Voices: Michael Neuman, VP, Data Science & Engineering, Trella Health


This text is sponsored by Trella Well being. On this Voices interview, Dwelling Well being Care Information sits down with Michael Neuman, Trella Well being’s VP of Information Science and Engineering, to find out how post-acute care organizations can use market knowledge to achieve success. He additionally explains the impression PAC organizations have seen from the rise in Medicare Benefit enrollment.

Dwelling Well being Care Information: What profession experiences do you most draw from in your function at present?

Michael Neuman: My expertise comes from 15 years within the well being care trade, together with my time at Trella. I spent 12 years in tutorial medical facilities constructing groups that bridged the hole between operations and expertise. These groups managed the performance for analytics so we might push organizations to turn into knowledge pushed.

I’ve expertise within the full gamut of well being care knowledge and analytics, from the uncooked knowledge ingestion and warehousing, all the way in which to operationalizing and implementing processes that enhance outcomes and effectivity. Information is among the most useful non-labor belongings in any group at present, together with the well being care trade.

Trella Well being was based in January 2015. What was its mission then, and the way has that mission advanced?

Neuman: I joined Trella Well being in 2017, and the actual focus has at all times been leveraging knowledge to supply market insights. Our mission assertion again in 2015 was, “Bringing transparency to well being care.” Presently, our mission is “Empowering significant change in well being care.” The muse is identical: ensuring we now have knowledge and analytics that may help extra impactful decision-making within the well being care trade.

A part of that’s bringing transparency, which then finally results in course of enchancment and alter. Moreover, we now have expanded our attain throughout the trade. We initially centered on post-acute care, however as we’ve constructed out our capabilities and gained in-depth real-world expertise throughout the well being care sector, we’ve expanded past post-acute. Now, we’re working with ACOs, well being programs, suppliers and payers. We actually cowl the whole spectrum of the well being care supply system in our nation.

What units Trella’s providing other than its rivals?

Neuman: Many organizations have entry to some claims knowledge as a result of it’s available from numerous sources. It may be acquired with the correct sum of money, so it’s not a query of entry, however what you do with it.

We’ve a workforce centered on understanding the info, working with trade specialists and creating metrics to assist organizations acquire the perception they should advance their enterprise. Our entry to knowledge is, I feel, unparalleled within the trade. We’ve entry to primarily each Medicare fee-for-service coated life within the nation, courting again to about 2014. We even have entry to a Medicare Benefit and business knowledge set for these 65+, which covers a big portion of the nation when it comes to the inhabitants. If you mix these knowledge units, we now have greater than 4 billion claims yearly to research on an annual foundation, and that knowledge set continues to develop.

We’re at all times on the lookout for new knowledge units and methods to boost what we do. Trella Well being was lately licensed as a Certified Entity by means of the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies (CMS). This seal not solely permits us to make technological advances in our capabilities, however reveals CMS’s degree of belief in our means to create significant analytics. We’re one in all solely 11 corporations to have this certification at a nationwide degree from CMS.

Trella Well being’s skilled workforce, complete knowledge units and expertise are capable of ship unprecedented knowledge options to the markets we serve. These attributes actually set us aside.

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Trella notes that post-acute suppliers want market knowledge to reach 2021. How does Trella outline “market knowledge,” and the way can post-acute care organizations use that knowledge to achieve success?

Neuman: Market knowledge is crucial in any trade, and well being care isn’t excluded from that. Trella Well being permits clients to take a look at “market knowledge” by means of a number of lenses. We imagine that organizations want to research referral knowledge and high quality of care metrics. Suppliers want to have the ability to ask and reply questions, akin to:

  • – From what sources are my sufferers coming?
  • – What care settings are they being despatched to afterward?
  • – What’s the high quality of care offered?
  • – Who’re my rivals?

We have a look at all of these points of market knowledge to be able to assist our shoppers succeed. We all know who the competitors is in a given market as a result of we now have entry to 100% of the fee-for-service knowledge within the nation and we use our proprietary algorithms to find out referral sources and locations. We’re in a position to take a look at the total continuum of care inside our suite of options and imagine all of these items result in a greater understanding of any given market. Trella Well being’s options empower our customers by means of knowledge.

What function do you see market knowledge taking part in in 2022 that doesn’t exist at present?

Neuman: We’re at a turning level within the well being care trade, associated to the pandemic. I don’t suppose we might have this dialog with out speaking about what the pandemic is doing throughout the well being care supply system. In 2020 and 2021, we’ve seen a shift in the place and the way sufferers are receiving care.

We’ve seen sufferers directed out of congregate care amenities and expert nursing amenities, and put instantly into dwelling well being when leaving the hospital. We’ve seen shorter size of stays within the hospital to unencumber capability. There are a whole lot of shifts occurring.

