Kevin Hutchinson, current founder & CEO of MyTaskit, as well as long-time advisor to PatientPing, shares his insights in the next edition of our Four Questions blog. With an extensive background in healthcare–from being the Former Founding President & CEO at SureScripts to advising multiple growth-stage companies–Kevin’s insights and knowledge are invaluable to PatientPing.
While there are common themes that run throughout all the previous Four Questions posts, Kevin brings a unique take on patient engagement and the challenges value-based care programs are facing today.
Thanks for sharing, Kevin!
1. Do you expect investments in care coordination to increase or decrease over the next 10 years?
Investments in care coordination will significantly increase. Based on the direction our payment reimbursement systems are headed, there is no choice but to invest in more efficient and effective ways to coordinate care. Laying a value-based reimbursement model on top of a traditional fee-for-service care process has dramatic negative effects on the cost and quality of care. It really forces the industry to invest in stronger coordination of care abilities at the local, regional, and national levels.
2. What challenges are value-based care programs facing today?
For starters, patient engagement. Patients have a desire to be prescribed a pill to fix whatever ails them. Because let’s face it, as patients, we don’t have a strong track record for doing what our physicians tell us to do. Making life changes to diet, exercise, or even taking medications as prescribed are not our strong points as patients, but this falls out of control of the physician. Holding physicians accountable for decisions made by patients is tough to do. As an industry, we are getting better at considering models to hold patients accountable but we have a long way to go here.
Additionally, technology adoption is evolving but a lot of the puzzle pieces are not in place yet. A lot of progress has been made with data sharing, coordination of care, and decision support, but there is still an open field in daily use.
3. What are some of the biggest challenges or hurdles for healthcare providers?
One of the biggest challenges is workflow change: defining or redefining roles to support value-based medicine. We have certainly seen a lot of experiments and have learned a lot through trial and error on the best ways to improve the care delivery process–think about the patient-centered medical home and ACO. I also remember a very effective trial performed in Ashburn, NC for getting the pharmacist more involved in medication decision making in the outpatient environment, like the roles they play in the inpatient environment.
A great example of an organization that combines better workflow processes with supportive technology–while focusing on patient engagement–is Kaiser, but not every delivery system can be a Kaiser model. A perfect example of this difference is in rural markets and metropolitan markets. We have certainly made some great headway in certain metropolitan markets but getting quality healthcare providers into the rural markets is tough. While technologies like telemedicine certainly help fill the gap, there is a shortage in technologies to say the least.
4. What technologies or companies have you seen making an impact across the healthcare landscape?
EMRs have had a good run the past seven or eight years. That said, we are seeing many of those early-adopted systems being replaced with better EMRs–those focused on connectivity across the continuum of care. Data analytics continues to be on the rise and has been for some time, but we needed years of collecting data to see the fruits of this technology, and it is still not pervasive throughout the healthcare industry. I am certainly a bit biased in my views of companies I see making great strides in connectivity, like Surescripts, and companies connecting entire healthcare regions to ensure patients receive optimal care, like PatientPing. I am also impressed with companies like HudlHealth, whose focus is to allow care providers to collaborate on care decisions more effectively and efficiently for better patient outcomes. That is really what it is all about. At the end of the day, it's about whether patients are getting better care at a cost we can afford.
Thanks for the insights, Kevin. Did you miss a previous Four Questions blog? Find them all here or sign up below to receive new posts direct to your inbox.