NaviNet Admin on November 7, 2011

The 2011 NaviNet Healthcare Forum: Raising the Standard

We recently held our annual NaviNet Healthcare Forum, which brings together our health plan partners for a two-day dialogue on key industry trends, developments and strategic technology initiatives in support of this important stakeholder segment in the healthcare industry. It’s always exciting and informative to hear first-hand from our health plan customers about their focus, top priorities and challenges for the coming year. The Healthcare Forum is also a great opportunity for NaviNet to share our strategic vision, showcase our product roadmap, and get actionable input on areas where NaviNet can bring additional value for health plans.

We were honored to have David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under President Barack Obama, provide this year’s keynote address “Health Information Exchange: The Next Frontier.” Dr. Blumenthal reviewed the landscape requirements needed for the development of a robust system for health information exchange and called upon payers to begin to pave the way in building such a system. He highlighted three crucial areas to the development of what he called an ‘ultra-system’ for health information exchange: economic changes, changes to privacy and security policies, and technical solutions development. Each of these elements comes with its unique and extensive challenges and opportunities. The ultimate goal, Dr. Blumenthal explained, is to create an open, collaborative infrastructure for patient information exchange, similar to the infrastructure powering the Internet– driven by simple underlying protocols.

Dr. Blumenthal reminded us that, “there’s literally nothing we can do and be effective if we don’t have good, precise, valid reliable (patient) information.” He referred to the development of a system for health information exchange as “one of the most taxing, challenging, important, and difficult social healthcare projects that our country faces,” comparing its significance with that of the Human Genome Project or the creation of our Medicare and Medicaid systems. He urged the health plan community to foster the development of health information exchange standards as they are already in the business of patient information management in many ways.

Blumenthal encouraged health plans to be open to making compromises that positively impact patients and supporting pilot projects that use accepted and endorsed standards for information exchange. He encouraged health plans to work with representative organizations to create economic policies (like payment reform), which drive higher demand for information exchanges, level meaningful penalties for security lapses and breaches, and revise HIPAA laws for the electronic age. Blumenthal called for payers to plan for and anticipate the long-term needs of a nationwide, robust, information exchange -- one in which patients will trust the privacy and security of their information while having that information made available to their healthcare providers. To watch Blumenthal’s full speech at the NaviNet Healthcare Forum, please visit our video page for Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Dr. Blumenthal’s keynote was the perfect preamble to the next dialog about the potential for care collaboration. Health plans are increasingly using patient visits to address potential gaps in care by empowering physicians with information at the point of care. Through point-of-care tools such as NaviNet Mobile Connect, the patient visit acts as a trigger allowing payers to send important adherence alerts to physicians and to check for adverse drug-drug interactions of prescribed medications while the patient is still in the exam room. We were also encouraged by the increased interest in NaviNet’s automated solutions for prior medication authorizations – a process that is still mostly manual, costly and time-consuming (currently in a pilot program with the AMA.)

The care collaboration discussions naturally segued into a discussion around Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) led by NaviNet’s Chief Medical Officer S. Michael Ross, MD, MHA, and Senior Vice President of Product Management and Clinical Strategy David Kates. Dr. Ross and David Kates highlighted new strategies and technologies that provide a more complete view of a patient’s health and care, solutions that are predicated on a higher level of involvement from the payer community. We were encouraged by the reactions from our health plan representatives who believe that it is vital for them to be integrated at the point-of-care, alongside physicians and patients. This tighter integration opens up the potential for health plans to communicate targeted messages to physicians who are the most trusted source in impacting patient cares and outcomes. Ultimately, a higher level of payer involvement at the point-of-service reflects a win-win-win scenario for all stakeholders -- where patients receive highly personal care for better outcomes, physicians receive the right information to provide the best possible care, and health insurers remain fully vested in each patient visit. Such collaborations bring us closer to providing true solutions for unified patient information management, empowering health plans, providers, and patients to participate and coordinate care together.

Customers shared innovative uses of NaviNet during the Best Practice Panel Discussion. Representatives from Independence Blue Cross, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Cigna, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Verizon participated in a lively discussion on the progressive ways to reach and engage providers. The Panel featured a guest speaker from Verizon to offer a non-NaviNet perspective on network strategies. Heading up the healthcare innovations arm of Verizon, the charming Dr. Peter Tippett regaled the group with stories of Verizon’s efforts to explore new technologies to improve healthcare.

NaviNet and our health plan partners celebrated another successful Healthcare Forum this year despite some Mother Nature-induced challenges. The Healthcare Forum coincided with substantial fall storms, which knocked out power early that day and disturbed the satellite reception for most of the weekend. A challenge for sure, but it made for some light-hearted moments, like when CEO Brad Waugh greeted guest and thanked “Yankee Candle” for their sponsorship of the event!

To learn about NaviNet’s full set of solutions for health plans, please visit our Health Plan Solutions section of our Website. We also welcome your thoughts and comments on our blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Meg Oates-Zalesky

Tags: health plans, Healthcare IT

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NaviNet, part of NantHealth, is America’s largest interactive healthcare network. Our flagship multi-payer provider website is built on deep payer integration and the innovative use of technology to deliver real bottom-line value for both payers and providers.