Creating a more effective and efficient health care system that is based on high quality and low cost care is a complex and admirable mission. Moving towards a value-based system and supporting providers during the transition is essential to ensure its success. At the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3), our goal is to partner with organizations that hold this mission in high regard.
That is why we are excited to partner with xG Health Solutions. Located in Columbia, Maryland, xG Health’s mission is to help provider organizations committed to high quality and high value care succeed under value-based and fee for service payment arrangements. Launched in February 2013 as an independent for-profit company by Geisinger Health System, xG Health leverages Geisinger’s Health Care Performance Improvement Intellectual Property (IP), including its advanced medical home model, clinical protocols, data analytics, and EMR optimization to help providers transition from volume to value-based care in a financially sustainable way.
xG Health CEO, Earl Steinberg, M.D., M.P.P. and President/COO, Ray Herschman answered a few questions for us about what strides the organization has made and what we can expect to see in xG Health’s future:
Much happened in the health care industry in 2014. As we look back at the past year, what has been xG Health’s proudest accomplishment?
We are proud to say we’ve had a few:
1) We proved that approaches for re-engineering care that have reduced utilization and total cost of care and improved quality of care have similar impacts at health care delivery systems unrelated to Geisinger.
2) We developed a multi-media online learning system that enables us to train case managers, redesign primary care and implement evidence-based protocols in a scalable fashion.
3) We proved that we could get a clinical decision support software app that heretofore worked only with Geisinger’s instance of Epic’s EHR to work with Cerner’s EMR, heralding a transformation in the way health care providers interact with EHRs.
Now let’s look forward: What is in store for you this year and what opportunities are you most excited about?
Our focus in 2015 is primarily going to be on implementing our products and services at scale. We have launched our xG Health learning solution, which combines online learning with expert support. This solution enables us to train large numbers of case managers for both health care provider organizations and health insurers and help providers implement advanced medical homes and evidence-based protocols that will reduce unjustified variation in practice. We also expect to expand the work we have been doing related to supporting providers in bundled payment arrangements with Medicare to similar arrangements with commercial insurers. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with HCI3 in support of providers who enter into bundled payment arrangements.
We also are very excited about launching, in July, a new product line of software apps that interoperate with EHRs. We’ve designed these software apps to help save physicians time and substantially improve both the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care.
What current trends in health care do you see as the most significant and what role will xG Health play in moving the trend forward?
We believe that providers are going to have to deliver care at lower cost as a result of decreases in fee for service payment rates, increased use of narrow networks, increased patient co-payments and co-insurance and growth of value-based payment arrangements, including bundled payment for episodes and shared savings arrangements related to care of populations. We are focused on helping providers be successful in this changing environment.
How do you see this trend affecting consumers?
Consumers will be affected in several ways. First, they will pay a larger share of the cost of their care, which will make them more cost-sensitive and value-conscious when choosing a provider. Second, their care experiences and satisfaction with the care they and others receive will increasingly influence their choice of providers, which will force providers to pay greater attention to these types of outcomes. Finally, and most importantly, they will be the beneficiaries of care that is better coordinated, higher quality, and lower cost.
At HCI3, we are very excited to be working with xG Health. What are your hopes and expectations from the relationship as we work together in 2015?
For 2015, xG Health and HCI3 are collaborating in 3 key areas.
1. Leveraging our initial 2014 prototypes and design efforts from to build a scalable and efficient delivery model to support both payers and providers as they implement commercial bundled payment solutions.
2. Expanding our work on combining care redesign and provider performance improvement with our analytic services. A focus on the content, location and cost of care is critical to success under bundled payment arrangements.
3. Enhancing the modeling needed to establish target prices for specific episode bundles and the automation needed to administer bundles and settle downstream gain/loss sharing with the various stakeholders that are participating in the bundled payment arrangements.
Anything else you would like to us to know about your organization or current projects?
We are working with the Geisinger Health Plan and Geisinger Clinical Enterprise to increase the types of episodes that the Health Plan pays the Clinical Enterprise for under a bundled payment arrangement. We also will be working with both organizations to identify strategies for reducing the cost and increasing the quality of care delivered under bundled payment. We anticipate new types of progressive benefit designs for consumers and plan sponsors/employers in conjunction with bundled payment arrangements.
You can keep up with xG Health Solutions updates and news through their social media pages: