Welcoming Adam Harrison to Manifest MedEx

We are so excited to be welcoming Adam Harrison as Manifest MedEx’s first Chief Growth Officer. An athenahealth alum, he brings more than 18 years of experience in leading high-performing sales teams. Adam’s role includes adding new California provider and health plan participants to receive clinical and claims data across MX’s network of more than 120 hospitals, 700 ambulatory care sites, and seven health plans.

We sat down with Adam to learn more about his experience in the health information exchange (HIE) space and how he sees the ever-evolving relationship between health data sharing and hospitals, providers, and health plans.

MX: Welcome, Adam! Tell us a bit about why you’ve chosen to join the Manifest MedEx team.

Adam: I love working with people who are innovative and finding new ways to solve important problems — that really resonates with me. I want to bring that spirit and approach to my role at MX. I want us to think differently, to listen to all stakeholders, and to hold ourselves accountable for delivering value to each.

As far as HIEs, they can play a critical role in any state, in any market, but having a statewide technology-enabled not for profit HIE is particularly important in California. With more than 40 million people, it’s an extremely diverse state with numerous options for care and coverage, which can make things complicated when it comes to healthcare information infrastructure. I believe MX can play a critical role in accelerating the connectivity and usability of healthcare data across the state.

MX: What do you think motivates health organizations to participate in a network like MX?

Adam: Value, plain and simple. If we enable a better result, we’re doing our job. I think about results through two lenses: One is through the health plan or hospital’s business lens, and one is from a more personal lens as a consumer. For the health plans and providers, quality outcomes and member satisfaction continue to increase in importance. MX has a critical role in enabling improvement in these areas via access to up-to-date holistic patient information. The other piece of this is much more personal and appeals to each of us as consumers of healthcare. I’ve recently spent a lot of time trying to help improve the health of my 15-year-old daughter who has several rare compression issues that have required multiple complex diagnostics and several surgical procedures. We’ve had an extremely difficult time as a consumer getting information to and from providers and facilities. We’ve literally had radiology labs, providers, and hospitals require us to mail or hand-deliver CDs, send faxes, or upload our daughter’s health information to their portal. In our technology-enabled world, this shouldn’t happen. It prolongs the painful conditions she has to endure and frustrates me as a father. The healthcare system can and should work better, and MX is an important way to help it work better.

MX: Tell me a little bit about why you think that this is an exciting moment for HIEs. You’ve been working at the intersection of technology and health data for a long time. Do you feel like this year is a tipping point?

Adam: It’s a particularly exciting time in California because of the active legislative support and funding for health information exchanges this year. There’s never been a better time for partnering with MX as a statewide technology-enabled not for profit. We are uniquely positioned to help transform the way information is shared and consumed, plus we share incentive dollars from Cal-HOP for participation, so it’s truly a win-win.

That said, there is still more work to do, especially to address health inequities. MX is really leading the charge here. We are able to bring together curated clinical data, claims, and some social determinants of health data — each piece helping to update and complete a patient record that will enable providers to deliver holistic care. Did a patient test positive for COVID-19? Was a patient seen in the ER or admitted to the hospital? Does an elderly or high-risk patient have the tools they need to protect themselves from COVID-19? MX provides the data to answer these questions, and we know that data exchange works. It’s a critical time for health data, and we need leadership to continue to take action.

MX: Tell us more about your excitement surrounding your new role at MX and what have you learned so far about MX.

Adam: MX has already done a really good job of bringing together many of the large health systems and health plans and more recently added large provider groups and hospitals such as Adventist Health, Scripps Health, Stanford, Providence, Blue Shield of California, Anthem, Health Net, and Brand New Day. We are engaging actively to add more participants this year, and I will be particularly focused on bringing additional health plans to the table. We have a lot of positive momentum, and MX offers more value than even just a year ago because of our expanding network.

We also see the role of the health plan really evolving and changing in California and across the country where we have plans taking on a bigger role with COVID-19. For example, when COVID-19 began, the Inland Empire Foundation for Medical Care (IEFMC) was able to use MX data to proactively identify and assist high-risk patients in a matter of days, helping reduce the risk of virus transmission and unnecessary hospitalizations. Plans have really had to accelerate their ability to be able to communicate at some level with their membership, and MX enables them to play a more active role.

Additionally, MX is one of six major HIEs that joined forces to launch the Consortium for State and Regional Interoperability (CSRI), formed to enhance individual and population health through patient data exchange and interoperability. This type of collaboration will greatly enhance the advocacy of data exchange with states and federal agencies.

MX: What else should somebody know about you? Any fun facts you feel like sharing?

Adam: I LOVE music. I’ve been playing the guitar almost my whole life. I currently play in a band, and my kids have a band! Music is a big part of my life. I can’t wait for the day to return when I can be in the middle of 20,000 people and enjoy a great concert.

Adam can be reached at at adam.harrison@manifestmedex.org.