Articles


Medical Alley Association forms Partnership to Spur Danish Investment, Innovation

December 10, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Medical Alley Association has signed a collaboration agreement with the DanishTechnical University (DTB), Medicoindustrien, Medtech innovation, and GreaterMSP to bring innovative Danish health technology firms to the U.S. via Medical Alley. The three-year agreement funded by the Danish Industry Foundation will involve developing a soft-landing pad for Danish small and medium sized firms that are seeking to commercialize products in the U.S. This will include access to mentors and advisors, service providers, and other expertise.

The collaborators are in the process of building an advisory board and developing the first year’s programs to be announced early in 2019.

“Denmark and Medical Alley have long histories of innovation for the betterment of people around the world. This collaboration will mean more innovations benefit more people.”

– Steffen Hovard, President & Senior Vice President,Interventional Urology, Coloplast and Medical Alley Association Vice Chair

Mr. Hovard will participate in the groups advisory board, providing valuable insight from his experience as an executive in both Denmark and the U.S. Coloplast, the largest Danish medical device firm, has their North American headquarters in Medical Alley.

Medical Alley was chosen as the community to build this bridge because of the breadth and depth of healthcare expertise that exists – world leaders like Medtronic,Mayo Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, innovative startups, and an unmatched supply chain.

“Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care making it the natural U.S. base for this partnership. We anticipate Danish companies will find the right partners in and through the Medical Alley community as well as Medical Alley companies finding new partners in Denmark.”

– Martin Stenfeldt, CEO and Co-Founder of Danish Startup, MedTrace, and a member of the advisory board

At The Table – November 28, 2018

November 28, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Session 2019: Walz/Flanagan Administration Announce Transition Team; Minnesota House DFL Reveals Committee Structure and Chairs

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Governor-elect Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor-elect Peggy Flanagan made multiple announcements regarding their transition efforts and leadership team. First is the One Minnesota Transition Advisory Board that will advise the administration on a number of things, including filling roles in the administration and putting together the state budget. Lieutenant Governor-elect Flanagan will lead this 30-person board, which includes people from many different racial, geographic, and industrial backgrounds. The full release can be found here.

The incoming Walz/Flanagan administration also announced a team that will lead the process of appointing Commissioners and other leaders of the various state agencies. The Executive Director of this team is Kristen Beckman; she will lead a group of eight others in this effort. You can read the announcement here. Additionally, Governor-elect Walz announced that Chris Schmitter would be his incoming Chief of Staff and also helping with the transition.

The new majority in the House of Representatives unveiled its committee structure and chairs shortly before Thanksgiving as well. Speaker Melissa Hortman announced the House will have 34 committees, subcommittees, or divisions in the 2019-2020 legislative session, up from 29 in the previous biennium. Additionally, all finance committees are structured as divisions of the Ways and Means committee, rather than stand-alone committees. Chairs of note include:


View the full list here.

Vice-chairs and full committee assignments will be announced at a later date.

HHS Asks for Input on Moving to Value-Based Care; Medical Alley Association Shares Expertise

As part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) effort to increase the use of value-based care arrangements, it solicited comments on new safe harbors and other reforms to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The AKS is one of the primary obstacles to the development and use of value-based arrangements (VBAs). HHS was specifically looking for ways the current statutory regime inhibits the development of these arrangements and what changes or additions need to be made to make them easier to enter into.

Medical Alley Association submitted a comment in response to this request, the full text of which can be found here. Our comment focused on three things: First, eliminating barriers to care coordination and VBAs; second, increasing the use of remote patient monitoring through the modification of current, or the creation of new, safe harbors in the AKS; and third, ensuring safe harbors exist for the proper adoption of necessary cybersecurity upgrades.

Medical Alley Association members have always been at the forefront of healthcare delivery and the movement to value-based care is no different. We look forward to continuing to work with HHS, CMS, and other state and federal agencies, bringing the expertise of our members to the development of policy that improves quality of care and outcomes while reducing costs for patients.

