Saturday, December 15, 2012

Joining to Help Patients

Rock Health located in San Francisco is the first seed accelerator for digital health startups to help entrepreneurs and experts understand the complicated digital health landscape. Rock Health’s latest class of startups will help companies develop consumer and enterprise tools plus help to develop consumer mobile apps.

Kaiser Permanente has joined Rock Health as a new sponsor to provide financial support and work closely with Rock Health’s network. Kaiser joins Rock Health’s other partners the Mayo Clinic, Kleiner Perkins, Mohr Davidow, Aberdare Ventures, GE, Genentech, United Healthcare, UC San Francisco, Harvard Medical School, and Nike.

In another partnership effort, the Care Connectivity Consortium (CCC) was created by five health systems to include Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Group Health Cooperative, Intermountain Healthcare, and Geisinger Health System. The CCC goal is to connect doctors electronically so that CCC partners can exchange information across all five organizations in select geographic and specialty areas.

For example, a retired couple living in Herron Island Washington has experienced the benefits first hand. They are able to travel each December from Herron Island to Desert Hot Springs California for several months and this would not be possible without the collaboration between their primary care physician at the Group Health Cooperative and their Kaiser physician in Palm Springs, California.

In another case, the State of Washington, the Everett Clinic Group Health Physicians, and Group Health Cooperative have formed a new alliance aimed at providing high quality and affordable health care for patients in Snohomish County. This county is located on Puget Sound which is the 13th largest county in total land area in the state of Washington.

The joint venture is going to:

  • Develop a commercial accountable care organization to deliver coordinated care at the local level and potentially to a larger geographic market
  • Advance existing care quality initiatives for Medicare enrollees
  • Identify joint clinical programs to improve quality and reduce costs
  • Identify innovative ways to help patients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions.
“The U.S. healthcare system as we know it is hurting families with wide variations in price, volume, and intensity of services,” said Group Health Physicians President and Chief Medical Executive Michael Soman, MD. Duplicative uncoordinated care is wasteful at a time when healthcare costs for families are too high, so physician groups believe collaborative efforts are needed to fix healthcare community by community.”