MedAssets Looks Ahead

Data, consumer preference to play big role in healthcare’s future

JHC-June2015-MedAssets-Humanitarian-award-winner_YPMInnovative medical devices, equipment and procedures always have and always will play a significant role in propelling healthcare into the future. But increasingly, the future rests with something you can’t feel or touch – data. Alpharetta, Ga.-based MedAssets believes it is in an excellent position to help its members take advantage of that fact.

Delivering his “State of the Union: A Look Ahead” presentation at this spring’s MedAssets Healthcare Business Summit in Las Vegas, Nev., Chairman and CEO Halsey Wise told attendees that MedAssets “has an opportunity to capture the vast amounts of data now available to improve the quality of healthcare in a more targeted, customized and personalized manner. We remain committed to find ways to reduce the costs in our healthcare system and innovate to help organizations harness data to improve quality across your entire system of care.”

Nearly 4,000 people were on hand at the Summit, including 1,400 providers, 1,600 suppliers and 580 exhibitors. Forty-nine of the 50 states were represented.

The ‘Internet of Things’
Wise explained that the “Internet of Things” – new-technology architecture and delivery systems that connect devices, systems and services – makes it possible for people to share information or talk to each other.

The fact that MedAssets works with 4,500 acute-care and 123,000 non-acute-care centers enables it to capture and manage primary customer data in the value chain, Wise said. He called the company’s Sg2 business – which MedAssets acquired in September 2014 – an intelligence engine that can fuse and challenge primary data with market data to produce unique insights, analytics, trends and forward-looking forecasts.

Rise of the consumer
In his Welcome Session, Mike Nolte, president and COO of MedAssets, used a “Back to the Future” theme to reinforce his vision of the “future of healthcare.”

That future will be driven by the growing influence of consumers on their own healthcare, Nolte said. That’s happening for several reasons:

  • Expanded access to care following the passage of the Affordable Care Act
  • Digital connectivity, enabling virtual clinic visits
  • Greater access to patient information
  • High deductibles and accompanying financial burdens

“These trends are shifting the balance of power and challenging providers to meet consumers on their own terms,” Nolte said. “Providers used to position themselves to insurers, but now they are positioning themselves to consumers – because individuals are making decisions on quality, cost and convenience.

“We don’t have a book that predicts the future, like in the movie,” he said. “But to find growth and opportunity in the future, health systems need to effectively develop access points, manage channels, and deliver high-quality, cost-effective care across diverse care sites.”

More than 80 speakers presented a variety of educational topics at the Summit. Some examples:

  • “ICD-10 Readiness – Strategies to Accelerate Cash Collections.” Panelists discussed best practices, processes and techniques to prevent increases in accounts receivable.
  • “Strategy in a Changing World.” Bill Woodson, senior vice president, Sg2, a MedAssets company, discussed a myriad of healthcare issues facing executives and defined a clear path to unite leadership and execute consistent and clear strategies across the continuum of care.
  • “Revenue Cycle of the Future – Challenges and Opportunities.” Panelists discussed revenue cycle solutions for critical margin challenges hospitals deal with in today’s reimbursement environment.
  • “Engaging Physicians in the Supply Chain: Medical Economic Outcomes Committee.” Vanderbilt University Medical Center and MedAssets discussed the importance of a physician-driven structure.

Other speakers included:

  • Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel T. Allison, and President/COO/CMO, Dr. Robert W. Pryor, who shared insights and lessons learned about the merger of the two Texas-based health systems to create an integrated delivery network focused on population health management.
  • Leon Panetta, former U.S. secretary of U.S. Department of Defense and former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who spoke of the importance of the American dream and how citizens must continue to fight for it if America is to remain the greatest country in the world. Secretary Panetta also discussed his recent book, “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace”, and shared his views on leadership.
  • LT (SEAL) Pete Scobell, U.S. Navy, who spoke during a fireside chat with John Bardis, MedAssets founder and chairman emeritus, about the rescue of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama after it was hijacked by a crew of Somali pirates. Scobell also shared his struggle with traumatic brain injury.

Care packages for soldiers

Eight hundred volunteers – employees, clients, suppliers – gathered during the Summit to assemble care packages for U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They assembled 1,800 packages. Since November 2004, MedAssets has assembled 22,825 packages for soldiers serving our country. This year, in addition to tuna, protein bars, Chapstick, gum, deodorant and other supplies, soldiers will be receiving wound care band-aids, comfort wash, electrolyte replenishment and popcorn donated by vendors Sage, DripDrop, Johnson & Johnson and Ferris.

MedAssets award recipients for this year include:

  • 2014 President’s Award for a Client: Baylor Scott & White Health received the 2014 MedAssets President’s Award, for maintaining momentum for sustained operational and performance improvement across the enterprise.
  • 2014 President’s Award for a Supplier: Tom Finucane, vice president, Health Systems, Cardinal Health, was recognized for his work in demonstrating superior contract value and exemplary sales and market share growth to MedAssets clients.
  • 2014 Diverse Supplier Award: Language Service Associates was recognized for its support in building strong and diverse communities to help improve the quality of healthcare.
  • 2014 Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award: Simone Joye was honored for her outstanding humanitarian efforts in developing Atlanta-based Young People Matter, a program that provides a place of hope and healing for the city’s at-risk, homeless and runaway children.
  • 2014 George Herbert Walker Bush Pacesetter Award: LT (SEAL) Thomas Norris, U.S. Navy (Ret.), and Medal of Honor recipient, was recognized for leading a difficult search and rescue mission behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War.
  • 2014 Hire Heroes Pacesetter Award: Dave Sobocinski, partner, Carter Baldwin Executive Search, was recognized for his volunteer efforts that have helped veterans find jobs. Sobocinski has also been instrumental in increasing awareness and funding for the Hire Heroes USA organization.
  • The American Fallen Soldiers Project: Benjamin B. Wise, a Green Beret with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, and Jeremy Wise, a former Navy SEAL, were honored for their sacrifice. Artist Phil Taylor of AFSP presented their portrait to the audience and to their parents. Ben died of wounds sustained during combat in Afghanistan two years after his older brother, Jeremy, was killed in a suicide bombing at Forward Operating Base Chapman near the eastern Afghan city of Khost.
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