Member of Medical Alley Association Board of Directors Named to HHS Working Group

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), requested feedback on their idea to put together a working group designed to improve communication between HHS and the health innovation and investing communities (see Medical Alley Association’s comment here. In late September, HHS announced the formation of the Deputy Secretary’s Innovation and Investment Summit (DSIIS). This Summit will focus on emerging innovation opportunities and whether public policy is accelerating or hindering this innovation during their quarterly meetings.

This past Wednesday, ahead of the DSIIS’ first meeting on December 18, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan announced who had been chosen to be core participants of the DSIIS. Jim Rogers, Chair of the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic and Medical Alley Association Board Member, was among those chosen for the Summit (you can find the full list of contributors here. Medical Alley Association is proud to have recommended Jim for this role and are excited to have his expertise on this important group in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to Jim; we look forward to working with you in this endeavor!


6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with First Light Asset Management’s Matt Arens

November 26, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at fjaskulke@medicalalley.org

This interview with Matt Arens, CEO and Senior Portfolio Manager, has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

6 Questions Series

 

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Matt Arens has been fortunate to combine two distinct passions in his career: investments and life sciences. Since entering the investments field in 1997, Arens has followed small-cap stocks, with a particular focus on identifying companies with high growth potential in the health care sector.

Prior to founding First Light Asset Management in September 2013, Arens was president and senior portfolio manager at Kopp Investment Advisors. While at Kopp, he served as the sole portfolio manager for the firm’s health care-focused investment strategy.

Arens graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor of science degree in financial planning. He has been a keynote speaker at the PricewaterhouseCoopers CFO Forum, and has been featured in publications, such as BusinessWeekBarron’sPensions & InvestmentsInvestment NewsMinneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reining in costs or accelerating outcomes?

With U.S. health care expenditures projected to exceed $5.5 trillion by the middle of the next decade,1 there is nothing that will define healthcare more than our ability to rein in costs while simultaneously providing excellent patient care. The benefit of any medical advancement must be evaluated within the context of its cost to the healthcare system. If the system is unable to support a costly healthcare solution that can improve people’s lives, its benefits are largely lost. Fortunately, there are brilliant entrepreneurs who recognize this tremendous need and are advancing some amazing solutions that I believe will bend the cost curve and dramatically change the way health care is practiced in the United States.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

People often relate value to saving money in the short term. However, I believe one has to consider the benefits a solution provides and its total cost when defining value in healthcare. For example, a vaccine to prevent a disease or a therapy to cure a disease may be viewed as expensive in the short term, but, over the life of a patient, the ability to provide medical preventions or cures can represent tremendous value when compared to the costs of simply treating a chronic disease.

What’s the biggest blind spot in healthcare today?

I believe one of the biggest blind spots in health care today is the “hand-off” as patients move from private insurance to Medicare. There are some incredible solutions on the horizon that can effectively prevent or cure disease, but until these two systems are aligned, the complete burden of cost will fall on private insurers who will — out of necessity — prevent access to these potentially game-changing therapies. I believe the way to achieve this alignment is by moving away from the current model, which is based on a massive one-time payment for treatment, toward a system that more closely resembles an annuity model agreed upon by all constituents. Only then can we cost-effectively advance treatments — such as organ transplant and gene therapy — that in the short term look expensive, but over a patient’s life may actually provide tremendous value.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest blind spot?

Many people may assume that because First Light invests solely in healthcare companies, our staff is full of MDs and PhDs. That is not the case.

We do have multiple team members who have been investing in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. During that time, I and the other individuals have developed domain expertise and identified key areas for evaluating healthcare companies from a business perspective, including workflows, reimbursement, and intellectual property. These areas are second nature to us and, historically, we’ve been successful in approaching healthcare investing from a business and finance standpoint.

One could argue we have a blind spot when it comes to understanding the deep science within healthcare. We work hard to avoid this issue by working extensively with outside resources — MDs, PhDs, and others who are world-renowned experts in their particular fields of study. Because healthcare is such a specialized and nuanced industry, we believe it is often critical to consult with experts in areas we are researching in order to be most effective in our work.

