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March 19: Today on the Conference channel, it’s a triple Interview in Action live from ViVE 2024. First, Sarah Richardson speaks with Steve Eckert, Chief Technology Officer at Cook Children’s Health Care System. How does one navigate the overwhelming influx of projects while maintaining a stable, financially sound organization? Eckert discusses the delicate balance of innovation and operation, shedding light on the art of saying 'no' in a way that propels growth rather than hindrance. Furthermore, the conversation pivots towards the invaluable insights gained from networking and the pursuit of groundbreaking technologies at the conference.

Next, Bill speaks with Zane Burke, CEO and Board Member of Quantum Health. How does Quantum Health's unique approach to healthcare navigation redefine the way providers, employers, and patients interact within the healthcare ecosystem? What drives a leading healthcare network like Vanderbilt to embark on this pioneering journey, and how does it align with their commitment to patient care?

Last, Drex speaks with Pete D’Addio, Director of Enterprise Technology at Moffitt Cancer Center. Pete shares insights on how Moffitt is navigating the complexities of providing specialized care, emphasizing the importance of creating a seamless and compassionate experience for cancer patients. The discussion raises several thoughtful questions: How does the integration of technology in healthcare settings impact patient outcomes, especially in specialized care like oncology? In what ways can technology simplify the journey for patients undergoing emotionally and physically taxing treatments?

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Transcript

This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

Welcome to This Week Health. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, where we are dedicated to transforming healthcare, one connection at a time. Today, we have an interview in action from the 2024 conferences, the spring conferences, VIVE in LA, HIMSS in Orlando.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Quantum Health, Gordian, Dr. First, CDW, Gozeo Health, Artisite, and Zscaler. You can check them out on our website, thisweekhealth. com. Now, onto our interview

Welcome to Vibe 2024, live from Los Angeles our third year at Vibe, and I am fortunate enough to be joined by Steve Eckert, who is chief. Technology Officer for Koch Children's. Thanks for being here.

Yeah, you bet. Yeah, we got to hang out a little bit. I'm the lucky one that gets to hang out, so. We got to hang out a bit at boot camp this week. We did. And you just walked out of taking your CHCIO exam. Yeah, so if I, probably not going to be able to put together a thought today, but it was a pretty wicked exam, followed by, or preceded by, three brutal days of just really awesome information.

Maybe brutal's not the right word. Maybe, how about saying it was three intensive days. It is called Bootcamp for a reason. It is. It is. So what was your favorite learning? I mean, I've heard people go in, they expect one thing. I'm on faculty, so obviously I may have a lens that's leaned towards the intense learning aspect of what it was there for, but how was it different than maybe what you expected?

And what was that biggest aha moment coming out of there with all those peers from different organizations? Yeah, that's what I think I saw that was most interesting to me was I knew I was going to get a lot out of, hearing from you, hearing from Teresa and other leaders in the industry.

And But what was really cool was hearing from everybody else, right? All my peers, all the folks that were in the bootcamp, sitting right beside me. And just the things that they brought to the table. We had our breakout sessions where we did a case study. And learning from others perspectives.

And seeing people that had better ideas than I had. And things on certain things. It was really cool to learn from others. Awesome. Yeah. So, you're staying for the conference. I am. What is the problem in your healthcare system that if you could solve it by being here, you'd be here? How we can get things off of our plates.

We have so many projects. And, every day there's more and more that are piled up. And we're starting our budget process for the year. And we're a children's health care system. And, we're blessed to, have, you know, a very, you know, financially sound organization.

And, we're run well and all that. Well, , that presents different kind of problems, which is we take on too much. And so, how do we say no to things that we just can't do without feeling like, hey, IT's the one that's saying no to something. Absolutely. So how will you know that the conference has been successful for you?

Well, I'd say, first and foremost, if I'm able to network with my friends and see folks that I, haven't been able to see for a year. I wasn't able to go to try and fall for them because of uh, needed to stay in the office. And so as a result, this is my opportunity to be able to, really kind of go and re bond and make some, re kind of connect with some folks that I know.

