This Week Health

Aimee Quirk stops by to discuss how Ochsner is delivering care with digital tools to remote communities.

Transcript
Speaker:

Today in.

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Health it interviews from the health conference in Boston

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My name is bill Russell.

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I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week and

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health it a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged.

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Just a quick reminder, I'm going to be dropping interviews

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over the next couple of days.

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And into next week from the floor of the health conference.

Bill Russell:

All right.

Bill Russell:We're here at the health:Bill Russell:

We're here with Amy quirk, the digital health.

Bill Russell:

Uh, you're seeing.

Bill Russell:

Digital health for so,

Aimee Quirk:

well, the way that, um, I've been in Austria now for

Aimee Quirk:

six years, and at that time, uh, we formed an innovation company.

Aimee Quirk:

You call it IO, which stands for innovation officer.

Aimee Quirk:

And I served as the CEO of that group.

Aimee Quirk:

And, um, more recently I've been focusing on scaling a lot of our digital health,

Aimee Quirk:

um, businesses and services and products across our, some many of which we

Aimee Quirk:

created inside of our innovation shop IO.

Bill Russell:

I, I stopped by your booth.

Bill Russell:

It's one of the more interesting ones to me because when the, the, uh, solution

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was described to me, I said, you know, my audience would love to hear about this.

Bill Russell:

So I'd love for you to just discuss what you guys are talking about at the,

Bill Russell:

at the health conference with people.

Aimee Quirk:

Yeah, no, thanks for coming by.

Aimee Quirk:

So, um, you know, we have been on a journey, um, in digital, Um, for

Aimee Quirk:

many, many, many years at Osher Osher.

Aimee Quirk:

And for those in your audience who may not know, we're a large nonprofit

Aimee Quirk:

health system headquartered in new Orleans, the greater new Orleans

Aimee Quirk:

area, but we serve all of Louisiana.

Aimee Quirk:

And, um, and you know, we have a population that we feel committed

Aimee Quirk:

to serving and making sure that we're bringing, uh, breakthroughs

Aimee Quirk:

and care to them every day.

Aimee Quirk:And so, um, in:Aimee Quirk:

Uh, it's a genius bar for healthcare apps and technology, because we wanted

Aimee Quirk:

to bridge the gap between technology and availability that had just

Aimee Quirk:

started to come out on the market.

Aimee Quirk:

And even back then, there was a lot of noise, you know?

Aimee Quirk:

And so we wanted to bridge that gap.

Aimee Quirk:

And so we created a no bar, a place where people to DM, who, who needed it,

Aimee Quirk:

who wanted to get engaged, it could be, you know, we're an epic shop, right.

Aimee Quirk:

It could just be on the, the, my Asher or my truck.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, it could be with wearable devices, connected devices, apps, you name it.

Aimee Quirk:

And we curated those types of tools.

Aimee Quirk:And that was in:Aimee Quirk:

Now we've got 10 plus and a mobile and we've since virtualize it so we can

Aimee Quirk:

provide that support to patients wherever.

Aimee Quirk:

So that was sort of our, you know, one of our first forays into that and really

Aimee Quirk:

thinking about the patients first,

Bill Russell:

if I'm a consumer, I go to the O bar.

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I like my, my, uh, my physician says, Hey, you should probably do these three things.

Bill Russell:

Just go to the other bar.

Bill Russell:

They'll help you get set up.

Aimee Quirk:

And they saw that we've got, we offer a bunch of connected

Aimee Quirk:

devices, doctor approved, connected devices, many of which we use in our

Aimee Quirk:

programs, which is sort of phase two.

Aimee Quirk:

So first we started with saying, how do we connect and help with

Aimee Quirk:

access with literacy, with people understanding how to use technology

Aimee Quirk:

and make sure that people can, you know, we'll meet them where they are.

Aimee Quirk:

The next thing we did was really think about how, how do we re-engineer

Aimee Quirk:

care, um, leveraging some of those tools, that data, the connected.

Aimee Quirk:

Uh, to, to create an opportunity for more, um, continuous rather

Aimee Quirk:

than episodic care, particularly for conditions that, that need that

Aimee Quirk:

particularly chronic diseases, which of course is a huge issue in a country.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and so that was really where we started hypertension, the most

Aimee Quirk:

prevalent of all the chronic diseases.