This approach allows us to combine our business insights with our expert network’s tremendous depth of knowledge around specific disease states and treatment approaches. We feel this collaborative model is critical in turning what could be a blind spot into an area of strength for First Light.

Why is a presence in Minnesota, known as the Medical Alley, critical to your company?

First Light’s presence in Minnesota is critical to our success. We benefit from the state’s tremendous healthcare ecosystem, composed of industry titans across the healthcare spectrum, incredible healthcare systems and innovative university programs. The ability to sit down in-person with people shaping the future of healthcare without having to get on a plane is invaluable and, we believe, a competitive advantage.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

I believe the solutions to cure some of the biggest problems in healthcare exist today. Some may be in the very early stages of development in someone’s garage, some may be advancing through the regulatory process, and some are already being presented at scientific meetings.

Knowledge around, and awareness of, these opportunities is the lifeblood of investing in the healthcare space. While incredible innovations are introduced to us each week — from gene editing and genomic profiling technologies to ground-breaking new surgical robots and solutions for detecting cancer through a blood draw — the desire to learn more, see more, and understand more is always present.

 

1Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (n.d.) National Health Expenditure Projections 2017-2026. Retrieved from http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/index.html

 

Want to learn more about First Light Asset Management?

Visit https://firstlightam.com/


6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with Lemhi Ventures’ Jodi Hubler

November 12, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at fjaskulke@medicalalley.org

This interview with Jodi Hubler has been lightly edited for clarity and length. To see more, click the button below.

6 Questions Series

 

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Jodi Hubler is widely recognized for her keen insight, direct style of communication, and skillful stewardship of organizations from incubated startups to multibillion dollar corporations. She delivers a unique combination of executive leadership and venture capital investing expertise with direct experience in operations, governance, human capital, strategic planning and execution, culture change, and negotiations. As a strategic advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs and CEOs, she is especially adept at leading and governing in industries facing transformative change.

Jodi currently serves on the boards of Lemhi Ventures’ portfolio companies Bind, Digital Reasoning, PokitDok, and PlanSource, and serves as board chair of Recondo Technology. She previously served as a member or chair of seven additional Lemhi portfolio company boards. She also currently serves on the boards of CaringBridge, Central Logic, DHIT Global, and Medical Alley Association. Jodi is a frequent conference panelist and is a member of the Healthcare Executives Leadership Network and Women Business Leaders in Health Care Foundation.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

Yes. That’s the interesting imperative of our time: It is no longer an “or” question, it’s an “and” imperative. For startups, the paradox is that the measure externally needs to be about achieving the triple aim of cost, quality and outcome all the while generating revenue, reducing risk, and increasing organizational resilience.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be? 

The definition of value is like beauty – it’s all in the eye of the beholder, and it is significantly dependent on where one sits within the value-stream map of healthcare. In our current system, it’s all too often defined by reimbursement which, on one hand, limits the rate of change and, on the other, has more recently accelerated the rate of change as consumers have been more willing to pay and insert themselves, actively demanding change in line with their view of value: cost and convenience. A consumer centric definition will increasingly become the norm.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

We still see a fair amount of denial in the system as to the rate of change– think Blockbuster vs. Netflix.

What’s the venture capital sector’s biggest “blind spot?” 

We have a math problem building. Massive amounts of funding having gone into a significant number of companies with disproportionately fewer number of exits. The system is at risk of having propagated our own hype curve.

Why is a presence in Minnesota, known as the Medical Alley, critical to your company?

Minnesta is in our roots as founders of Definity Health, and the ecosystem continues to prove to be a very strong market to start companies, particularly as it relates to talent.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of? 

Wisdom.

 

To learn more about Lemhi Ventures visit https://lemhiventures.com/  


A First-Timer’s Look at the MedCity Invest Digital Health Conference

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By Serafin (Fin) Samson, Baker Tilly

 

The MedCity News INVEST Twin Cities digital health conference brought together industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors who are cultivating and shaping the digital health landscape.  As a first-time attendee, I walked away with several key takeaways from the conference.