So that's first and maybe the most important thing. Second of all is to really be able to see some things that, that are eye opening technologies, eye opening solutions. Things that we may not even have any idea that we need, right? And to be able to take that back and have my teams explore things that are cool and new and things that we should be thinking about but maybe that we aren't.

So what I'm going to love hearing from you in a few days is, I have too much going on. I'm going to go find new stuff. That's how it works. Here's the thing though. If you think about the influence, being able to say, I actually found something better we should be doing, and bringing that back because maybe it solves three problems instead of just one.

That's sort of the beauty of being exposed to these events. You've got a unique perspective because you've been on the vendor side, and you are now on the provider side. When you think about the commonalities and the things that you've seen, what still remains true for you no matter what role you've had?

I'd say that it's still about people. Right? And it's it's really, hoping to, maybe, help people achieve things they didn't think were possible. Right? And I think when you're on the vendor side, you're, always working with people that are, that kind of A personality, that are out there pushing to do great things and can't wait to get in front of somebody to show it to them.

On our side, it's a little different in the fact that you have people that are much more conservative and a little slower because they're used to doing things a certain way. But they're also very thoughtful, right? And they know they can't just go and stick their neck out on something that's unproven won't have a good result.

And so I'd say, really, it's first and foremost, it's all about the people. But also recognizing that, maybe we're not quite as fast as what maybe some of our vendor partners would like us to be. Understood. Most important question of the day. Most important. Most important. I'm hopeful for actually the entire conference.

If you could have any fictional character be your life coach, who would it be? Man George Jetson. That's one from the past. I pass. I threw that out there just because I don't think most people will know who that is. The thing about George Jetson, he was out into the future. They were doing things, that had, cars and treadmills in their house and they'll move things around and anytime they needed anything cleaned, he had Rosie right there.

He didn't have any people to rely on. He had all of it done in robotics and through technology. So, Maybe I'm a little punchy from the test, but I'll go with George Jetson. You're not the first person to mention a superhero or a cartoon, so you're in good company. Alright, good. Thanks for being here, good to see you.

You bet, good to see you too. Take care.

  (Transition) 📍 📍 📍 ​

  (Transition) 📍 Alright, here we are from VIVE 2024. We're here in L. A., beautiful L. A. I'm here with Zane Burke, CEO of Quantum Health. Big announcement yesterday with Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network. Cool. Big announcement.

Thanks, Bill, for having me. I really appreciate you being here and it is great L. A. It's so fun to be here. And it's fun to reconnect with old friends and I know. It's sweet. We did have some amazing news yesterday. So, definitely a first of its kind. Bringing together the world class navigation with the incredibly high performing network and Vanderbilt Health network.

And what we will bring to self insured employers in the state of Tennessee and surrounding states is the opportunity to have value based care neuro networked bundles, which will actually drive better care. Value for our clients, our self-insured clients, and deliver the highest quality of care for employees in the state of Tennessee.

And by wrapping that performance network with navigation, you get incredible steerage because in our model, we have household engagement at 85% on an annual basis. And so one of the missing components in value-based care is how do you get people to show up? How do you get them to know what's going on?

Because people don't know what's in their benefit plan. They don't know what they, their. To access healthcare in a quantum health world, you have to come through our front door. So to access care, and a provider has to come through our front door to get paid for care. And so that mousetrap, and the artificial intelligence we run behind the scenes to actually drive the health signals, and to get the information there, will now allow Tennesseans an incredible opportunity to get to quality care at a great value.

So let me break this down into three areas. I'm going to talk about the provider. Why does Vayner build? Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network do this. Why does an employer care about this? And why does a patient care about this? So let's start with Vanderbilt. Why what are they looking for when you have the conversation with them?

