How Telehealth Can Help Fix America’s Mental Health System

By PokitDok Team,

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Many people with mental illness in America struggle, and have struggled, to get the care they need for any number of reasons. Through the last decade though, telehealth has proven its potential to help by providing affordable, convenient, and private care all through video chat. There is, of course, a long way to go before therapists are able to consult with and deliver care anywhere to anyone, but growth in the future of this rapidly growing field looks bright, to say the least.

Here is a snapshot of a few obstacles facing the mental health industry and how telehealth is poised to reach millions in the years to come. Continue reading…

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Enterprise, Provider

20 of America’s Best Healthcare Informatics Researchers, Professors and Minds

By PokitDok Team,

Lead Image

 
Health informatics, a fast-growing field which focuses on using information technology to improve healthcare delivery, has countless professional opportunities for the future. From data scientists and out of the box thinking software engineers, to informatics researchers and professors, the future of the wide world of health is an exciting new land of opportunity.

The Affordable Care Act requires that healthcare providers digitize health records by the end of last year and has subsequently, created a tremendous demand for people, with the proper skillsets, to help hospitals, clinics, and practices manage their medical data. "This field is exploding," Charles Friedman, the director of the health informatics program at the University of Michigan, noted in the U.S. News & World Report. "Access to health information on the web is taking off at a meteoric pace. It's creating enormous employment opportunities." Well said, Charles. We agree.
Continue reading…

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

On Full Metal Health - Titan Load Statistics

By John Riney,

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It's Tuesday again, and that means another tech post over at Full Metal Heath, PokitDok's technical blog. This week's entry is a followup from last week's post about the domain-specific language we built to query our graph of health information. Today, the data science team gathers some performance metrics around persisting data into our graph. Check out the new post here.

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

A PokitRecap of Building an A+ Team, An Orrick Panel

By Nicole Fletcher,

PokitDok Cofounders Lisa Maki and Ted Tanner took the Orrick stage in a recent panel on Building an A+ Team. They discussed everything from hiring to firing, where to look for talent, what to do when you find it, and what they have learned through their experience building teams.

According to Lisa, "Step 1: Find a kick a** co founder. Step 2: Hire passionate engineers and build an engineering led company."

Ted went on to talk about their believe that "as executives, it is [their] imperative to amplify [their] employees' careers" and that "to attract an A+ team, YOU need to be A+". 

Continue reading…

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

On Full Metal Health: Insights from the inaugural independent Graph Day Conference

By John Riney,

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We've got a piping hot new technical post over on our technical blog, Full Metal Health. Today, Dr. Denise Gosnell recaps our visit to Graph Day in Austin, TX. See why people are calling 2016 "The Year Of The Graph", and see how Hank, the dog car, is helping keep Austin weird - check out the new post.

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

On Full Metal Health: HealthGraph Domain Specific Language

By John Riney,

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Tuesday's the day when we feature a post over on PokitDok's tech-oriented blog, Full Metal Health. This week, Dr. Amit Jain and the Data Science team discuss creating a Domain Specific Language or DSL for querying our graph of health data. They've created a semantic model to easily traverse the enormous amounts of data which are captured with every transaction we process. It's juicy stuff!

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

2016: The Year of the Business of Health

By Lisa Maki,

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, put healthcare under a microscope with its relentless focus on higher quality care at a lower cost. In response, this past year saw a rise in healthcare companies, old and new, creating applications to address everything from big data analytics to interoperability.

Building applications and data analytics on top of legacy infrastructure, however, will produce only legacy results: Garbage in, garbage out as the saying goes and healthcare is no exception.

The un-discussed root causes of healthcare cost and inefficiency lie deeper than what new applications and analytics can solve. The legacy infrastructure and closed-system business models of the companies who built and manage that infrastructure are the main culprits. We’re seeing market-freezing tactics by the establishment. Put simply, you cannot achieve 2016 results on top of 1996 software.