Talent pool

There is a great range of talented minds that are creating and commercializing digital health solutions to solve some of healthcare’s biggest issues, including needs to improve clinical outcomes, reduce cost of care, increase access to care and improve patient experience.  For the entrepreneurs, the Pitch Perfect rounds provided investor insight on key fundamentals to consider when formulating their digital health business models, including:

New players

Representing the large industry side, Comcast Digital Health provided another example of a relatively new healthcare entrant that is leveraging and repurposing core assets to create new healthcare solutions. In this case, Comcast is leveraging its installed network to enable new care delivery models outside the traditional care setting and to provide people (aka patient consumers) with greater healthcare market transparency, allowing for more informed health decisions.

Given the broad reach that large industry players have within U.S. households and their own core competencies (e.g., production capabilities that can scale quickly to generate a large library of health content), entrepreneurs will need to consider industry partnerships earlier in their strategic planning process.

Strategic partnerships

The importance of early strategic partnerships was also stressed during the Commercializing Novel Digital Health Tech panel discussion. Partnering with providers, for example, to pilot new digital health solutions can be of value to a start-up in demonstrating clinical utility, inserting novel solutions within the system of care and proving out payment models.

Additional important takeaways include:

Diversity

Similar to many industries, diversity is a topic that requires greater awareness, discussion and action within healthcare. This was also an emotional topic during the Achieving Diversity in Healthcare panel discussion. The viewpoints vary on the best path forward, but as the panel demonstrated, it starts with the ability to open up discussions around diversity. The panel noted that diversity is not just about gender and race, but also about diversity in thought.

It is cognitive diversity that brings together a great range of talented minds and will make our Twin Cities community better equipped to advance innovation in healthcare.

About Baker Tilly

Accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly serves life sciences organizations ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar companies. Our specialists understand a company’s business, financial and operational needs in all phases of the life cycle – from launch through maturity – and help companies address each phase’s unique needs and requirements. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 territories, with 33,600 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.4 billion.


6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with 4C Medical’s Katherine Kumar

November 5, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is an interview series with Medical Alley leaders about the future of healthcare. The Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

This series is meant to share insights from, and spark discussion within, this powerhouse healthcare community. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at fjaskulke@medicalalley.org

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Dr. Katherine Kumar specializes in regulatory and clinical operations, as well as reimbursement and marketing functional areas of the business. Prior to 4C Medical, she was VP of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at TVA Medical, Inc. (acquired by Becton, Dickinson and Company), VP of Clinical Affairs at Monteris Medical, Inc., and Sr. Director of Science & Clinical Affairs at Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI) where she led clinical study development and execution, all scientific activities, and the bridge between clinical and marketing activities. Prior to CSI, Dr. Kumar led clinical efforts at MEDRAD Interventional/Possis Medical (a business of Bayer HealthCare), American Medical Systems, and several startup companies.

Dr. Kumar earned her Master of Science and Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering degrees from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also earned the Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) in 2009 and is a Harvard Business School alumni (Executive Education, General Management Program 2017).

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

This is tough question… We must have both…If you will lower costs, but not improve outcomes, your cost eventually will increase, and you will lose in both. At the same time, for you to have improved outcomes, you will have to spend. Both must be balanced.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

On one hand, we are trying to look at health economics long term, but on the other, we are trying to reduce procedural costs. In my opinion, you may have to spend more upfront to get more valuable (and much better for patients) long-term results. We apply this logic in everyday life (e.g., buying better quality appliances so they last longer) but fail to do the same in healthcare.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

Trying to reduce cost! Let me try to elaborate:

We are trying to drive cost down: This may be reduction of manufacturing cost so that we can sell a device for lower cost to a hospital, reducing their cost, etc. We forget to ask “What does this really do for patients?” By reducing manufacturing costs, we save on features of the product, reduce sizes, etc. This will eventually lead to a less optimal outcome for patients. Eventually, patients will keep coming back to the hospital, driving the overall healthcare cost up

The solution is customization that costs more upfront but leads to optimal long-term results; great for patients’ quality of life as well as significant reduction in overall healthcare cost. But everyone fears it! If I will need a medical device or a drug, I would want those to be customized/personalized.

