“Where else could you actually reduce costs and improve outcomes to the degree in which we can in healthcare” –Aneesh Chopra
I had a chance to catch up with Aneesh Chopra, the former Chief Technology Officer of the White House, at HealthBeat in San Francisco in late October. Aneesh is now the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of a startup called Hunch Analytics. Before talking about his new company, we chatted about the many changes taking place in healthcare including patient empowerment, advances in data access and analytics, payment and delivery system reform. We both feel like it is a perfect storm of events that could end up creating a new and improved healthcare system that will better serves patients, families, and the people who work in the industry and pay for the care.
Wrong time, wrong place, wrong level
Aneesh notes that currently “too many people are getting care at the wrong time in the wrong place, and, in many cases, they are getting the wrong level of care.” But, he goes on to say, “If you believe there is an opportunity to make the system work better for people, where else could you actually reduce costs and improve outcomes to the degree in which we can in healthcare.”
Until recently, “incentives have been misaligned, data has been hard and locked up, biz models really haven’t quite come to life to put all the pieces together.” But all of that is changing. “This is going to be the decade,” Aneesh predicts, “when we see lots of innovation take hold and the system will look a lot better.” In the near future, people will be “benefiting from a system that anticipate needs before you need them and encourages you to get care when you actually need it.” The end result will be “better treatment, lower costs, and a better system for the American people.”
From volume to value
“If you are a provider, whether working in a small group, for a health system, or in a vertically integrated network, you have a daily responsibility and income stream tied to what you do.” Right now, for many providers, that is based on the volume of patients seen and procedures performed. But, Aneesh goes on to say,
“as that changes and you are motivated and incentivized to think more about the patients you aren’t actually seeing today relative to those that you are, then you will work differently. What I mean by that is, if I am compensated for treating 50% or more of my patients in a better way, then I am going to change all of my habits. Today we only have pockets [of value-based payments]. I am not going to change my entire practice for only a few people. What we are seeing now is the possibility that we can get to 50% or more patients in a value-based insurance program. That will change the way I get compensated. I think that we will see that change within the decade. It is not a question of whether the change will take place…it is when.”
We closed our conversation by talking about Hunch Analytics. Aneesh co-founded the company with Sanju Bansal, former COO of MicroStrategy, a worldwide provider of enterprise software platforms for business intelligence, mobile software, big data and cloud-based services and Dan Ross, former Managing Director of Claraview, a business intelligence and analytics company. The company is “dedicated to helping improve provider efficiency and consumer outcomes through unleashing new data sets and leveraging the newest advances in analytics.” They will bring together public and private data sets and think about data in “new and clever ways” and they will be helping to birth new companies, one or two a year, working to make not only healthcare, but also education more productive.