👻 HTN | Community Brain Trust | 10/31
🧵TOP THREADS OF THE WEEK
In case you missed them, here are highlights of a few interesting conversations from different channels:
Threads included below:
- Address normalization and HIPAA compliance
- Best healthcare venture studios, accelerators, incubators
- Integrating plugins into Epic and other EHRs
- Exploring the impact of medication adherence on ROI and operational efficiencies
- Mailing marketing materials and HIPAA requirements
1. Address normalization and HIPAA compliance
Q: I have an application where I need to normalize patient addresses. So if a patient's address is listed as:
123 Main Street ,
I want to send that to an API that converts it to:
123 Main Street.
Services exist with and without a BAA, and I am wondering if a BAA here is necessary to use. We would be posting the address to the endpoint, but not the patients name or any health data.
– Anonymous Bot | via #buildersask
Thread Summary: HTNers discuss the need for HIPAA compliance when using an API to normalize patient addresses. While some argue that it is not necessary since no health data is being shared, others suggest using APIs like SmartyStreets or Geocodio for accuracy and efficiency. One member shares their experience of building a robust solution in just two weeks for normalizing addresses in a specific state or metropolitan area.
Michael Stratton: Second @Manas Kaushik and second SmartyStreets.
@Kevin Wang Oh man - address normalization is quite the rabbit hole. If you’re doing it at scale and require accuracy than an API is 100% required.
I experimented with the USPS API before I could afford smarty and wouldn’t recommend. If you can afford anything, go with an API. The USPS is XML, not as good at string cleaning, and technically only supposed to be used for actual mail sending.
Geocodio is another API option that works well.
2. Best healthcare venture studios, accelerators, incubators
Q: What are the best healthcare venture studios, accelerators, incubators? is there a updated list
– Anonymous Bot | via #buildersask
Thread Summary: The crew debates the best healthcare venture studios, accelerators, and incubators. A member shares a blog post with updated lists of each category. The conversation also touches on equity requirements and the different ways to evaluate performance of venture studios, accelerators, and incubators.
Derek Strauss: Wrote blogs about each of these things a few months ago. Most are still up-to-date. I’ll be adding new programs for a 2024 update in the coming months.
3. Integrating plugins into Epic and other EHRs
Q: Does anyone know if it’s possible to integrate a plugin directly into the UI of Epic (and other EHRs)? I hear over and over again that providers do not want to leave their EHR to use a separate system/app and any number of additional clicks is highly problematic.
– Joel Brewer | via #buildersask
Thread Summary: This thread covers the possibility of integrating plugins directly into the user interface (UI) of Epic and other electronic health record (EHR) systems. The conversation explores the challenges of providers not wanting to leave their EHR and the importance of minimizing additional clicks. SMART on FHIR is suggested as a potential solution, allowing for provider authentication and passing necessary patient data. Various resources and tools, such as AppOrchard, Connection Hub, AvoMD, and Hyperdrive, are mentioned as potential options for integration.
Brendan Keeler: [Link to previous thread on similar discussion]
The work is less on the technical connectivity, especially because if you use SMART on FHIR, but the button or link configuration to show it in the right workflow, for the right users, at the right time.
If you have an Epic customer, you work with them to test this in a testing environment (TST) to ensure it displays correctly for the roles you need
If you don't yet have an Epic customer, not totally worth doing much except making sure you support SMART on FHIR
It's customer by customer. You'll need to do this for each Epic client individually, as the customers host on-prem, in their cloud, or on Epic's hosting (but not SaaS). The configuration to show the button or link is therefore unique to each customers' user roles, activity layouts, etc.
4. Exploring the impact of medication adherence on ROI and operational efficiencies
Q: Hey folks! I'm noodling on business case scenarios related to improving medication adherence. I'm wondering if anyone here has insights into any of:
- Best current metrics/math connecting increased medication adherence to measurable ROI?
- Incentives for hospitals/providers to improve medication adherence (is value-based contracting the main lever? Does HCAHPS measurement motivate hospitals to act? Are other CMS or payer programs coming directly into play?)
