Guest: Neil Smiley
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Neil Smiley, a serial entrepreneur with a passion for transforming industries with data-driven solutions, founded Loopback Analytics to deliver an advanced Software-as-a-Service platform healthcare providers can use to prevent costly readmissions. Neil began his career as an Accenture consultant and holds a computer science degree from Dartmouth College.
Segment overview: In this Health Supplier Segment, Loopback Analytics CEO and Founder, Neil Smiley, discusses big data’s new role in bundled payments, and how analytics will drive better patient outcomes.
Health Professional Radio – Patient Care Continuum
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard. Thank you for joining us today on Health Professional Radio Health Supplier Segment. Our guest in studio is Loopback Analytics CEO and Founder Mr. Neil Smiley. And he’s here with us to discuss big data’s new role in bundle payments and how Analytics will drive better patient outcomes. Welcome to the program Neil.
Neil Smiley: Thank you very much.
N: When it comes to hospitals, any health care related facility we’re talking about some very crucial services that are offered. Talk about big data’s role or the new role as far as hospitals are concerned with their payments and their patient outcomes.
S: Well this… pay for performance or pay for value, it’s really changing the role for hospital supply. Traditionally they sort of thought about what happens within their walls but now with things like bundle payments, their reach has to extend beyond their walls covering up to what happens to these patients up to 90 days after their discharged from the hospital. Then suddenly they have to worry about data, what happens to nursing facilities, out in the community, home health and so forth and there’s a lot more data to be leveraged than they’re traditionally been looking at.
N: Okay, so basically the physicians have to keep track of a lot more information in order to get fairly compensated. Is that what we’re talking about?
S: That’s right because they now have financial responsibility for what happens to these patients and as bundle payments continue to expand then perhaps they will be writing a check if they’re not hitting target prizing or they have an option also to be financially rewarded and they can share their savings with their health care partners.
N: As the CEO and Founder of Loopback Analytics, talk about Loopback and how it envisioned better patient outcomes.
S: Loop back Analytics has been around for about 7 years. We really got our start when Medicare started suggesting that they won’t gonna pay for readmission penalties or basically start penalizing hospitals at higher readmission and what we are is a software service provider platform. We help make hospitals to their post-acute care providers that are downstream and manage the flow of patient as they move from one care setting to the next. And often times we use the data that comes not only from hospitals but also their downstream partners to proactively identify patients that are at high risk and then match them to interventions and measure how well those interventions are working. So bundle payment process certainly expected but it’s still very new for many of our customers.
N: A readmission rate speaks directly to the success of the care giver on an individual basis in this whole scenario. Do you find that maybe some institutions might bulk at providing some of these information or providing it in the detail that’s gonna be required?
S: So this is a great question because traditionally there’s a lot of concern about patient privacy, there’s proprietary concerns then you have these groups they compete with one another with certain patient population. Even if they need to be collaborative and cooperative with others and so there’s lot of work because entities don’t have data sharing agreement to make sure that all of these stakeholders are adequately protected. And this is one of the areas as Loopback’s role, we can step into data custodian and as an intermediary to make sure that the right patient data is shared and data that shouldn’t be shared is not.
N: Most hospitals, about more than 80% of them are already utilizing bundled payments. Do you see Loop back as someone that can get those hospitals that are already onboard get onboard and complete their compliance?
S: Well what’s happening Neal is that health systems around the country are very stagy adapting to this new evolution. Some hospitals are still about the point in saying “Who should be our downstream partners be?” Given it now we necessarily are cooperative business partners. In other situations they moved beyond that point, they’ve identified their partners and now they say “Well how can we exchange data in more of a real time fashion? So that we can track these patients that we now share and ensure that we’re providing the best possible care.” And then I think the third step is once you’ve got the right network to find and you’re sharing data as you should, how do you continuously drive improvement? By learning, by creating this feedback loop as you intervene with patients to find a way to make that most productive. So we’re finding that this exists all along that continuum at various stages.
N: Talk about how Loopback educates their clients who may find this a bit overwhelming at least in its initial stages.
S: Well of course hospitals have all kinds of things coming at them, so they have a wider and diverse array of things to worry about. Loop back tends to have the luxury, I guess to stay very focused and very concentrated in this one area which is how do you work with networks? How do you drive a value-based payments? How do you make sure you’re driving and savings and improvements across episodes? So because of our area of concentration we have an opportunity…to help educate our customers one way that we’re doing that by just this week we published a press release but we’re leveraging data that’s out there, difficult to access and providing tools to the market place to help them for example look at the quality of the post-acute care networks that they have within their geographies and so there is very much a consultative role as part of our services just because…these various payment models.
N: How does your software platform interact with some of the support for these health care facilities once you’ve got a health care facility as a client? How do you interact with their support who maybe has another platform similar but not necessarily the same?
S: So we very much our platform and then by that I mean there’s a wide array of what electronic health records that exists both with that hospital as well as within post-acute care providers and we integrate with those. So we don’t displace the existing EHRs that they use to sort run their bread and butter operations but what we do is we draw a net over that and link the discrepant data back together so they can manage patients across the care continuum and that often means that Loopback is kind of a gluer as you will that’s meeting together these discrepant systems.
N: Now as we wrap up Neil, talk about your support as it relates to actually sending folks to your clients to educate them and maybe possibly staying onsite for a period of time to get them up to speed and make sure that the implementation of your platform is gonna be a success.
S: Well as a software service platform, we’re actually fairly like…so usually there’s not heavy demands of… that are there for leveraging interfaces that often have been built for other purposes and so it’s not unusual within literally a day or two we can often get the basic information we need to get started. The biggest challenge is sort of working for the legal arrangements just to make sure that everyone is comfortable that once the data flows that they’re gonna be safeguarded properly and that usually take a bit longer but the technology part is not typically require for us even to go onsite, it can be done remotely.
N: Clear up some of the misconceptions that may surround your platform that maybe play a factor in some hospitals being a bit reluctant.
S: So I think there’s a lot of different key parts around. There’s for example health information exchanges, we necessarily have some of the building blocks that make us look like HIE, Health Information Exchange but what we do is different and that we’re really a population health management platform, where Health Information Exchanges tend to be more built around exchanging their data around that individual patient – so that’s a common misconception we have. The other is just how you share data one party to the other, I think our ability to come along side and help with this data sharing arrangements as an independent third party is an important facilitator and that can be a barrier if that’s not addressed so we’re excited about our ability to come in and help coalitions of providers that may have struggled to get this moving but not quite sure how to proceed.
N: And where can our listeners get more information about Loop back Analytics?
S: They certainly can go to our website, it’s loopbackanalytics.com.
N: Great. It’s been a pleasure having you in studio today with us Neil.
S: Thank you very much, glad to be here.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. In studio today with Mr. Neil Smiley, Loopback Analytics’ CEO and Founder and he’s been in studio today with us talking about big data’s new role in bundled payments and how Analytics will drive better patient outcomes. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm, subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.