Why do they partner with Quantum Health? A few reasons. One, it's a very strong statement that they value the experience For their patients. For their patients. So that's a very strong statement around, we're gonna, have the highest quality navigation solution around that. Two, they want to drive their networks and bundle, head bundled care and they want to drive that process for those self insured employers, and they do a great job once you're in the system.

So, care navigation Yeah we, we we had this problem at St. Joe's. Like, we wanted to partner with the local employers, but we didn't understand it. Like, we had the conversations where, like, oh, we can make this easier, but our idea Idea of how to make it easier, didn't really make it easier for them.

Like we didn't understand their perspective. And I would assume a partnership like yours would because you speak, you live in their world every day. You understand their perspective. We're super close to the employer. Yeah, that would make sense. Well talk about the employer a little bit. What are they looking to get from it?

The employers are, it's pretty straightforward. . They are facing a rising costs. And in fact, this next year you'll see healthcare inflation will be five points, at least five points over what standard inflation. Inflation will be. So healthcare inflation is going to be much higher. So they're looking at costs and those costs are pretty significant and growing, and there's going to be a built in inflation for the next couple of years because of how contracts work on pricing.

So cost and value is a big deal. So they've been paying out more and more money without any ability to control the levers. So that's on their mind. There's still a war for talent out there. So how do I create, benefits that matter in the marketplace that show that I care? And at the same time, save money.

And so you're looking for this Holy Grail of things of how do I get value at the end of the day from this benefit that is kind of out of control that I can't, seem to get to. So employers are looking for ways to manage costs and create better experiences. And that's why navigation in particular, which is less than 10 percent penetration in the self insured markets today, but National Business Group on Health actually came out with a survey, 82 percent of employers are saying, I'm at a loss.

Look at navigation as a service because the member services sucks from an insurance company perspective and I'm not able to get the value. I just continue to pay more and I don't know what happens at the end of the day on the quality or the cost side of this. But when you figure out the 10 person company, come back to me because we're a 10 person company and my costs just keep going through the roof.

And for a startup that's a very difficult place to be. The employers are really struggling with the cost. It, they, they very much are. And it's going to unfortunately continue for at least the next two years because of the pent up inflation that's behind this. But it's also the experience.

So I wanna talk about the patient. 'cause, I'll get the phone call from our employees and we'll say, look, I'm trying to figure out how to do this, and, how do we do this in our plan? And now you multiply that by these large employers, the number of calls coming to hr, however they get routed there's a lot of dissatisfaction with the plans that they're offering whatnot.

And you guys step into. You make it easier for the patient. We do. So we have over million customers today. We're 500 plus clients working with people like Delta Airlines, Target, Abbott Labs, and then a number of health system clients. So actually, health systems are 50 percent of our book today.

Oh wow. And so you'll see a number of clients in that space. The Vanderbilt relationship is different in this space in that they're literally saying, we need to lead with navigation. This is how we're going to get closer to the employers who are ultimately our customers. And why should we have the intermediary and the health plan side of this be part of this?

We should be the first to get there. And the piece they haven't been able to do is get to the activation of those bundles and the value based care and really creating that great experience at the top. So in this case, Vanderbilt does a great job when they're in the network, but they lose them. The visibility.

They lose the visibility. That's where we have the advantage. We have visibility all the time. So we're tracking health signals from all the digital All the health pieces. All the data assessments. Everything that's out there. And we aggregate that with our algorithms and drive next best actions.

And given you can't access care without coming through our front door, either as a provider or a member, which is which I'll touch on in a second we're going to capture you in and out of that. We can keep visibility and read and appropriately steer along the way. So we lower the cost for the member because all of a sudden they don't get off the hatch.

We make sure they go to a high quality provider. We can do all the other elements on that side.

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 So if you're gathering that information, you're able to be proactive. You're able to reach me as the consumer, as a patient, as a member, directly. 100%. And it's natural. It's not, we're dialing out to you at 6 o'clock at night.

