We provide an agile, scalable mechanism to develop commercial revenue streams during health systems’ transition from volume to value: Robert P. Chamberlain
In the last few years, healthcare has been trying to join other industries in the quest to deliver a better customer experience. The industry has been bringing a fundamental shift from volume to value of care. The evolution in data, mobile and cloud technologies has disrupted the US health care industry. In addition, the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the shift in the cost of care to the customer and the ever-narrowing networks are rocking the fundamentals of the industry.
This disruption is forcing healthcare providers to move from a provider- and health system-driven model to one that’s more customer-centred. The disruption for the first time is pushed by the behavioral needs of the modern customer who demands both choice and control.
In view of the above mentioned, we are thrilled to present Applied Health Analytics, LLC – dedicated to improving population health by working with health systems to drive new, fully insured and self-funded lives to primary care physicians and appropriate services lines by pinpointing individual risks, identifying and engaging potential patients and marketing services through aligning risk with hospital offerings.
The company was established in 2009 and is headquartered Nashville, Tennessee.
The Nashville Business Journal ranked Applied Health Analytics as one of 2014’s 30 fastest growing small businesses. The company was also named as one of 2017’s 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Solutions Provider by CIOReview magazine. And a finalist for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurial Center’s 2014 NEXT Awards, which celebrates excellence in business and entrepreneurship.
Interview Excerpt: Robert P. Chamberlain, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO
Why did you found Applied Health Analytics?
We saw a need to work with health systems to approach population health strategies from the demand side, instead of the supply side. We established Applied Health Analytics to offer health systems a path to engage the employer community and bring the community into their system. Employers understand their role as the purchaser of healthcare services and are demanding more from community-based hospitals. The movement away from ‘wellness’ and into true, sophisticated, population health management is now common among employers across the United States. Employers now routinely engage qualified vendors capable of identifying and mitigating employee health risks to drive down related health benefits expense. We see a migration of thought among employers that creates the opportunity for local providers to differentiate themselves from competitive systems and gain access to the commercial market to enhance payer mix.
How did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
Applied Health Analytics began as a four-person software company, offering an industry-leading HRA and a risk-stratification, reporting and communications platform. Our offering has evolved into bIQ2.0, which includes robust data integration, incentive design and management, well-being program management, a member portal, a CRM, risk analytics, a clinical/coaching management system, claims analytics and business process support, all within a single, interoperable SaaS platform.
Our founding pillar, Our Process: Market-Driven Development guides our approach to responsive, dynamic software enhancements and offerings. We work closely with clients, which allows a granular level of agility to meet their needs as population health initiatives become more complex. Our inclusion in client board retreats, daily account management interactions, onsite product strategy visits, employer and broker visits, and help desk calls provide first-hand insight into market needs. We bring this market knowledge back to our team to develop product roadmaps.
However, Applied Health Analytics provides more than best-in-class applications. Over time, we have developed a three-pronged approach for clients to deploy and excel at this work. This approach includes Strategy, which provides a comprehensive and consultative onboarding capability (commercial market analyses, asset auditing, and onsite/in-market leadership); Technology, which focuses on how to deploy a competitive, data-driven initiative that leverages health system resources to mitigate and improve health risks; and Execution, which drives a go-to-market initiative that understands and meets the interests of the demand side.
You focus a lot on the ‘demand side’ of health care. What do you mean?
We focus on connecting health systems with the demand side.
Disruptors such as free-standing emergency departments and retail clinics are meeting the demand side, by bringing care into the communities where they live. They offer transparency, lower price points and convenience.
Employers are the true payers in the health care system, and after years of health insurance premium increases and watching their workforce struggle with the reality of high-deductible health plans, have realized their purchasing power. As any consumer, they are looking at the value of the products they buy, specifically, outcomes as they relate to cost. Improving value requires either improving one or more outcome without raising costs or lowering costs without compromising outcomes. Michael E. Porter and Thomas H. Lee, MD, discuss this concept in Harvard Business Review’s “The Strategy That Will Fix Health Care,” where they refer to a six-component strategy where the move to providing value is known as the Value Agenda, which includes an ‘enabling information technology platform.’
Employers are no longer waiting for others to guide their health care purchasing decisions, but rather, are creating their own value agendas. Walmart, Inc. announced it would work directly with health systems to offer for some of its workforce, CVS purchased Aetna with plans to enter the primary care business and various large employers are negotiating service line pricing with providers. Then there is whatever unfolds from the Amazon, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. relationship.
Most population health strategies are built from the supply side. Health systems have the expertise service lines and resources to bring population health out from behind its walls and into the community to meet the demands of the employers/consumers in their market. We provide the strategy and technology to help them find success.
How do you maintain your customers’ trust and loyalty?
Applied Health Analytics has more than 120 years of cumulative knowledge. We are experienced and skilled in assessing program dynamics, gaps, budget constraints, personnel alignment, go-to-market strategies and initiative accountability. Our team helps systems deploy a detailed, yet flexible, approach to program implementation centered on their goals, capabilities and competencies. No two implementations are the same as they are tailored specifically to the health system’s strengths. We do this by listening and spending time in the market with our health system clients. We go on sales calls with them, provide day-to-day account management and product strategy support.
It’s our dedication to service that sets us apart. For example, we recently released a new portal built on a CMS platform. While the administration side of this technology is easy-to-use, we are working on a client-by-client basis to help them create their new health system branded member portals. Discussions surrounding service lines, programs and goals are foundational to building a portal that truly represents the needs of the clients and the employer groups which with they work.
Do you have any new products launching over the next few months or have you recently had any product launches?
We recently launched our CMS portal and a gaming and challenges platform to our clients as part of our engagement strategy. We also released bMetrix our proprietary screening application that automates the collection of biometric data, allowing for clinicians and wellness screeners to accurately gather information at onsite and retail clinics, screenings and health fairs. Health systems, screening companies, onsite and retail clinics interested in using bMetrix as part of an ongoing program based on predictive and prescriptive analytics can seamlessly integrate with bIQ2.0, our interoperability suite of portals and applications, for true population health management strategies.
As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
The industry is moving quickly, making it challenging to pin down the future. It’s also very competitive. Without revealing too much, our three-year roadmap includes innovation that supports consumerism, helping our health systems become transparent and transactional and working with our data scientist and data administration team to continue to usurp best practices to improve health outcomes, based on data.
The Man Behind The Operation: A Healthcare Hero
Robert P. Chamberlain: Robert is a veteran executive and noted entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience working with employers and health systems across the United States. A frequent speaker on entrepreneurialism and successful payer-provider partnerships, Robert has authored numerous articles which have appeared in various publications such as The Tennessean, Healthcare Financial Management Magazine, Benefits & Compensation Digest, Health Management Technology and Modern Healthcare. The Nashville Business Journal named him a 2014 and 2017 Healthcare Hero – Entrepreneur, for his work as a health care professional who launched a company in Middle Tennessee and is making strides within the industry.