What’s the venture capital sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

There is almost no difference today between VCs and banks… Hence, VCs today are really missing out on early opportunities in general.

Why is a presence in Minnesota, known as the Medical Alley, critical to your company?

I can answer this by giving you specific example. A while back, I accepted position with TVA Medical, a cardiovascular company based in Austin, TX. The CEO was friend of my friend and it appeared to be a good fit. I don’t mind travel, and if I could live in Minnesota, I was ok commuting. Shortly after starting, I came to realization that no one gets med devices… Yes, every state has engineers. But almost none of them have as much talent in medical device like Minnesota does. Eventually, we created a satellite office in MN and hired all local clinical and regulatory staff. Medical Alley is amazing as it provides unique opportunities, not only from training perspective, but also from collaboration.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

From personal standpoint, most probably more time with my kids. They are growing too fast! From a business standpoint, easier ways to connect with different people… What I mean by that is when I went to Harvard Business School, there was such a diversity in industries, in countries, etc. – I learned so much from those interactions. Creativity is amazing and you get energized like there is absolutely nothing you cannot do!

Interested in Value-Based Care and the Future of Healthcare?

Attend the November 6th Leading the Conversation: Value-Based Care, taking place at The Hutton House in Minneapolis, MN.

Learn More & Register


6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with Ōmcare

October 29, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at fjaskulke@medicalalley.org

This interview with the Ōmcare leadership team including CEO Lisa Lavin, President, Laurie Knutson, VP of Marketing & Customer Experience Wendy Wiesman, and Director of Engineering, Sajith Padmaja, has been lightly edited for clarity and length. To see more, click the button below.

6 Questions Series

What is Ōmcare?

Ōmcare is a health technology company that delivers remote care and real medication adherence. We do this by extending the reach of the caregiver thru a proprietary interactive IoT technology – promising right pill, right time, right person. By partnering with pharmacies, payers, providers and family caregivers, Ōmcare helps people live healthier, more vibrant, independent lives.

Ōmcare is Anser Innovation’s second subsidiary, following the success of its first, PetChatz, which allows pet owners to video chat and remotely dispense scents and food to their pets while away from home. PetChatz was developed as a proof of concept for Anser’s healthcare business, to provide secure, remote pill dispensing.

With Ōmcare, medication is loaded inside the device in multi-dose pouch pack form, and the system is locked. Caregivers then remotely dispense medications at a given time and confirm adherence. Ōmcare will initially focus on eldercare where multiple medications make compliance a bigger challenge.

In 2009, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation found that non-adherence to medication resulted in more than 125,000 deaths annually in the U.S. and added costs between $105 billion and $290 billion. Ōmcare aims to change that in a way that hasn’t yet been done—by including visual confirmation of medication compliance, with a supplemental benefit of telehealth, social interaction and longitudinal data collection to demonstrate adherence to clinical protocols.

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes?

Consumers are starting to drive the future of healthcare, and their expectations include increased use of technology to achieve both reduced cost and better health outcomes. Consumers care about convenience and connectedness; that’s how the tech giants grew so quickly. There is a real opportunity to reduce cost, given that it is easier to introduce new approaches and innovations as technology itself is moving quickly. You’ll see rapid innovation towards the reality of home health and telemedicine, where people are cared for between acute episodes in a connected, convenient, and compassionate way.  Better connectedness should drive a reduction in wasteful, duplicative spending. Treating people in their home setting may also improve outcomes more than we predict.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

Wow – wouldn’t it be great to have an answer to that question??!  But, do you mean ‘morally’ – where “Healthcare is a right” even though we struggle to define ‘healthcare’?  Or – do you mean financially- where value is an equation of “Value = Perceived Outcome – Cost”?  It seems that “Value” in healthcare depends on what rock you stand on and your role in the system of healthcare.  Physicians, insurers, patients, pharma, caregivers, politicians bring a perspective on “value” that reflects what they personally value.