Sufferers are going into settings they’ve by no means handled earlier than and well being care organizations want to know how that market is shifting. Are there sure geographies the place these shifts are occurring extra readily? Are different areas lagging behind? As I stated, suppliers want to know the place these sufferers are coming from and the place they’re receiving optimum care, or on the converse, the place care is suboptimal.

For instance, whereas we’re shifting away from expert nursing because the vacation spot of selection for low-acuity sufferers, are we seeing that readmissions and hospitalizations are rising, happening, or staying the identical? Are sufferers in dwelling well being receiving the identical high quality of care as they’d in one other setting? All of these parts of market knowledge are completely essential in serving to PAC organizations achieve success into 2022 and past.

What impression have you ever seen on PAC organizations from the rise in Medicare Benefit enrollment?

Neuman: Medicare Benefit now makes up roughly 40% of whole Medicare enrollment, and is increasing the companies it covers and affords. It’s not going away any time quickly. Traditionally, there have been some questions on whether or not Medicare Benefit was right here to remain. I feel we will now say with confidence that it’s going to proceed to develop and increase.

The Biden administration has stated they need to put money into and increase Medicare Benefit, and that it’s a profitable mannequin. What we’ve seen is that organizations, particularly within the PAC market section, don’t absolutely perceive the implications of Medicare Benefit.

These organizations want to take a look at tips on how to section their referral sources by payer. How a lot of their referral sources are coming from fee-for-service versus Medicare Benefit? Are they partnering with organizations which are predominantly fee-for-service at present? If they’re they usually’re not seeing progress within the Medicare Benefit quantity, then there could possibly be a time when they could wrestle to obtain sufferers.

If they don’t seem to be growing partnerships, constructing out networks, and turning into in-network with particular Medicare Benefit plans, they’re liable to dropping their inhabitants area, and that might drastically impression their operations. I feel Medicare Benefit is a everlasting pattern and organizations want to begin listening to it. Medicare Benefit is a strategy of shifting danger. Submit-acute care organizations should be conscious about how high quality is measured and the way danger is assessed to be able to get in-network and accomplice with the suitable MA plans.

What’s the greatest problem you and Trella confronted in 2021, and the way did you reply to it?

Neuman: As an organization serving the well being care section, you possibly can look and see how all the things with reference to COVID-19 is altering and shifting the way in which we stay, work and even obtain care. We needed to ensure that we have been staying related in a world the place issues have been shortly altering.

The modifications initiated in 2020 round rerouting sufferers to completely different places when it comes to post-acute care have remained everlasting, and we count on them to develop. We’ve had to answer all of those modifications within the market whereas additionally responding to questions from our shoppers and prospects who want extra knowledge and transparency than ever earlier than.

We’ve needed to exit and acquire extra knowledge sources to offer us extra visibility into Medicare Benefit. We’ve spent a whole lot of time growing our Mosaic answer that lets people construct higher networks and optimally analyze prices related to ACOs and DCEs (direct contracting entities).

There have been a whole lot of modifications in a brief time period, they usually all instantly impacted the market segments we serve. For us, the largest problem has been responding to these modifications fast sufficient for our clients to keep up and regulate their enterprise operations as they study extra utilizing the insights we generate.

Getting into this yr, nobody knew absolutely what to anticipate within the dwelling well being trade. What has been the largest shock within the trade this yr, and what impression do you suppose that shock may have on the trade subsequent yr?

Neuman: A number of years in the past, dwelling well being was only a blip on the radar that people have been uncertain about. Now you’re seeing the protection of dwelling well being companies enhance. The acuity of sufferers being handled at dwelling has elevated. Dwelling well being is right here and it’s right here in a loud method. What has been surprising to me is the truth that we’re nonetheless speaking from the coverage perspective about whether or not dwelling well being is related.

I feel we’ve seen it play out: dwelling well being can supply the identical companies sufferers would get in different settings, however within the dwelling, and may supply prime quality care whereas sustaining prices. Why are we nonetheless questioning if dwelling well being is the suitable vacation spot or if these companies needs to be coated? From all the things we all know as trade specialists, it’s completely a section that must be invested in.

That’s the largest shock to me, as a result of the entire indicators level to dwelling well being being a high-quality care setting.

Editor’s observe: This interview has been edited for size and readability.

Trella Well being empowers suppliers from throughout the care continuum to work collectively, paving the way in which for more healthy, more cost effective outcomes. There’s a whole lot of knowledge on the market. Trella Well being helps suppliers use it to search out top-performing companions and take decisive motion. To study extra, go to trellahealth.com.

The Voices Sequence is a sponsored content material program that includes main executives discussing tendencies, subjects and extra shaping their trade in a question-and-answer format. For extra info on Voices, please contact [email protected]