3 hopeful signs of health data at work in San Francisco

How does better, more comprehensive access to patient data among hospitals and providers facilitate better care? How is San Francisco moving toward a connected health information network? Can industrial-strength patient information transform healthcare as we know it? These questions could be the keys to unlocking patient health data from silos and helping the most vulnerable patients, the five percent who add up to 80 percent of costs, to live healthier lives.

Across our city, there is momentum to use data to improve patient access and outcomes. Here are three that stand out to our team:

Medical group Hill Physicians uses Ai to improve value-based care

One of MX’s participants, Hill Physicians, a medical group with 4,000 contracted physicians providing care to more than 400,000 members, is showing the healthcare sector what it truly means to innovate. One of the most burdensome tasks the Hill Physicians team had to do was collect member’s charts to support Medicare Advantage risk adjustment. Bill Siwicki quotes Jennifer Pereur, director of government programs at Hill Physicians Medical Group in his article on Healthcare Informatics: “This process was time-consuming and burdensome for the physician practices. We were seeing an increased level of non-compliance with our chart requests – physicians were refusing to provide the charts we needed because it was an administrative burden on their staff.”

Hill Physicians recognized the problem and started using technology from Apixio and Evolent Health. “Our initial work involved extracting patient data and images directly from the electronic health record,” Pereur said. “Apixio reads all the data and images and isolates those parts of the records that are likely to contain the data we’re looking for. A certified coder reviews the identified data and makes the final determination on what’s allowable based on coding guidelines.” Using the technology from the companies listed above, the medical group was able to completely eliminate the chart-retrieval burden from the physician practice for the 20 percent of its patient population the EHR provided access to, improving both the accuracy and completeness of the charts. Using the Manifest MedEx health data network, the burden placed on physicians can be lightened even more by giving them real-time access to longitudinal health records across the state of California.

Stanford Health Care joined Manifest MedEx

Earlier this year, Manifest MedEx, California’s largest nonprofit health data utility announced that several large physician groups and health systems were joining the network. Along with Heritage California and Hill Physicians, two of the largest medical groups in the state, Stanford Health Care joined the MX network bringing an estimated 1.5 million patients to the health information network already covering more than 11 million Californians. Stanford and other academic medical centers recognize the value of a health information network to support their critical work handling the toughest referrals. It’s also wonderful to see healthcare systems partnering with big tech companies, which Stanford University School of Medicine is doing. Along with Apple ResearchKit, Apple’s new app, Stanford enrolled more than 11,000 patients in 24 hours. According to Healthcare Informatics write up on this exciting project, that is “more than more medical studies achieve in a year, and they collected much more data in 24 hours than they could have otherwise.” It’s these thoughtful partnerships, paired with access to real-time patient health data, that are currently driving the way data and healthcare intersect. Enrolling patients is just the first step. Through a health data network like MX, physicians can get to know the health of their new patients so they can reach out promptly and provide the care they need.

Health data is at the center of digital health companies in San Francisco

To create a secure, useful tool or platform for either patients or physicians takes innovation, insight, and, of course, data. San Francisco has no shortage of digital health companies taking the lead on creating a better healthcare system but a handful of these companies stand out to me for the excellent, thoughtful work they are doing. Nuna, under the leadership of Jini Kim, is a company with a mission to make high-quality healthcare affordable and accessible by “building data solutions for healthcare payers and providers to measure and improve their cost and quality outcomes.” Devoted Health offers Medicare Advantage plans to “serve those on Medicare with well-coordinated, more attentive healthcare.” Another great example of a digital health company doing exceptional work is Mindstrong. They are “redefining behavioral healthcare by re-imagining how providers will diagnose and manage neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.” Sitka, founded by Kelsey Mellard, is helping physicians communicate more effectively with their patients (an effort that would be made even more impactful if physicians were to have real-time access to patients health records through the MX health data network). Last but certainly not least, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the United States and the largest hospital provider in California. They aren’t just any hospital — innovation and compassionate care are two of their pillars.

These are just a handful of digital health companies in San Francisco doing the hard work of using data to improve healthcare. All of these companies could use MX to accelerate their innovations; as providers are given more and better access to patient health data, the potential for a healthier, happier system is just around the corner.

This success shows that the right technology used in the right way can make a significant difference for patients and physicians. Using a health data network in conjunction with other technologies increases the benefits, allowing physicians to use their time to help patients feel better.

These leaders championing better data and better healthcare share a vision with Manifest MedEx — connecting health data throughout California is the clear path to accelerating value-based care and healing our broken healthcare system.