As individuals assume more financial burden they begin to define their own balance between cost and perceived quality of care. An issue is that a growing percent of our population doesn’t have a level of financial engagement that forces deeper thinking about ‘value’ so today decisions on ‘Value’ are left to the Healthcare Industry and Political Leaders.  Our inability to define ‘Value’ and ‘Healthcare’ globally puts these leaders in a difficult position as they must make decisions for populations, not individuals. It’s likely that if consumers thought about decisions being made for us, we might do things differently.

I’m optimistic we will find new ways to treat and cure disease; to leverage technology at a personal level; and to address preventable chronic disease. Finally, we fervently hope that we create new public/private partnerships that will allow for dignity in aging and managing disease that is realistic and compassionate for all individuals.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

The biggest blind spot is aligning appropriate reimbursement levels and payment models for clinical professionals and care facilities that reflect ‘value’, when ‘value’ itself remains undefined.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

Just as it’s difficult to define value, it is also difficult to find consensus around the definition of ‘outcomes’.  A blind spot in defining outcomes is understanding the impact of medication non-adherence, especially in vulnerable populations. Ōmcare was created to provide REAL medication adherence, using audio/visual confirmation of medication adherence of right pill, right time, right person. We are working hard to establish partnerships that align clinical outcome and financial objectives of all stakeholders, particularly for caregivers and the people they love.

Why is a presence in Medical Alley critical to your company?

The success of any meaningful new product in the healthcare market depends on partnerships.  Anyone who thinks their solution will stand on its own, or be the ‘hub’ for everything else, is probably destined to struggle. Our region, known as Medical Alley, includes a rich tapestry of innovators in health, tech, pharma and life sciences, as well as leading care delivery systems and insurance partners willing to try new approaches. We believe in Medical Alley because of the community that has come together to create connections between those working to innovate and collaborate. While Ōmcare will partner with stakeholders from many sectors across healthcare, we intend to start local.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

Access to leaders in major healthcare organizations. There are so many amazing people and organizations doing incredible things. Taking risks. Gathering data. Challenging the status quo. I’m energized by seeing people come together to change the world. I’d love to figure out a way to meet them all and hear their stories and perspectives!

Interested in Value-Based Care and the Future of Healthcare?

Attend the November 6th Leading the Conversation: Value-Based Care, taking place at The Hutton House in Minneapolis, MN.

Learn More & Register


6 Questions on the Future of Healthcare with Bright Health’s Kyle Rolfing

October 22, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Questions is a new interview series with Medical Alley leaders on the future of healthcare. Medical Alley Association’s membership includes leaders in healthcare delivery, payment, technology, and policy, which gives us – and in turn, you – access to diverse perspectives on how healthcare is changing and what lies ahead.

Medical Alley is the global epicenter of health innovation and care; 6 Questions, is meant to share insights and spark discussion. If you have a perspective on the future of healthcare, feel free to share it by reaching out to Frank Jaskulke, Vice President of Intelligence at fjaskulke@medicalalley.org

This interview with Kyle Rolfing, President & Co-Founder of Bright Health, has been lightly edited for clarity and length.To see more, click the button below.

6 Questions Series

 

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes? 

Both, and the key to both reigning in costs and improving outcomes will be addressing waste and redundancy. That’s one of the things we’re most proud about at Bright Health. Addressing waste and redundancy is at the center of the Bright Health Care Partner Health Plan model.  By partnering with one health system per market, we are able to streamline the process of approvals and referrals, reduce duplicate and/or unnecessary testing, and ultimately enhance our providers’ ability to deliver coordinated care across their systems. This next generation health plan cuts down on time and money while also delivering better healthcare.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

In any other industry, value is defined by the consumer. In healthcare that hasn’t been the case for a long time. Consumers should be defining value in healthcare like any other industry, and we are beginning to see a shift in that direction.