It's just a message on my phone. It could be a message on your phone. It could be a proactive call of, Hey, I see you've actually checked in to Dr. Smith, that's Dr. Smith is not in your network. We will make the appointment for you to Dr. Jones if you wanna pay, have a less, a $200 lower copay. We literally do these hard pieces.

We go, we will go to do kind of what I call the the hard stuff such in healthcare that kind of connects all the pieces and it clicks and mortar world. And that's what that's, that's what we are really good at and makes us as the kind of steerage machine and a better experience machine. that's what the Vanderbilt relationship is about, which is creating an incredible network that they already have, just getting the access to the self insured employers and making sure that the members and their plans know that they have access to that and get better.

Well, I imagine in Tennessee, Vanderbilt is the place you want to go for specialty care. It's obviously a high quality network. In fact, we did a third party review, though, of their network to say is this actually a high quality network? Right. Which they pass with flying colors. But we literally will do that with both the networks, as well as digital health solutions.

Because we have the real data to say which ones of these digital health solutions work and which ones don't. Based off real life, actionable data. So that's interesting. So the article last week, Not every organization has the wherewithal that Walmart does to evaluate all these, and I saw like the 16 places that they recommend.

But not every employer has the wherewithal to do that kind of analysis, and that's where you guys step in and help. That's where we step in and based off the data, we literally say, we know that for MSK, these two providers are curated and a great, we're not trying to make a king or a queen maker. As part of that, we're literally just saying, we know that the data tells us these are efficacious.

Oh, by the way, we'll create single sign on, create a single member experience. We'll create the single reporting that our clients are desiring. The contracting, making it easier for them to contract on a single paper. So just trying to make it easier for these employers, who are bombarded by a whole bunch of people that are on the showroom floor here at VIVE, make sense of that.

Fantastic. What question didn't I ask? I'm curious, because, I mean, this is really exciting. So, talk to me about providers. There could be, you know, audience is a lot of healthcare providers. They might be listening to this going, Hey, that would be really good for us to do a project on. Well, it's, first off, you start with your own employees.

And how do you keep appropriate steerage in your own network? How do you think about the benefit design that keeps people in your own network, and you don't have the leakage in your own network? Because I know you, I saw you smile a little bit. I guarantee you that you've had that challenge in your own life, in your past life.

That's the first thing you can do is, I'm going to manage that. And that's why we have a number of health system clients that work with us in that space. And that's 15 percent of our book of business today is health system clients. So that's the first place they can do. The second place is if you are, a size, it's literally thinking, how am I going to get to the first dollar coverage of this through the narrow networks, through the bundles?

And not just creating them, because many of the big groups have created narrow networks or healthcare bundles, right? some have gone as far as creating their own health plans. But how do you action that in the moment? And so you're going to have to look at something like a quantum health on a navigation perspective, where engagement.

Because the only thing that matters is when you need that service, when you need that specialty, there's somebody there that's helping you along the journey to cue that up, that knows that. Because it's got to be in the life flow. Because otherwise, none of us want to use healthcare services, none of us actually want to.

We want to go spend time with our family, our friends, listen to music, have a glass of coffee, have a glass of wine, go see Billy Idol, grab a cup of coffee. Whatever it is that turns you on, we do healthcare so we can do all those other things. Not when we're doing healthcare. And that means it's got to be simple, it's got to be really convenient, and something that saves me money at the end of the day, time and money at the end of the day, that's where I need to be.

I think you said the magic words. First of all first hour of care is a conversation I think that's going on at every health system today. And the second is employee satisfaction. We've had so many conversations about physician burnout and those kinds of things. And part of what leaves that is, when they go to get care, they feel like, like cobbler's kids.

And it's like, it's difficult that I remember my wife getting care at our health system and she just came back to me and goes, you've got to do better, and I'm like, yeah, we do have to do better. And I think everybody recognizes that, so I appreciate it, the work that you guys do. Appreciate the time, appreciate the interest.