Aimee Quirk:

And we said, you know, rather than go in three times a year, four times a year

Aimee Quirk:

and get four readings, you know, and 15 minute visit, what if we create a

Aimee Quirk:

continuous care model that allows for.

Aimee Quirk:

Do you know, view of how someone's doing.

Aimee Quirk:

And we also will collect data on their lifestyle, their behaviors,

Aimee Quirk:

you know, so we can get sorted to the social determinants questions

Aimee Quirk:

that we know are really impacted.

Aimee Quirk:

So you take a broad view, getting more regular blood pressure

Aimee Quirk:

data, but also getting a more complete view of the patient,

Bill Russell:

a whole

Aimee Quirk:

person profile.

Aimee Quirk:

Totally.

Aimee Quirk:And so we started that in:Aimee Quirk:

Um, our team's amazing.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, I work with Dr.

Aimee Quirk:

Malani Richard Romani.

Aimee Quirk:

Who's a cardiologist, but a visionary technologist, many years.

Aimee Quirk:

You may know him.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and our amazing team built this all into epic.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, so it's not a separate platform.

Aimee Quirk:

It's not a separate, we've committed to trying to reduce friction.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and you know, don't introduce more fragmented.

Aimee Quirk:

The system.

Aimee Quirk:

So the team was able to make this all work and epic.

Aimee Quirk:

And then, um, we also, we didn't just say we're going to collect the data

Aimee Quirk:

and then have doctors looked at it.

Aimee Quirk:

We created a whole new care team, um, with really the right level

Aimee Quirk:

of care to, to monitor the data.

Aimee Quirk:

So, um, we, we built a team of pharmacists, um, who are the best ever

Aimee Quirk:

at medication management, introduced medication management, according to the

Aimee Quirk:

latest evidence-based guidelines that change all the time, coupled down with

Aimee Quirk:

health coaches that really can focus.

Aimee Quirk:

You know, lifestyle choices that are really important in chronic disease.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and we started that in populations for whom we have financial risks.

Aimee Quirk:

So Medicare populations, our employees, things like that to

Aimee Quirk:

test it, but will it even work?

Aimee Quirk:

Right?

Aimee Quirk:

And what we found over time is that it does work.

Aimee Quirk:

What it does is it, um, improves the blood pressure control.

Aimee Quirk:

We eventually launched diabetes.

Aimee Quirk:

Now we have hyperlipidemia, we also have CLPD and then we've got other

Aimee Quirk:

programs that are in pregnancy and, um, that we call connected moms.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, monitoring for COVID using pulse-ox is, but we've

Aimee Quirk:

created a number of programs.

Aimee Quirk:

And here we're really focused on the chronic disease solutions, um, where

Aimee Quirk:

we're able to get far far superior results in blood pressure control.

Aimee Quirk:

We're seeing reduced cost of care.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, so reduce utilization, the kind of utilization we don't want to see.

Aimee Quirk:

It could be any, you know, visits and patient admissions.

Aimee Quirk:

We're seeing increased medication adherence, you

Aimee Quirk:

know, so that's a big thing.

Aimee Quirk:

That's hard to measure and sees.

Aimee Quirk:

We're seeing.

Aimee Quirk:

And, and then, and then patients like it, our last MPS score was an 87, um, which

Aimee Quirk:

is really, you know, it was pretty good.

Bill Russell:

So we're talking to people in healthcare and they're listening to

Bill Russell:

this going, okay, how are you doing this?

Bill Russell:

Cause this is like, uh, this to me feels like a combination of nurses

Bill Russell:

going into the home, getting social determinants data and that kind of stuff.

Bill Russell:

There's self-reported data, there's technology solutions.

Bill Russell:

There's an awful lot of things that you're talking about here.

Bill Russell:

Are you doing a majority of it through technology?

Aimee Quirk:

So we don't have nurses going in the homes.

Aimee Quirk:

Determines data we've, we've tried to enable as much self-service as we can.

Aimee Quirk:

Right?

Aimee Quirk:

So it comes in through surveys and questionnaires and, and whatever we

Aimee Quirk:

can get, you know, from a third party standpoint or any objective data, but we

Aimee Quirk:

are able to collect that recommendation.

Aimee Quirk:

So we're not depending on, you know, humans to collect that information.

Aimee Quirk:

We've tried.

Aimee Quirk:

Make this as frictionless for everyone and, and really just put the people where

Aimee Quirk:

we need it, let the technology do where it can and put the people so it can scale.