For example, we know that affordability is a huge issue for consumers and healthcare is simply not affordable for many of them.  In addition, for the cost they are paying, they expect to have high quality, convenient service, and our fragmented healthcare system is a long way from delivering that. But there are signs we are headed in the right direction – finding ways to provide high-quality, more affordable healthcare to the majority of hard-working Americans is our priority #1 at Bright Health.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

The biggest “blind spot” is the lack of focus on the consumer as the customer. The fee-for-service relationship between payers and providers results in fragmented care that treats pieces and parts rather than the whole person.

Value-based care, which is the goal of the Bright Health model, does treat the whole person, optimizes health outcomes and is critical to redefining the system as consumer-centric.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

This answer is the same as above, and it captures why Bright Health is pioneering a new Care Partner Health Plan model. By working with one health system in each market, we remove the friction that has traditionally existed between payers and providers, resulting in an integrated, streamlined experience for the consumer.

Why is a presence in Medical Alley, critical to your company?

Talent is the most important factor in success. Our decision to be headquartered in Minneapolis was intentional because of the immense healthcare talent that exists here. Minnesota has healthcare industry leaders like Medtronic, Mayo Clinic, United Healthcare, and Boston Scientific, among others. In addition, you have companies like General Mills and Target who are at the intersection of healthcare and the consumer. Given the focus of our company – on providing the best consumer healthcare experience – we think being able to draw from these talent pools has been a huge contributor to our early success.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

Speed. We have been fortunate with the great talent we’ve been able to attract as well as the strength of our Care Partners. This combination has allowed us to prove that our model works out of the gate. As a result, we’ve been able to attract top investors and have access to plenty of capital: we expanded from 1 market to 3 in the first year and are adding 12 new markets this year. But we really want to get this solution out to as many consumers as quickly as we can because we know it’s so needed in the marketplace.

Learn more about Bright Health by visiting their website at brighthealthplan.com

 

Curious About Value-Based Care?

Attend the November 6th Leading the Conversation: Value-Based Care, taking place at The Hutton House in Minneapolis, MN.

Learn More & Register


Health Care Startup Day Minnesota Highlights Innovative Work in Minnesota

October 18, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This week, the University of Minnesota and the Medical Alley Association had the privilege of hosting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) for Health Care Startup Day Minnesota. The event took place on University of Minnesota’s campus and drew the largest crowd HHS had seen for one of these events to date. It was the sixth stop on HHS’ two-year tour around the country to meet healthcare entrepreneurs and local startups. HHS Startup Day was a great opportunity to showcase the innovative working being done in Minnesota and build stronger relationships with these agencies.

Minnesota was an obvious choice to host Startup Day as it is uniquely positioned with a vibrant community in the health innovation and care industry that is Medical Alley. The event provided opportunity for folks to interact, engage, and learn about the variety of work HHS does. Many healthcare companies are not sufficiently aware of all the relevant funding, regulatory, and collaborative opportunities from HHS.

The event featured a wide array of speakers. Ed Simcox, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at HHS, addressed how partnering with innovative companies is the way that HHS will be able to bend the cost curse of healthcare and help improve treatment outcomes. Congressman Erik Paulsen, who has been a strong supporter of investments in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the goal of improving our regulatory processes so new and groundbreaking treatments can be developed, continued to lead the charge to repeal the medical device tax to increase job growth and innovation. Jonathan Pearce, CEO of Zipnosis, described for the audience the pathway of a company from startup to growth. Other speakers included key leaders from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discussing FDA approval, reimbursement issues, proposed regulations, and how to access federal funding programs in Minnesota. Medical Alley Association President & CEO, Shaye Mandle led a panel discussion on the future of healthcare innovation featuring Jodi Hubler, Managing Director, Lemhi Ventures; Ping Yeh, CEO & Co-Founder, StemoniX, Inc.; John Brownlee, CEO, vidscrip; Dan Knights, CEO, CoreBiome. The event closed with a “Walleye Tank,” a series of businesses pitches from local healthcare startups.

