HAS 21 Virtual Day 2 Tackles Health Equity, Redefines Value, and Presents 30+ Data-Fueled Projects

September 22, 2021

Article Summary


Day two of the Healthcare Analytics Summit™ Virtual again opened with a warm welcome from “Captain” Paul Horstmeier and his flight crew. Keynote speaker Patrice Harris, MD, MA, FAPA, former President of the American Medical Association, then took the stage to discuss common health equity challenges and solutions. Chris Chen, MD, CEO of ChenMed, followed to share how his organization has redefined value by using a fully capitated economic model. After a quick break, attendees chose between industry outlook sessions focused on health equity and population health. By lunchtime, participants were ready to explore over 30 data-centric projects at the Analytics and AI Showcases and learn about new Health Catalyst products. Attendees wrapped up an action-packed day two with Braindates, one-on-one or group networking sessions to learn more about trending topics of their choice.

HAS 21 Virtual Day 2 recap

Day two of the 2021 Healthcare Analytics Summit™ (HAS) Virtual transported participants from Singapore to the Hotel Catalyst London. Once again, Health Catalyst COO and this year’s Healthcare Analytics Summit “Captain,” Paul Horstmeier provided an overview of the day’s exceptional itinerary, including keynote speakers, 33 live Analytics and AI showcases, new topics for Braindates, and a reminder to send #SocksofHAS photos and vote for your favorite tomorrow morning.

Horstmeier introduced the day’s featured speakers, Patrice Harris, MD, MA, FAPA, a psychiatrist and former President of the American Medical Association, and Chris Chen, MD, Chief Executive Officer of ChenMed. These leaders are challenging the status quo of healthcare and health equity, creating value, and delivering better outcomes by bridging gaps (both clinical and social) and equity through holistic healthcare. If you have a hard time choosing which breakout sessions to attend during HAS 21 Virtual or haven’t been able to experience all the featured sessions, on-demand recordings for almost all sessions will be available for one week starting Thursday, September 22, via the event portal. 

Health Equity & the Future

Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, FAPA, Psychiatrist, Former President, American Medical Association, Co-Founder and CEO, eMed

In her presentation, Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, FAPA, who is board-certified in psychiatry and has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health director, and patient advocate, shared insights about determinants of health and how we can create equitable opportunities for everyone. Dr. Harris defined health equity as encompassing the conditions, resources, opportunities, and power to support optimal health. To advance equity, she emphasized the importance of proactive action where there are opportunities for engagement, including strategic partnerships, community organizing, civic engagement, health education, case management, healthcare, and public policy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought longstanding racial disparities in healthcare into sharp focus and amplified critical infrastructure issues that hamper health equity. The pandemic era creates an important moment to act to make healthcare more equitable and affordable.

Dr. Harris is excited about the potential for telehealth to bridge gaps in mental healthcare and make care more accessible to rural populations and disadvantaged communities. However, she pointed out the importance of having a complete understanding of the potential barriers to equity among healthcare consumers. To that end, organizations need to ask the following about their populations:

  • Do they have access to broadband?
  • Are they in a food desert?
  • Are the sidewalks safe for outdoor exercise?

Access to information, including demographics, outcomes, affordability, access, individual- and family-reported outcomes, will enable more population-level improvements in health equity. Dr. Harris encouraged less siloed data so we can work together to achieve a future where everyone has an opportunity to be healthy. 

Transforming the Care Model: A Value-Based Care Model that Really Works

Chris Chen, MD, Chief Executive Officer, ChenMed
Brent C. James, MD, MStat, Clinical Professor, Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC), Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dating apps don’t work for monks. But what does this have to do with healthcare? Chris Chen, MD, drew parallels between dating apps for monks and healthcare by discussing how even the best technology can’t lower the cost of care and deliver better outcomes unless the health system’s model follows suit. Unfortunately, Dr. Chen says, most health systems reward higher volume and increasing prices, which is why organizations struggle to deliver value-based care (VBC).

Chen’s family faced poverty and even homelessness when he was growing up. Then, after his father was diagnosed with cancer and the family saw the difference in care for underserved populations, he decided to form ChenMed in the hopes of improving care for vulnerable populations. 

Under a fully capitated model, ChenMed improves the health of underserved senior citizen populations. To start, each ChenMed primary care provider (PCP) cares for 400 patients compared to an average of 3,000 per PCP in these populations. By investing in primary care and offering patients more 1:1 attention, the PCPs can focus on prevention, including reducing hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits and even saving patients from diseases such as COVID-19. 

With a union between healthcare and data, ChenMed was in a unique position to scale telehealth solutions when the pandemic hit. In one week, ChenMed went from 99 percent in-person visits to 100 percent virtual. Their quick response helped patients stay connected with their PCPs and stay home to reduce exposure to COVID-19, a disease that targets the specific elderly population ChenMed cares for. 

Dr. Chen closed by sharing the two major components that systems need to deliver value and change outcomes:

  • Comprehensive data—including clinical, social, and claims.
  • Software (other than the EHR) that supports value-based care instead of fee-for-service.

By transforming patients’ lives through prevention and early intervention, Dr. Chen says PCPs experience purpose in their work and patients’ lives are dramatically improved.

Healthcare Analytics Summit 2021 Industry Outlook Speakers

Health Equity Outlook – The Journey to Health Equity: How AI-Driven Care Can Help Drive Disparity Out of Care

Trudy Sullivan, MBA, Chief Communication and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Health Catalyst
Alexandra Wroe, MBA, BScN, RN, ACM-RN, Director of Care Coordination, Utilization Management and Clinical Documentation Improvement, The Queen’s Medical Center
Teresita Oaks, MPH, Director Community Health Programs, Parkland Hospital
Jason Jones, PhD, Chief Analytics and Data Science Officer, Health Catalyst

If left unchanged, the economic burden of U.S. health disparities will reach $353 billion by 2050. To address this urgent concern, Health Catalyst’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Trudy Sullivan, MBA, facilitated a panel discussion with four healthcare leaders who use data to identify and address health equity disparities at their organizations.