- Metrics on operational efficiencies gained from incorporating different patient-facing education tools into clinical workflows (medication-related or otherwise, I'm interested in whatever data exists).
– Shelby Chartkoff | via #buildersask
Thread Summary: In this thread, HTNers discuss the connection between increased medication adherence and measurable ROI. They also explore incentives for hospitals/providers to improve medication adherence and metrics on operational efficiencies gained from incorporating patient-facing education tools into clinical workflows. The conversation includes insights on value-based contracting, HCAHPS measurement, CMS and payer programs, academic institutions and KFF data, virtual Directly Observed Therapy platforms, and the impact of medication adherence on star ratings.
Martin Cech: Scene Health, purveyors of the goated virtual Directly Observed Therapy platform, are pretty active on researching and publishing on their intervention. I bet @Steven Cutbirth, MSHCT, MBA could point you in the right direction.
Other players in the space who have potentially published research or cite it on their websites— AspenRx, HouseRx, Tabula Rasa, CoverMyMeds, GoodRx, Dr. First, and the recently departed Cureatr.
And of course, I’d be remiss not to mention @Seth Joseph who published a great study while at surescripts that I can’t find about the medication adherence uptick after e-prescribing.
The best financial ROI, I’d cynically say, is going to be found in interventions related to the quality ratings Arjun mentioned— specifically the three measures that are triple rated for Star Ratings: medication adherence for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes which account for, according to this AJMC article, account for 9% of overall Star Ratings.
The reason why I’d venture that guess, cynically, is that it’s much easier to measure a star ratings bonus or lack thereof, than the long run health utilization savings for a patient.
5. Mailing marketing materials and HIPAA requirements
Q: Quick Question: Has anyone been told that you have to mail member/patient marketing materials via first class mail due to HIPAA requirements?
– Steven Cutbirth | via #topic-marketing
Thread Summary: The brain trust discusses whether first-class mail is required for mailing member/patient marketing materials due to HIPAA requirements. The consensus is that while first-class mail is not explicitly required, it is considered a best practice for certain types of materials, such as breach notifications or marketing based on an individual's PHI.
Aaron Maguregui: First class mail is required for breach notifications to individuals. However, other than that mention, I don’t believe that First Class Mail is required. It is probably a best practice because of the fact that First class mail offers forwarding and return services. If it is was a bill/invoice/ specific marketing based on an individuals PHI, I would err on the side of first class.
🤖HTN KNOWLEDGE BOT
If you have your own question(s) to ask, don’t forget that a good place to start is our HTN Knowledge Bot. It’s our smart search tool that makes it easier to access the wisdom shared within the HTN powered by ChatGPT. You can log in and use it on the website (here) or see how to use it directly in Slack here.
Check out the example ask below!
What companies are building in the dementia / Alzheimer's space?
Knowledge Bot Answer:
Here are some companies that are building in the dementia/Alzheimer's space:
1. MemoryClinic.net: MemoryClinic.net is a platform for dementia prevention and management. They aim to democratize specialist dementia care. You can learn more about them here.
2. Neuroscape: Neuroscape is a company that is developing a virtual reality (VR) platform for dementia and Alzheimer's. Their VR app, called Labyrinth, aims to support research and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. You can find more information about them here.
3. Together Senior Health: Together Senior Health is a company that focuses on Alzheimer's disease and Medicare Advantage plans. They have transitioned from research mode to commercial launch and aim to make a meaningful impact in the Alzheimer's care space. You can read more about them here.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other companies working in the dementia/Alzheimer's space.
Here we highlight helpful resources from across the community:
- 2023 Edition: Digital Health Executive Compensation Study, Aequitas Partners via Polina Hanin – If you missed last week’s deadline, now’s your chance to participate. In exchange for 5 minutes of your input, you’ll get access to rich data and an in-depth report HTNers have found valuable for both negotiating and hiring.
- The future is now: 2024 Star Ratings release via Deana Bell – The newest Medicare Star Ratings white paper from the Milliman team.