Aimee Quirk:

Yes.

Aimee Quirk:

Oh yes.

Aimee Quirk:

It's scaling right now.

Aimee Quirk:

So what we're doing, um, and why we're out here at health is, you know, we

Aimee Quirk:

started, as I mentioned earlier of this program in populations for whom we have

Aimee Quirk:

financial risk to see if it worked right.

Aimee Quirk:

And this is before there were any payment codes and CMS or anything

Bill Russell:

like that, you guys do have.

Bill Russell:

Yes.

Aimee Quirk:

Yes, yes, we do.

Aimee Quirk:

What we did.

Aimee Quirk:

We take a lot of risks because we believe in our care.

Aimee Quirk:

No, it's like being an actor in that situation, but not all

Aimee Quirk:

of our patients are that way.

Aimee Quirk:

And so we were able to prove out the value of the program, make sure that

Aimee Quirk:

it was getting the clinical results.

Aimee Quirk:

We wanted to see an outcomes that it was getting the cost of care reduction

Aimee Quirk:

outcomes that, that our doctors, you know, responded well to it, which they did.

Aimee Quirk:

And they're, they've been great champions.

Aimee Quirk:

And then finally that patients liked it.

Aimee Quirk:

Once we had all that, we went, we've been able to start talking to payers about

Aimee Quirk:

expanding that, including some self-funded employers who said, we want you to bring

Aimee Quirk:

this and offer this to our employees.

Aimee Quirk:

And so we then started doing that for local employers who then said, well,

Aimee Quirk:

wait, we have employees all over the country, like come to us everywhere,

Aimee Quirk:

you know, bring it to everywhere.

Aimee Quirk:

So now were the programs available and in our product, The 48 states.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and they'll soon to be 50.

Aimee Quirk:

And so it's allowed us to be able to provide this, this product

Aimee Quirk:

that we know to be successful.

Aimee Quirk:

That really is integrated, um, to people wherever they are.

Aimee Quirk:

Are you taking

Bill Russell:

this nationally as an Oschner brand or you just, you are.

Bill Russell:

So it's not like some digital health startup that you're spinning out.

Bill Russell:

This is part of it's connected to Osher Oschner for the physicians.

Bill Russell:

And you're, you're offering this literally in what'd you say, 49 states.

Aimee Quirk:

48 as of today, but we're going to, we're gonna, you know,

Aimee Quirk:

waiting on the last, last couple, but, um, but yeah, no, we're doing this

Aimee Quirk:

as Ashner because, um, I'm not, this was, these were products that were

Aimee Quirk:

developed by doctors to care for our

Bill Russell:

patients and it is the power of the solution.

Bill Russell:

Right.

Bill Russell:

It's connected back to world-class physicians and cause we're sitting

Bill Russell:

here across from a million startups that aren't connected to a world-class

Bill Russell:

healthcare system and I'm sure there's solutions are great, but that is one

Bill Russell:

of the differentiators, I mean, Uh, you have a solution that has on one end

Bill Russell:

world-class physicians on the other end, I would assume really, because I want

Bill Russell:

to get into the technology a little bit, because you're talking about putting

Bill Russell:

some sophisticated monitoring devices and those kinds of things in the home,

Bill Russell:

for some challenges with doing that, how did you overcome those challenges

Aimee Quirk:

for the most part were, um, and you know, there each program's

Aimee Quirk:

a little bit different, but for the most part, um, we've been able to.

Aimee Quirk:

I mean, explain it to patients and support them and how they do it.

Aimee Quirk:

Download the app, you know, connect there, things that you probably do every day,

Aimee Quirk:

multiple times a day, that we've figured out how to explain and make sure that at

Aimee Quirk:

scale, we're able to get people to do it.

Aimee Quirk:

But, um, really as, as more and more people have smartphones, there's more and

Aimee Quirk:

more people have access to these tools and are used to pairing Bluetooth and,

Aimee Quirk:

you know, doing those sorts of things.

Aimee Quirk:

It hasn't been as hard.

Aimee Quirk:

Now we are starting to do more things in the home to allow for.

Aimee Quirk:

Passive monitoring.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and so those are some of the newer things that the team's been working on.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and, uh, which, which I think will be very impactful as well, and

Aimee Quirk:

already showing a lot of promise.