Great to see you. Thank you. Thank you.

  (Transition) 📍 📍 📍 ​

  📍 hi I'm Drex and we're at by 2024 and we have Pete from Moffitt. How's it going, man? It's going things are going well. It's been an interesting week. That's for sure.

Yeah. Some kind of security problem. I heard a big security problem. So when you came from home, The security problem was already kind of started. You did. I'm sure that was bearing on your mind. What else is going on back home that's big interesting stuff that's amazing? So for my organization, we are growing exponentially.

So my focus is really how organic growth can be facilitated from a technology point of view. Obviously security, but from a technology point of view. So I'm looking to see how I can advance that. I'm looking at things like automation, obviously AI. But what can I do in my role, in my space, to be able to facilitate some of that?

So a lot of great vendors here and some certainly interesting technologies. Yeah, so that really honestly is my next question. You're walking around the floor. You're seeing a lot of stuff. You're thinking about what you're working on at home and how it compares to the stuff you're seeing here. Anything cool or interesting that could possibly be on the horizon for you?

Sure. See, I've seen a few things and I think one of the things that's intriguing to me is giving a better patient experience. So, being a cancer center, it's already a challenge for patients coming to our facilities because it's not like, oh, I hurt myself, I need to go to an ED.

Yeah. There's a journey, and it's usually not very good, so how can we help facilitate that journey for our patients? So a lot of the wayfinding but it's more about, hey, I can centralize this, and a patient can look at their phone and be able to get to places, and when you're in the building, I need to go to a blood draw, I need to go to a clinic.

Exactly. Door order that creates the shortest distance to travel. And then, oh, you're not allowed to go through this door, so we'll make sure to give it away from that door. So, it's really about the patient journey and what we're trying to do to help facilitate that. And as I said, especially because of cancer patients, there's no particulars to that.

So we want to make it as much of a good journey as possible because , not the easiest thing. Being a cancer center is a special kind of a mission, right? I mean, it's, it is a specialty care situation. It's not like people show up after a car accident. Like a lot of Talk a little bit about sort of the mission that you have and the work that's going on around that.

Sure, so I'll start with this to say that patients that come to Moffitt already have gone through an exhaustive medical experience. So they've gone to their primaries, they've gone to specialists, and now that we've gotten to the point you need to go to a cancer facility .

So what we try to do is do a few things. A patient's coming in with a huge notebook, so to speak, of things. So how do we centralize that, not just to help patients, but also to help the doctors be able to go through the study and not spend so much time in it being laborious to go through all the questions again and have the same things they've already answered.

We saw it in pediatric hospitals too, right? Parents would show up with these bibles of like, here's all the lab tests I've ever had. And doing it in paper was kind of like the best possible way for them to do it. Absolutely. It increases the patient journey for them to be able to get the care they need, and then of course with the care, so many new options, and the type of cancer care there is, it's really living with cancer more than it is something that's going to be tragic or really emotional.

Cancer is getting better about being able to live with cancer and living a productive life. So it's exciting. Yeah, that's great. I have one more question. This is a bonus round question. You need a life coach. It can be any fictional character that you want. Who would it be and why?

So one of my favorite movies is The Godfather. The Godfather, alright. Maybe because I'm from Italian heritage, I don't know. But with that, it's one of my favorite movies. So, whether it's Vito or Michael, You can really learn a lot about being a leader from both of them. And granted, yes, the movie is years old.

But there are Thematic things you can take away from them to how to be an effective leader. And, just thinking off the top of my head, less is more. , be a listener. And listen to others. And be a strategist. And you don't need to be the last person in the room. To be an effective leader. Absolutely.

Now what they do for a living, that's not part of it. But they have a solid team, and they work well together. Yeah, right. Thanks for your time. I really appreciate you coming by. Absolutely. so much. Love to see you around campus. Sounds great. Thank you. Yeah.

Thanks

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