ‘If It’s January, It’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Remaining companies to detail as they represent important ‘bell weather’ insights relative to their respective sectors, include: Aetna, AthenaHealth, Centene, Genomic Health, Molina Health, Universal American, Tenet Health, as well as several from the ‘non-profit’ (tax exempt) sector including Baylor Scott and White

While telemedicine has been around since the 1980s via traditional ‘pipe to pipe‘ bi-directional points of presence typically found in hospital or academic medical centers, today’s more ubiquitous web enabled presence further leveraged by smart phones and tablets, is an entirely different and new experience and opportunity.

Whether one focuses on telemedicine or the wider swath of ‘telehealth services‘, both the technology and the cast of characters advancing the scope and range of practice opportunities or the body of work establishing use cases and modeling best practices, this remains a fast moving and rapidly iterating ecosystem.

One of the trophy and arguably best-in-class players in the space with both market and mindshare that dwarfs the aggregate total of the remaining three (3) out of the top four (4) players is Teladoc, which according to it’s website is:

…the first and largest telehealth provider in the nation, founded in 2002.

With it’s 2015 IPO we are afforded certain insights enabled by the regulatory reporting process as well as the sometimes behaviorally ‘nuanced’ though strategically insightful ‘management reports of operations’ of publicly traded companies.

As the sole telemedicine or telehealth play with this public standing, this is Teladoc’s first year to report out their experience as well as the issues, obstacles and opportunities it’s management sees for 2016 and beyond.

For context from Teledoc’s Chief Medical Officer Henry DePhillips, MD recorded at the American Telemedicine Association in Los Angeles in 2015, click here.

For direct link to the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, click here. For the associated Teladoc deck and report narrative, click here.

Meanwhile, here are some slides which paint the picture both company and industry:

Teladoc highlights


Teladoc role of smart phone in telehealth

Teladoc growth strategies

Teladoc Comp Model

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.40.39 AM

Accountable Care, ACO, Affordable Care Act

Farzad Mostashari MD Unbundles the ‘Healthcare Borg’ at Engage

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

I have been following the career of Dr. Mostshari since his tenure at ONC as Director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Upon learning of his launch of the startup ACO management company Aledade, we posted some thoughts here and here.

Yesterday at MedCity Media’s ‘ENGAGE’ conference in Bethesda, Maryland he literally tutored the in-person audience as well as many others following the feed via Google Hangouts, or the twitter stream tagged #mcENGAGE. Mostashari illuminated both the burning platform nature of the ‘business as usual’ through a prism of ‘good for doc’, ‘good for patient’, ‘good for society’, as well as probable indicia of the likely solutions. This is a masterful performance by a physician executive turned entrepreneur worthy of widespread distribution. Apparently there’s quite a bit more to Mostshari than EHR adoption and the national e-connectivity backbone.



ACOs, Accountable Care and the Digital Health ‘App Market’

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

So much of the innovation metabolism witnessed today via social media and seeping into mainstream consideration, seems to be sucked up in the many, perhaps oversupplied and under utilized consumer facing ‘digital health apps’ market. We have yet to see these app driven forces of nature materially unleashed in the healthcare borg. However, this may be changing.

Clearly there is a need to drive, enable or otherwise vision and frame local implementation pathways of the sole agenda that should be pre-occupying the interactive or social media domain, i.e., the triple aim, see: ‘The Triple Aim Sets the Agenda for Healthcare Social Media Community‘.

We stand at a point in history where the power of these tools, platforms, developer communities and the clusters of collective wisdom they can enable in support of a particular transformative cause is unprecedented. The key question is what ‘master’ are you serving? Is it about sustainability of the ‘all in patient centric healthcare ecosystem‘ posited by Dr Reed Tuckson aka @DrReedTuckson of United HealthGroup, see: ‘Digital Health Summit: Reed Tuckson, MD, SVP United HealthGroup‘ or a quick niche market entry and exit play?

As I tweeted earlier today:

Pulse check: the time is now, what are you doing to advance the #tripleaim?

The last time the healthcare social media community was faced with this opportunity for engagement it was in the form of the rancorous healthcare reform debate. From the House to the Senate and ultimately the President’s desk to town halls, the blogoshere and twitter it was a monumental undertaking (and historical) accomplishment I might add.

As someone who tweeted line item, by line item the Senate Finance Committee’s consideration of what would ultimately become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including some 600 or so frivolous amendments (see complete history here) proferred by the Republican side to slow if not derail it’s adoption, I can tell you there was precious little support or advocacy by the acknowledged healthcare social media thought leadership.

Hopefully things will be different this time, and peeps will take a stand in support of the Act, ACOs and the mantra of the triple aim. This is a critical time in the e-patients, healthcare wonk, clinical practitioner and institutional provider space including our proactive payor partners.

So let’s get ‘er done!


Healthcare Unbound: San Francisco July 19th & 20th 2012

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Later this month amidst the mix of keynotes, panels and breakout sessions one will find relevant content specific to ACOs, accountable care and the pursuit of the triple aim. For complete conference details click here.

Two sessions of interest, include:

The keynote address: The Future of Platforms and Healthcare Unbound (aka un-tethered or digital health) by Vince Kuraitis, JD aka @vincekuraitis

  • Are Platforms a “Nice to Have” or a “Must Have”?
  • What are Key Characteristics of HU Platforms?
  • How Can Platforms Unlock Patient Value and Competitive Advantage?
  • How Do We Prepare for the Future? What are Action Steps?

This subject was of great interest at HiMSS 2012 and a top tweet in the tweetstream for quote some time both during and post conference.


Technology Innovation in and Around ACOs: A Perspective on Factors Impacting Care Coordination, Moderator: Mirena Bagur, Technology Practice Leader, ReviveHealth & Assoc. Course Director “Enabling Technology Innovation in Healthcare and the Life Sciences

Louis Burns, CEO, Intel-GE Care Innovations, aka @CareInnovations
Brent Lang, President & COO, Vocera Communication

Be sure and follow the conference hashtag via #hub12