Aimee Quirk:

And those, you know, we're still working out the kinks about how do you get those

Aimee Quirk:

set up in the home, but the people are used to setting up cable boxes or whatever

Aimee Quirk:

the thing is in the, in the house.

Aimee Quirk:

And we'll be able to help support, um, patients do those things as well.

Bill Russell:

So if I thought about this, the market for this is, is self.

Bill Russell:

Uh, employers it's payers.

Bill Russell:

I think payers would do

Aimee Quirk:

this

Bill Russell:

as well with other health systems that maybe don't have the

Bill Russell:

sophistication, but have risk contracts.

Bill Russell:

Look at this as well.

Aimee Quirk:

I talk to several health systems and, um, you know,

Aimee Quirk:

and many of them have approached us and then they thought, well,

Aimee Quirk:

maybe we're not ready for this.

Aimee Quirk:

Particularly when the reimbursement schemes weren't as advanced as

Aimee Quirk:

they are now, although they're still not perfect today.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and so, you know, we continue to talk.

Aimee Quirk:

And partners, this is all an epic, it's not a separate

Aimee Quirk:

platform, which is really nice.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, and we know how to do this.

Aimee Quirk:

And so I think, you know, we're very interested in talking

Aimee Quirk:

to health systems as well.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, but right now the, the, the, the greater interest to act is

Aimee Quirk:

becoming from payers, from employers.

Aimee Quirk:

And, you know, honestly how we manage our own populations, um, you know, that

Aimee Quirk:

were natural ways for, because we know that this is a better way to care for

Aimee Quirk:

people and it, and, um, and it allows us.

Aimee Quirk:

Have that sort of continuous connection.

Aimee Quirk:

And our CEO, Warren Thomas was just on a panel panel here at health.

Aimee Quirk:

And he described it as, you know, this idea that we'll never, we

Aimee Quirk:

don't discharge you, you know, it's, it's not a one and done.

Aimee Quirk:

It's like, we're gonna maintain that engagement with you and

Aimee Quirk:

be there when you need these.

Aimee Quirk:

And hopefully we're getting to the point where not only we're

Aimee Quirk:

proactive, but we're predictive.

Aimee Quirk:

We're able to say, oh wait, something that you know is not

Aimee Quirk:

trending in the right direction.

Aimee Quirk:

How do we bring that back?

Bill Russell:

Yeah.

Bill Russell:

The reimbursement reimbursement models.

Bill Russell:

Allowed for this.

Bill Russell:

But when I came into CIO, I came from outside of healthcare.

Bill Russell:

I'd like, we need to increase the number of times we talk to patients,

Bill Russell:

the number of times we're interacting.

Bill Russell:

And they're like, well, we don't get reimbursed for that.

Bill Russell:

And I'm like, all right, then we have to figure out how to do

Bill Russell:

it at a very low cost, but they still feel like they're protected.

Bill Russell:

There's their health system is, is part of their, their daily health, uh,

Aimee Quirk:

conversation.

Aimee Quirk:

Oh, you have to get it right.

Aimee Quirk:

Right.

Aimee Quirk:

They're going to want to hear from us all the time, you know, are you stressed?

Aimee Quirk:

Are you stressed?

Aimee Quirk:

But I think, I think.

Bill Russell:

No, but when they are stressed, they, they want to

Aimee Quirk:

get through, be able to try to help support them,

Aimee Quirk:

um, and know when they need us and be there when they need us.

Aimee Quirk:

And that's really what we're endeavoring to do and have been building over

Aimee Quirk:

time is to really try to be that partner, to help people live their

Aimee Quirk:

best lives, stay healthy at home and in technology can help us do that.

Aimee Quirk:

It takes more than just the technology.

Aimee Quirk:

Um, but it's, um, you know, And, you know, I think we've got, we've got an

Aimee Quirk:

amazing team and incredible leadership.

Aimee Quirk:

That's allowed us to invest in these things.

Aimee Quirk:

Maybe, you know, a lot sooner than other

Bill Russell:

folks.

Bill Russell:

Amy, thank you for your time.

Bill Russell:

Really appreciate it.

Bill Russell:

Thanks.

Bill Russell:

Check back for Morris.

Bill Russell:

The, we continues.

Bill Russell:

A lot of great interviews, a lot of great conversations.

Bill Russell:

I'm looking forward to sharing them with you.

Bill Russell:

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