While the industry reimagines a hopeful future with greater focus on health disparities, stakeholders are struggling with how to start equity initiatives and measure their impact. Sullivan asked four healthcare leaders how they were closing the gap between intention and action around health equity:

  • Anthony Sanders, MD, of Community Health Network (CHNw) explained when, in 2020, COVID- 19 and George Floyd’s death brought inequities to light, his organization acted. CHNw developed a racial and social equity committee to look at diversity across the system, choosing key areas in which they could make an impact in high-risk populations (e.g., diabetes). Dr. Sanders explained the CHNw aims to continue to use data to ensure the organization steers initiatives at areas with the greatest impact.
  • Jason Jones, PhD, of Health Catalyst, shared that equity work has tended to rely heavily on leaders in the field without supporting these individuals with data and analytics for informed decision making. It’s time to shift from relying on equity leaders to supporting them. Organizations can rally this support by leveraging analytics to couple performance measures with unique system characteristics (e.g., gender identity, zip code) to reveal areas with the greatest disparities and a quantified sense of opportunities for improvement.
  • Teresita Oaks, MPH, of Parkland Health and Hospital System, shared her organization’s community health needs assessment for its service area of Dallas County, Texas. The assessment includes several zip codes with deep health disparities, but Oaks also spoke to the need to show the human side of data. Specifically, health equity leaders need more insight into individuals and communities, such as understanding the emotional impact on access to care. These human-centered insights, she said, bring empathy and compassion into the healthcare disparity dialogue, education, and policymaking. 
  • Alexandra Wroe, MBA, BScN, RN, ACM-RN, of The Queen’s Medical Center, discussed her organization’s initiative to manage ED overcrowding. The Queen’s Medical Center has experienced ED strain due to homeless and native Hawaiians using the facilities for shelter and primary care—in other words, services community members can access outside of hospital. In response, the organization launched its Queen’s Care Coalition, a program to support individuals for intense periods of time to keep high utilizers out of the ED. Wroe and team found many high ED utilizers weren’t yet connected with existing community resources (e.g., housing). They reacted by connecting these community members with needed resources, thereby addressing the needs most important to the individuals, versus important to the health systems. Program data revealed reductions in the total cost of care and readmissions, earning funding from health plans.

Population Health: People Get Ready

Will Caldwell, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Health Catalyst 

How dedicated is Will Caldwell, MD, MBA, to population health? So dedicated that he opened his presentation by sharing his personal phone number and email and encouraging participants to reach out and share ideas and experiences.

Dr. Caldwell explained that as the industry rethinks population health, it’s time to consider a fitting definition. Stakeholders have sometimes conflated population health with VBC, which he said is inaccurate. VBC is a payment model, while population health is a care delivery model. Dr. Caldwell described population health as, “the identification and management of the drivers of clinical and financial risk impacting a patient’s health,” adding that the delivery model is “agnostic to a payer model.”

To engage the audience in an understanding of patient populations, Dr. Caldwell introduced several different personas existing within a population, all named “Robin.” The various Robins differed in age, gender, and socioeconomic and health status, showing the range of individual characteristics a health system must account for in a care delivery model. 

As session participants learned more about each Robin and the data that contributed to their health needs, Dr. Caldwell explained the current urgency around population health. “Why now?” he asked. The healthcare industry has talked about population health for more than a decade, but today it can couple this moral obligation with great opportunity.

Today’s population health opportunity is the product of a series of revolutions in the way U.S. healthcare understands it role and operates, with the current revolution being the data revolution.

With the healthcare market driving innovation (e.g., outpatient, monitoring, home health) private equity is putting significant dollar amounts in the industry. Additionally, a shift in financial risk to providers plus regulatory changes are driving access to data and services and a reduction in information asymmetry. As a result, population-based data gains significance, as the traditional EMR holds only 11 percent of the data leaders need to understand their populations—each of their Robins. With this comprehensive information, organizations can bend the cost curve in areas ripe for disruption, such as the intersection of behavioral health and chronic disease.

The Analytics Showcase

This year’s Analytics Showcase included 19 stations featuring different analytics-fueled projects that raised the bar of healthcare delivery. Experts from academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, and other healthcare organizations showcased the different ways they use data and analytics to support innovation. Not surprisingly, many projects focused on the implementation and optimization of remote care. Many stations discussed unlocking siloed data sets and enhancing data quality (e.g., eliminating duplicate data) to develop self-service analytics, scale VBC, and create more virtual pathways for hard-to-reach populations. 

Whether attendees watched the in-depth project analysis, participated in the live Q&A with project presenters, or stayed busy earning points for the HAS game, the Analytics Showcase offered an action-packed experience! 

The AI Showcase

Fourteen organizations presented their AI-powered projects during the HAS 21 Virtual AI Showcase. The event featured 10-minute live sessions during which presenters shared in-depth analyses of their projects and answered audience questions in real time. In addition to a rich learning opportunity, virtual showcase visitors earned points towards the always hotly contested HAS game.

AI showcase presenters represented a range of organizations from healthcare and beyond, including health systems, data science consultants, surgical intelligence and automation technologies, AI companies, software vendors, and more. Topics included AI application for patient journey mapping, enhanced safety for laparoscopic procedures, natural language processing, hospital volume forecasting, and much more.

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

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