Tag Archives: Patient Engagement

The Jefferson Population Health Colloquium – A Full Serving of Population Health


Population Health continues to be a major buzzword around the healthcare industry. At the recent HiMSS 17 conference in Orlando the talk of population health was everywhere from the vendor booths to the presentations, but where does one turn to get more than just the IT focus of population health? Where can one get a sense of the breadth and depth of population health from operations to policy, current status to future state,  provider implementations, data and analytics, patient engagement, in the weeds medication adherence and wearables to large community based initiatives? In other words where can one find a full serving of all that population health is?

That place is the Jefferson Population Health Colloquium, also in its 17th year.

This year’s event features keynotes ranging from the Future of Managed Care to Good Health is Good Business: The Results of an Innovative Alignment with Physicians and Communities.

Here are just a few of the many leaders providing keynotes this year include:

The balance of keynotes can be found on the program Agenda. The range and diversity topics covered is impressive.

Digging deeper into the Colloquium’s agenda we find ‘mini-summits‘ and ‘concurrent sessions’ on day two covering the following topics:

And concurrent sessions:

The most difficult part of this conference is deciding which sessions to attend. The complete agenda is available here, and a direct registration link for full details, here.

Also on Day two will be the awarding of the Hearst Health Prize For Excellence in Population Health now in its second year, this $100,000 prize goes to……..? Check out last year’s debrief of the winner ‘Community Care of North Carolina‘.

Tuesday evening closes with an optional dinner session, but one definitely worth attending to hear from Michael Dowling and Dr. Stephen Klasko on a panel moderated by David Nash MD, MBA.  This interesting and informative panel will discuss The Future of Clinically Integrated Networks a critically important component of creating a better health system and integrating population health.

I hope to see you there.




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Is Text Messaging being Overlooked as an Engagement Tool in Healthcare?


the-holy-grailImproving the consumer’s engagement in their health has become the holy grail; we’re all searching for it. It seems every week some company is coming out with a new app, system or program claiming they’ve developed an incredible engagement tool that will finally get people involved in their health. Most have stumbled.

Could it be that we are overlooking something because it’s just not cool and there are potential HIPAA concerns? That something is SMS text messaging. Think about it, everyone has a cell phone and text is typically unlimited and has become the new way to communicate.

It also turns out, there are some very good studies to support text messaging to be effective and much more likely to be read and responded to than an app, phone call or email. As for HIPAA, there are ways to use a “text first” approach and stay HIPAA compliant.  ken-saitow

Listen to this episode of PopHealth Week  with Ken Saitow of CareWire as he provides insights into text messaging, HIPAA compliance and use cases. He even touches upon seniors and Medicaid, both of whom respond well to text messaging.



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An Interview with Dr. Kaveh Safavi of Accenture



At the recent HiMSS conference in Las Vegas I had the pleasure of interviewing Kaveh Safavi, MD  (@DrKavehSafavi),  Senior Managing Director, Health Industry,  Accenture Health (@AccentureHealth). Dr. Safavi  discusses their recent Patient Engagement Survey and other topics. They are doing some very forward looking work in this area.

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My Patient Portal and Meaningful Use – for Whom?

After my last physician office visit, I got invited to sign into the patient portal for the health system that the physician is affiliated with.  This is a very large health system in Jacksonville, FL and many would say its the premier hospital. My primary care physician who I have been seeing for a number of years is part of this system as are the specialists.

The Portal is really the most minimal of implementations, although I believe their EMR is from one of the big guys.  The main page shows:

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Marketing Presentations: You Never Know What you May Learn.

I was on a call the other day with a company that provides a targeted consumer engagement platform based on psychographic data that is used to “bucket” people into one of a few groups and then send targeted messaging to them via different communication systems. When they got to their results slide my antenna went up.

Here were two of their claims directly off of the PowerPoint slide:

  • 72% of at risk employees joined a diabetes education program versus 10% nationally
  • A personalized patient messaging program created an additional $70,000 in revenue per month for a 300 physician group.

So I asked a few questions:

Me ” What data source did you use to claim that 10% of employees typically enroll in a diabetes education program?”

Him “We looked at the Rand Report (The DOL) Study which showed that 21% of employees typically engaged and then…(wait for it, wait for it)… only 50% of companies have programs, so that’s how we came up with the 10%”

To say I was incredulous would be a huge understatement.

So I asked to clarify

“So, you are counting the 50% of people who have no access to a program to begin with?”

Him “Yes”

Me “that’s just not right”

Him “Well it is true on a national basis”.  (On a side note this also may or may not be true on a national basis; just because 50% of companies don’t have a program does not mean that 50% of the employees don’t, depends on the companies in each group and their employee size.)

I was finally able to get him to admit, that the statistics he used might be a problem, when he then said “The original program was done with on-site staff enrolling employees and they were getting over 50% engagement.”

So the truer statement is they went from somewhere north of 50% to 72%, not bad, but much different than from 10% to 72%.

Now I dug into the second issue, the $70,000 per month. So I asked about this,

Him “yes, they told us that the program had increased their revenue by $70,000 per month.”

Me “lets do some calculations. It’s a 300 physician group, correct?”

Him “yes”.

Me “So lets assume that each physician generates $500,000 in annual revenue, that’s $41,666 per month. Multiply that by 300 and they are generating about $12,500,000 per month. $70,000 is just over one half of one percent of $12,500,000. That’s peanut’s, now take that and divide it by 300 physicians that equals $233 per month per doctor. Or maybe 4 office visits.”

Him “but wait, that’s profit, does the slide say revenue?”

Me “Yes it does”

Him “oh I need to correct that”

Me “yep, and still, so if its ‘profit’ they generated an additional $233 per doctor? Still seems rather small.

Him “Well that’s the number they gave us.”

Word to those who are looking for vendors and being presented with marketing materials: Ask a few Questions; you never know what you may learn.  Perhaps I should refer them to the Intel Care Innovations Validation Institute.  Full disclosure, I am on the Validation Institute’s  advisory board.


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