Health 2.0 startups have swarmed all over the data, using it to build ever more useful applications and tools. Data that was once siloed and accessible to only a few is now available to millions through online services like iTriage, Vitals.com, and Castlight Health. With each passing day, innovators figure out new ways to use and combine data sets in ways that no one in the federal government could have ever imagined.
In the last few weeks, however, the feds have upped the “data liberacion” ante, releasing a number of new datasets that could have a totally disruptive impact on the established health marketplace. On May 8th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released a dataset showing inpatient hospital charges to Medicare for 100 of the most common inpatient diagnosis codes. CMS followed up on its initial salvo on June 3rd, also releasing outpatient charge data for 30 of the most common ambulatory payment codes.
Why is this important? Prices charged to Medicare were formerly top-secret and closely guarded. Hospitals and health systems kept this information confidential because making it public could impact how they compete with other provider institutions and could also impact complex price negotiations with private third party insurers. The world has suddenly changed. Default price transparency is the new norm for providers working within the Medicare program (at least for the most common diagnoses), and we expect more transparency to come down the line from the feds and the states.
Thanks to my friend Matt Zachary, founder and CEO of Stupid Cancer, for the invite to the Stupid Cancer Show. Matt and his co-host/co-founder Kenny Kane interviewed me, Alex Fair of Medstartr/Health 2.0 NYC and Carly Parry of NCI, about the Crowds Care For Cancer Challenge. We had a great discussion about how technology can help cancer survivors and how patients, providers and technologists can work together to build useful applications. Interview begins at about 31:20.
In this quick interview with Health 2.0 Co-Founder, Matthew Holt, I talk about the Developer Challenge program, specific challenges launched/closed at the Health Datapalooza meeting, and innovation competitions more broadly. Thanks for the interview, Matthew!
This year’s Health Datapalooza (the 4th annual) was bigger and better than ever, with over 2,000 registered attendees. Cristin Dorgelo of the White House OSTP led another great panel on “Challengeology” where we discussed prize competitions and lessons learned. Thanks to Cristin and the organizers of HDP IV for the invite!
Cristin Dorgelo, Assistant Director for Grand Challenges, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) – MODERATOR
Sara Holoubek, Founder & CEO, Luminary Labs
Jean-Luc Neptune, Senior Vice President, Health 2.0
Jonathan Gluck, Senior Executive & Corporate Counsel, Heritage Provider Network
Alex Fair, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MedStartr
Max Sow, Director, Business Intelligence, Surescripts
Ah, the dangers of ethnic food! Last week I got a splinter deep in my right thumb while eating delicious souvlaki served on a wooden skewer. Despite my best efforts to get the splinter out I was unable to do so and had to deal with increasing pain and swelling while I was in Mountain View for the Health 2.0 Health:Refactored conference.
Yesterday, I realized the pain was getting worse and that I likely had an infection in the thumb so I decided to do something about it. For the last few years I have had a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP), which means I pay for all non-preventive services out of pocket until I hit my deductible of $2,850, at which point the “insurance” part of my plan kicks in to cover the costs. Because I have a HDHP I am very interested in keeping my costs low, but I’m also concerned about getting good quality care and having a positive health experience. As I searched for what to do I realized I had 3 options:
As a physician trained in the great city of New York I knew that option #1 was a non-starter. Going to St. Luke’s, Roosevelt or CPMC for a splinter would guarantee that I’d spend the whole day waiting as the overworked clinical staff dealt with patients with more severe and more pressing medical needs. I also knew that the ER visit would almost certainly also unleash a maelstrom of medical bills after the visit, with none of the charges clearly representing the actual cost of care. With regard to seeing my personal doctor (option #2) I realized that wasn’t an option either. Although I very much like my personal physician and think he does an excellent job providing outpatient care, I know he doesn’t work most weekends and even if I got him on the phone he would have sent me to the local ER anyway.
Posted on May 12, 2013 in: Innovation|Comments Off
On March 22, 2013, the New York Academy of Sciences hosted the “Health 2.0: Digital Technology in Clinical Care” conference (sponsored by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation). Participants convened at the Academy to discuss the technical, legal, and ethical implications of health care technology innovation. The audio below is from a conversation I moderated called “Promoting Translation and Expanded Use of Digital Technology”, featuring Dr. Jessica Ancker and Dr. Roberto Martinez.
At the Health 2.0 Spring Fling 2012 I had the opportunity to interview the ever-engaging Farzad Mostashari, our National Coordinator for Health IT. Farzad and I talked about a range of topics including his priorities at the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator), the Investing in Innovation (i2) Initiative, ongoing challenges, and what members of the audience can do to help drive innovation in the space.
The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program has grown dramatically since its launch in June 2010. Since that time we’ve managed more than 50 challenges and code-a-thons, and we’ve engaged more than 5,000 innovators who are changing our health care system for the better. In this video, Indu Subaiya and I discuss the Developer Challenge program, including the announcement of crossing the million dollar prize distribution threshold! A great video to find out about what’s new in the world of innovation competitions.
Today I was fortunate enough to be part of Demo Day for Blueprint Health’s “First Class”. In my mind this will surely go down as a historic day in the annals of NYC digital health. I can’t imagine how many successful companies are being built/going to be built by people who were in attendance today. Our ecosystem is blowing up!
All of the Blueprint Teams delivered consistently impressive presentations. We’ve gotten to know all the guys (and one girl – holla, Jessica!) here over the last few months and it was really wonderful to see them wow the audience with their pitches. If you want to know how to present your idea, make sure you watch the videos when they’re posted.
I was also very impressed by all the luminaries who turned out for the event. Approximately 300 of the brightest minds in digital health from all over the country packed the house today. Everywhere I looked I saw big name investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators networking with the Blueprint teams. The outstanding turnout is a great validation of the Blueprint concept.
Finally, we had the pleasure of watching deals being made and checks being cut throughout the day. I don’t know what the final tally will be, but I’m sure many of the teams will close their investment rounds in the very short term. I really wish I had an opportunity like this when I was raising money for my first start-up, Healogica.
Congratulations to Brad and Mat on a truly outstanding event! As I’ve said before, something big is happening here. Looking forward to how things unfold over the next weeks, months, and years.