Here are the innovations and technology that will bring modern performance to the business of health in 2016:

1. APIs to the Rescue

Many health systems have recently completed multi-million, even billion-dollar implementations of EHRs and other legacy systems that may solve the problem of clinical data capture. Harvard Professor Robert Huckman suggests policy measures gave them an incentive. The trouble is, these new technology programs are not interoperable and don’t support the real-time analytics, never mind the integrated payments and personalized patient on-boarding experiences that today’s health systems seek. This is no surprise, given that many of these systems were designed almost 20 years ago, when real time processing was not required, and walled garden business models were the norm. However, just as companies like Twilio and Stripe have done for telecommunications and payments, look to open standards, like FHIR, and developer platform APIs, like PokitDok, to make data portability a reality. This ushers in a new wave of application development that delivers on the user experiences and business models 2016 healthcare demands.

2. Clearinghouse Transactions Become Free and Open Source

In the push to bring healthcare online during the late ‘80s and ‘90s, multiple companies were formed to provide digital processing services for common provider/patient/payer transactions like processing claims and obtaining patient eligibility information. Commonly known as clearinghouses, and represented by companies like Change (nè “Emdeon”), in those days they were metaphorically “laying the cable” for digital health and it made sense to charge for the services. Today, with the shift to cloud-based web services, the cost of processing clearinghouse transactions, like basic commerce in so many other industries, is at or near zero, with value shifting to new services and predictive analytics built on top of those transactions. Providing open access to clearinghouse transactions means more, innovative products and business models. This spans telehealth to payments, which can achieve market traction at scale unencumbered by the multi-year, expensive contracts legacy clearinghouses require. Look for clearinghouse transactions to be both free and open source in 2016.

3. Security Concerns Drive New Tech Adoption

2015 had the dubious distinction of being the “year of the healthcare hack,” and resulting information security concerns will push the industry to adopt the same decentralized, secure contracts and record-keeping systems driving innovation in finance today. The move to these technologies will significantly improve the security of sensitive healthcare information while simultaneously making relevant data more readily accessible to authorized parties in real time. For the same reasons finance is transitioning to newer data and security models - to better manage trust, authentication and security at scale - healthcare must make the same transition before increased security attacks force the issue. In 2016 look for smart contracts and decentralized data sharing solutions to step up to this challenge  The result will be the secure and seamless sharing of healthcare information, everything from physician credentials to patient continuity of care, among partners and competitors for the benefit of their mutual customers. Blockchain is making its way into healthcare.

4. Insurance Innovation Companies Do NOT Go Bust

Writing in Fortune, Venrock Partners Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts predict that the Insurance Innovation Craze Will Go Bust in 2016. Because no list of predictions is interesting without some controversy, in good spirit, I’ll disagree. With open API access to healthcare business and data transactions, innovators like Oscar will achieve competitive premiums and market share through lower operational overhead, dynamic network management and superior customer segmentation. Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures and Founders Fund who are all behind Oscar recognize they are on to something big.

5. In the Push to Lower Drug Costs, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) Face Scrutiny

Much like the impact of legacy clearinghouse services on healthcare’s operating cost, the high margins negotiated by PBMs for drugs covered by Rx benefits are largely hidden within their contracts with pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy claim processing. As scrutiny of drug costs increase, attention will ultimately shift to the PBMs and their lack of transparency. Expect PBM transactions to become more transparent to join the rest of healthcare clearinghouse services in 2016.

6. Health Provider Payments Mature

Building on pilots completed in 2015, healthcare systems realize competitive advantage with transparent patient portals and flexible payments. Revenue cycle stability improves as health providers are able to capture payments at the time of scheduling, check-in, or service rendering (like every other modern industry). New technologies and platforms step in to track and bundle episodes of care for reimbursement with an accuracy existing EHR systems cannot achieve. Expect more health systems to follow the lead of organizations like St. Vincent’s Jacksonville imaging centers in offering healthcare transparency while realizing improved operational efficiency and asset utilization.

