January 19, 2023 Episode 050

The Healthcare Data Goldrush: Leavitt Partners’ Ryan Howells & IMO’s Dale Sanders Lay Out A Guide for Prospectors

As data proliferation begins to fundamentally change all aspects of healthcare – from business operations to care delivery – experts at the forefront of unlocking healthcare data discuss the early innings and possibilities for the future.

The Healthcare Data Goldrush: Leavitt Partners’ Ryan Howells & IMO’s Dale Sanders Lay Out A Guide for Prospectors

The digital transformation of healthcare has been a long and winding road, but one that is starting to open new possibilities in every aspect of business operations, care delivery and consumer experiences. The critical aspect to all of this is a newfound access to data.

Dale Sanders and Ryan Howells have been at the forefront of the movement to unlock data in healthcare and help organization leverage it to actually drive business and clinical performance. As Principal at Leavitt Partners, Ryan works with the White House, Congress, HHS, and VHA on health care policy and interoperability issues. He also currently leads the CARIN Alliance, a multi-sector, public-private alliance focused on giving consumers digital access to their health information. Dale is Chief Strategy officer at Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO) where he closely analyzes market needs and challenges to set IMO’s strategic direction developing products that deliver critical data quality improvements and insights to improve patient care.

In this episode of Healthcare is Hard, Keith Figlioli draws on the decades of experience Dale and Ryan have driving healthcare data policy and strategy. Their discussion touches on the intricate details of healthcare data, the everyday impacts that data can have on healthcare consumers, and many points in between. They cover topics including:

  • Entering the “app economy” for healthcare. Ryan points out that almost every other aspect of the consumer world entered the app economy almost 20 years ago. But for healthcare, that transition is just starting. They talk about how the emergence of structured data eliminates the need to rely solely on legacy vendors to solve problems, and the potential it unlocks for creating new, billion dollar companies.
  • Encouraging physicians to stage a riot. The group discusses how quality measures are creating administrative overhead, burning-out physicians, and affecting data quality in ways that many people don’t realize. With revenue streams that are tied to these outdated processes and make them difficult to change, a shift towards measuring outcomes will not be easy. What will it take? Dale says one option he’s encouraging is an uprising among physicians.
  • The B-to-C-to-B data strategy. Data privacy has been a big hurdle to enabling the exchange of EHR data and patient information between organizations. But what if patients have full control of their data and can be the conduit between providers and other organizations? Ryan talks about how this can fundamentally change the issue of data portability by eliminating the need to negotiate and implement complex legal agreements required to exchange data between two organizations. They talk about how this strategy hinges on the ability to verify digital identities.
  • Disrupting EHR incumbents. With so much change on the horizon and data access creating new possibilities for healthcare’s core infrastructure, should incumbent EHR vendors be nervous? Dale says a new enterprise infrastructure in healthcare – a next-gen EHR that’s focused on team-based care, not the encounter – is imperative. And he offers advice on how to get there. Ryan adds his belief that the industry needs a complete new coding system built for value-based care, not fee for service.

To hear Keith, Dale and Ryan talk about these topics and more, listen to this episode of Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders.