A health IT partnership like no other (Healthcare IT News)

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[Posted June 1, 2015 by Bernie Monegain]

Allina/Health Catalyst VP talks about the health system-vendor union to take care to new level

Ross Gustafson has two vice president titles, one at Minneapolis-based Allina Health, where he oversees the Allina Performance Resources unit, the other at data warehousing and analytics company Health Catalyst in Salt Lake City. Allina and Health Catalyst announced Jan. 6, an unprecedented partnership between a health system and a vendor – a $100 million deal over 10 years with shared risks. Roughly, Health Catalyst earns $2 million per year if it’s able to deliver savings that both Allina and Health Catalyst agree are actual savings to the bottom line for Allina.

While we were at HIMSS15, we caught up with Gustafson on the 100th day of the partnership. He handed us two business cards – one from Allina, the other from Health Catalyst. Gustafson oversees about 60 people at Allina who are Health Catalyst employees and another 30 staffers who are Allina employees.

We talked with him about the unique arrangement, how it’s going so far, and his expectations for the future.

Q: How did the partnership come about?

A: From the Allina point of view, we were looking for a partner to help us along in our analytic journey. We had history with Health Catalyst to begin with. They installed our first platform. (Allina was Health Catalyst’s first client in 2008).

Allina over the course of the last seven to eight years was really furthering its platform, its analytic tools, its visualization, its reporting and really trying to embed that then into workflows and clinical outcomes. We were moving along, we we’re doing a good job, but could see going forward this is not cheap stuff that we’re talking about. We could see that among all the other capital outlays and expenses that a hospital is dealing with, it’s tough to contribute X-million dollars a year, year over year, to making sure that this infrastructure is set up in such a way that it’s not just maintaining, but it is actually exceling the vision and the mission of the organization.

[See also: Allina goes all in for outcomes with Health Catalyst]

Q: Aren’t you still paying for it?

A: Where we are gaining… Click to Read Article

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