Introducing the ZeOmega Jiva Consultant Certification Program

ZeOmega truly values the role of consulting organizations in the health information technology industry. As such, we are very proud to unveil a new Jiva Consultant Certification Program that will enable consultants to strengthen relationships with existing and future clients by becoming certified on the HIE-enabled Jiva platform.

This is an outstanding opportunity for consultants to complete hands-on Jiva training in a variety of areas, and then leverage that insight to facilitate their clients’ success. Being Jiva certified means consultants can help their clients augment the solution’s vast configuration capabilities, share best practices from previous implementations, and serve as a trusted resource that can ensure clients are deploying the platform to its fullest potential.

In addition to the training itself, consultants will receive an invitation to an exclusive annual consultant event and access to a private online consultant training forum. The program includes both clinical and technical tracks conducted in on-site and computer-based sessions. Participants will be exposed to sequential coursework and module-specific training, ending with either a knowledge assessment or product demonstration, depending on the chosen track.

The specific dates for the ZeOmega Jiva Consultant Certification Program will be coming soon, and we are excited to get started. We will post that information to this space when it is finalized. In the meantime, if you are interested in the program, please visit www.zeomega.com/consultant-certification to download a copy of our catalog with full program details, including current certification pathways, and more.

We feel that the Jiva Consultant Certification Program is a great way for consultants to stand apart. It will allow them to combine knowledge of the challenges healthcare organizations face with advanced Jiva operational understanding to help clients devise a solution that best fits their specific needs. We look forward to helping consultants help their clients succeed.

Is Your Organization Making the Right Investments for Your Successful Transition to Value-based Care?

I have come across several provider organizations that, in response to requirements of accountable care, have decided to upgrade their EHRs. They believe these newer EHRs will solve their interoperability challenges and help them meet PHM goals. The implementation costs associated with painfully ripping and replacing their older EHRs are in the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, over several years. One CMO actually scoffed at my mention of “a $100 million bill” – he said it was multiples of that in reality.

But I have also come across another set of provider organizations that seem to be separating themselves from the herd and are committed to moving from an EHR-centric strategy to a PHM-centric strategy for their value-based care initiatives. One of our clients who has nearly three dozen disparate health data systems across their facilities decided to implement our HIE to connect all the EHRs instead of spending huge sums of capital to replace them. The HIE strategy’s total cost? A miniscule hundreds of thousands versus tens of millions of dollars when compared to a new EHR implementation. Another large provider client of ours has not one but four EHRs upon which they have standardized. They also chose our PHM care coordination platform, not the PHM offering from their top-tier EHR provider, to be the infrastructure they use to manage patient outcomes and measure their organization’s performance on various value-based care contracts. Read more

Is Your Patient-centered Care Management Approach Really Patient-centered?

Today’s healthcare organizations are clamoring to adopt patient-centered care management strategies in an effort to improve outcomes, lower costs, and increase patient satisfaction – otherwise known as achieving the Triple Aim. But are these new approaches optimally effective?

Prevailing population health management methodologies, particularly in the case of chronically ill patients, tend to focus on one or two comorbidities, perhaps with competing pathways for “self-management.” Essentially, they’re single-strategy, one-size-fits-all approaches that lead to the very same fragmented care that reform initiatives seek to eliminate.

Truly impactful, difference-making patient-centered care must be much more holistic, comprehensive, and contextualized to the individual. While the intended outcome may be the same, each person and their particular pathway is – and should be – different. Read more

Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50

How population health management solutions are helping Medicare and Medicaid grow old gracefully

With Medicare and Medicaid recently celebrating 50 years of existence, it’s fascinating to see the parallels between these two programs and the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Similar to the ACA, the enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, which created Medicare and Medicaid, caused a certain amount of consternation among those who believed it was going too far toward creating an unaffordable social welfare state. Many people have similar concerns today about the ACA. Regardless, few could argue that, for better or worse, Medicare and Medicaid have become an enormous part of our societal fabric and a core characteristic of the American identity. Read more

Payer/Provider Collaboration: What Works?

Should population health management solutions be backed by a neutral third party to drive adoption?

My role as Chief Strategy Officer for ZeOmega gives me the opportunity to regularly speak with executives from various healthcare organizations, including payers, providers, industry analysts, and fellow IT companies. It is always interesting to see how the discussions converge around a common theme. Last year it was the heated debate around the lack of interoperability and the role of electronic health records (EHRs). In fact, I opined on this very topic in a previous blog back in February. In recent months, leaders from both payer and provider organizations have begun to express intense interest in solutions that will enable them to collaborate better and more seamlessly.

Payers have readily embraced the concept of aligning provider payments to outcomes. In fact, several payers, including large national and regional plans, have publicly announced strategies to transition the majority of their business to value based-care arrangements over the next few years. Payers are now experimenting with a dizzying array of value-based contracts ranging from bundled care arrangements, risk carve-outs, and capitated payments to full risk.