   

 

   

HHS Startup Day was a great event bringing light to the incredible healthcare work being done here in Minnesota. Thank you to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the University of Minnesota and all the local entrepreneurs and industry leaders for making Healthcare Startup Day Minnesota a huge success!


MANOVA, The Global Summit on the Future of Healthcare, Challenges Modern Healthcare Ideas

October 17, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

Everyone experiences illness, whether it’s a chronic condition, a mental state that keeps someone from feeling their best, or just a common cold, we all know what it’s like to be laid low for a while. But what does it really mean to be healthy? Is it just the absence of illness or is there something more?

The inaugural MANOVA Summit, held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in early October, challenged attendees to think of health as a positive, active state rather than simply the opposite of being sick. Dan Buettner, author of the New York Times bestselling Blue Zones, and Gil Penalosa, founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, opened the conference by reflecting on how the safety of biking and walking around cities affected all-cause mortality rates and the importance of making the healthy choice the easy choice, themes echoed by a number of speakers including former White House Chef Sam Kass and Dr. Robert Brook of the RAND Corporation.

Health, in this thinking, is more than BMI, blood pressure, or pulse rate, it includes how integrated you are into your society, how much physical activity you do in your day-to-day routine, and what food is easily available to you.

 

The reality of modern healthcare is that it now sits squarely in the realm of public policy, which came to the fore with a spirited debate between Mary Matalin and James Carville, moderated – or refereed – by CNN’s Michael Smerconish and an inside look at the past and future of the Affordable Care Act from healthcare.gov architect Andy Slavitt. While the national policy aspect of healthcare was paid its due, nearly everyone who talked about that topic also pointed out that, for the vast majority of people, care is experienced on a far smaller, more local level. Said Slavitt: “No matter where people thought they stood politically, the need to take care of their families superseded any politics.”

 

 

Healthcare is an ever-growing field, but the changes are coming faster than ever. U of M Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Michael Pitt told the crowd that by 2020 the amount of medical knowledge in the world will double every 72 days, adding that at that rate “we can’t teach what to know, we have to teach how to know.” He cited major changes to the way the University advances pediatricians through the program as a model for how medicine may well be taught in the future: Training physicians to be rigorous, to use the available resources, but above all to be empathetic.

Each of day two’s four tracks helped give participants a glimpse into one aspect of healthcare’s changes, from the makeup of the labor force and what venture capitalists must do to uncover the next game-changing companies to how genetic advancements will change how treatments are personalized and how companies can work together to provide more good together than either one of them could do alone.

 

Medical Alley showed well during the Summit, from the local politicians that came to greet participants – Senator Amy Klobuchar, Governor Mark Dayton, and Representative Tom Emmer – to the companies that presented and showed the innovative solutions to a wide range of problems being developed here in Medical Alley. The state itself showed well, with participants raving about the friendliness of the locals, the ease of movement around the city, and the wealth of talent present in the community.

 

 

Minnesota is a leader in healthcare: a leader in medical devices, a leader in innovative models of care, and a leader in medical education. But as the definition of health changes, the legendary medical community here must change, too. We must be willing to embrace new ways of affecting the social determinants of health, to bring new voices into the healthcare conversation, and to never rest on the laurels of the healthcare legacy that has led to this place.

While MANOVA presenters may have come at the problems facing healthcare from numerous directions, on two points there was unanimity: One, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done and two, if we take on a spirit of collaboration and bring – as Dr. Paul Friedman of the Mayo Clinic called for – “a union of good-willed men and women from a variety of organizations” to bear, we can solve any problem put before us.

MANOVA was born of that collaborative spirit and, with a tremendously successful first year in the books, we’re confident it will live up to that purpose. Thank you to everyone who came and added their voices and ideas to the conference; we can’t wait to see you all again next year!


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