Read more

The Five Pillars of Population Health Management: Consumer Engagement

Population Health Management Defined

Part Six of a Six-Part Series

In today’s technology-driven society, mentioning the term “consumer engagement” in the context of healthcare brings to mind young-ish, otherwise healthy people jogging in the park with Fitbits® or Jawbones®. For those of us in population health management (PHM), however, consumer engagement has a much deeper meaning. It is about empowering the individual to become more actively involved in their healthcare, regardless of age or where they find themselves in the care continuum: young and fit, chronically ill, or nearing end-of-life.

PHM programs that downplay the importance of consumer engagement will not be as successful as those that have effective consumer engagement strategies. So then, how do you effectively engage with consumers who, we must remember, are unique individuals? Consumer engagement strategies that account for drivers of human behavior will be able to achieve the desired goal of empowering the individual to make the right decisions about their healthcare. A comprehensive consumer engagement strategy typically encompasses three phases – educate, engage, empower.

Read more

The Five Pillars of Population Health Management: Holistic, Patient-centered Care Management

Population Health Management Defined

Part Five of a Six-Part Series

One could make a very strong argument that the many moving parts and different variables associated with healthcare’s rapid evolution to value-based models and population health management (PHM) all boil down to one thing: the consumer. If these new approaches are going to succeed, it is essential for the individual to be at the center of the healthcare ecosystem. Truly impactful, value-based care is only as good as the PHM technology it relies upon, and that technology must facilitate holistic, patient-centered care management.

Imagine what even the London Symphony Orchestra would sound like if each member was reading from a different sheet of music. In a sense, healthcare is largely seeking to overcome this very problem today. Interdisciplinary care teams – physicians, case managers, pharmacists, payers, and even patients and their care takers – have information, but it is not always the same information. Sometimes, it is as if they are all looking at different sheets of music.

This is where a progressive PHM technology can make an enormous difference by delivering complete – and consistent – patient data and evidence-based content to each team member where and when they need it, and through whatever channel best suits them.  This is care coordination that is truly coordinated – from the simplest ongoing maintenance touch-points and reminders, to the most complex conditions and cases.  The key is putting the patient at the center of the engagement, where they are far are more likely to engage for better outcomes, which helps healthcare organizations steadily maintain high levels of care quality.

But patient-centered, holistic care management does not end there. It is also about personalizing care to the individual and their needs. For example, a clinician educating an Asian patient who is at high risk for diabetes about controlling their rice intake is more relevant than simply suggesting they reduce carb intake. Ascertaining the individual’s life circumstances, their “context,” so to speak, becomes essential for care team members so they can devise and implement an appropriate, personalized care plan.

With the technical resources we have at our disposal today, healthcare does not have to be – nor should it be – one-size-fits-all. For value-based models to truly flourish and reach their maximum potential, they must rely on technology that not only puts the patient at the center of the care universe, but understands that each individual is different and, accordingly, helps manage care on a case-by-case or, better yet, person-by-person basis. This type of fully coordinated, personalized care is the key to increasing efficiencies, reducing waste, lowering costs, and, most importantly, helping people live healthier lives.

But it is not the end-game. In my final blog in this series, I will examine the last pillar of PHM – engaging consumers to take a more informed and active role in their own care.

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ZeOmega and HealthUnity: A Powerful Combination for the Future of Healthcare

What an exciting time for ZeOmega!

The recent announcement that we have acquired HealthUnity® Corporation marks an important and pivotal juncture in the history of our company. Since our inception in 2001, ZeOmega has worked hard to remain at the forefront of innovation in health information technology. Our significant annual investments in research and development have enabled us to continuously stay one step ahead of the market. Simply put, we’re extremely proud of our ongoing ability to anticipate the market’s needs before they become reality, and then have deployment-ready solutions available when they do. Combining HealthUnity’s proven capabilities with ours is another major step along this path; one that optimally positions us for continued growth and success.

The lack of EHR interoperability has become a significant barrier in today’s healthcare market. Payers are seeking ways to communicate with providers who, at the same time, are looking to implement population health management (PHM) as they transition to value-based care models. Linking HealthUnity’s product suite – which includes private and public HIEs, a master person index, referral management, and patient consent – with ZeOmega’s Jiva PHM platform creates a powerful and rapidly deployable infrastructure that payers and providers can both use to drive value-based care within their organizations and their communities.  Together as one company, we are uniquely positioned to share clinical and claims analytics with the goal of improving outcomes while reducing costs.

Indeed, it’s an exciting time for ZeOmega. And for our current and prospective clients.

Joining forces with HealthUnity enables us to offer the industry precisely what it’s looking for: tools that enable stakeholders to advance value-based care without impacting physician efficiency. We can provide the ability to deliver not just gaps in care, but also care plans and patient-specific HEDIS, Star, or other measures from multiple sources into an EHR, quickly and among different providers and payers. This uniquely positions us to become the value-based care enabler for healthcare organizations.

The industry is at a distinct crossroads, and healthcare organizations face unprecedented change in what’s expected of them and how they do business. With HealthUnity’s functionality, knowledge, and expertise on our side, ZeOmega is better equipped than any technology provider to help organizations not only manage healthcare’s evolution, but to capitalize on its opportunities as well. And that’s really exciting.