7. Healthcare is Disrupted… Overseas

Just as we saw telecommunication in developing markets leap-frog over landline straight to cellular adoption, those same markets, unencumbered by legacy infrastructure will experience accelerated high tech innovation in healthcare access and business models from companies like Practo, the fastest growing healthcare marketplace worldwide. With increasing investment from US-based companies like Google and Microsoft, look for these global healthcare startups and innovators to capitalize on legacy sluggishness and make in-roads into the US in 2016 through open standards and platforms.

Here’s to a year where new business and security technologies enable delivery of quality care, better data security and improved patient experiences while pushing costs down and operating margins up. I believe we will all toast to that!

To see my predictions from 2015, click here.

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

On Full Metal Health: Dirty data ETL in healthcare

By PokitDok Team,

After figuring out exactly what the heck EBCDIC was (a character encoding used by IBM mainframes for those of you too young to remember those days), the next step was to get the files encoded into something a bit more modern, like UTF-8.

In the beginning there were four bags of data. We had members, claim lines, providers, and employers. Data format: IBM EBCDIC. And even worse, in each separate type of entity, we had multiple files and disparate sources with no naming conventions. This is the day-to-day of modern healthcare ETL.

Over on PokitDok's technical blog, the data science team steps through using Spark to handle the the extract transform and load (ETL) process of converting legacy healthcare data into modern, analyzable formats. Check out the code we provided on our post and feel our pain.

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

2015: A Year In PokitReview

By Nicole Fletcher,

In the spirit of the season, we thought we'd pass along a quick PokitRecap of 2015 along with a big thank you to everyone played a part in our amazing year.

PokitDok family at the Yorktown

A Look Back:


  • We liberated X12 API transactions by offering them free of charge
  • We secured an oversubscribed $34 Million in Series B funding in a round led by Lemhi Ventures
  • We are honored to have been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, The LA Times, TechCrunch, Reuters, and MedCityNews, among others
  • CEO Lisa Maki took the stage 10 times, including an international appearance at WebSummit in Dublin (more to come in 2016!)
  • We were recognized and awarded at HXRefactored for best website design
  • We more than doubled our company size and moved our east coast team into a brand new office in downtown Charleston, SC
  • Our partner, Xerox, was awarded “Best New Venture for Telehealth Innovation” at the Corporate Entrepreneur Awards in New York City
  • Our team attended and spread the good PokitWord at close to 50 events
  • Over 3000 developers signed up for our API Platform
  • We launched an Identity Management Product for improved medical care coordination and data management
  • We partnered with telehealth solutions Doctor on Demand & HealthiestYou to power their clearinghouse services
  • We launched a Scheduling API allowing for cross-EHR communication and real-time scheduling

Thanks so much to everyone who made 2015 such an incredible year - and here's to 2016 and all that is to come in the wide world of PokitDok.

To see CEO Lisa Maki's 2016 Predictions - click here.

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Dev, Enterprise

10 Tips For Navigating Open Enrollment

By PokitDok Team,

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For most Americans, the open enrollment period is just another day on the calendar — like tax day — when complex financial decisions must be made. As nice as it would be to glaze over the the details of insurance plans, the details of those might affect your benefits, how you use them, and their cost more than you might think.

It's in everyone's best financial interest to navigate the labyrinth of insurance policies during the open enrollment period. Here are 10 tips to help focus efforts and make better decisions for the year to come.

 

The Basics

1. Does Your Current Plan Still Make Sense For You?

Transamerica's Jackie Lam recommends everyone review their current plan during the annual open enrollment period. If there's something that doesn't quite fit, it's the perfect — and only, barring a life event — time to explore other options.

Here are a few things to look for:

  • Will you be able to see the same doctors this year as last?
  • What providers and hospitals are considered "in-network?"
  • Where will you be able to pick up your prescriptions?
  • Will coverage change for your family?
  • Are in-network facilities close to your home, your work, or your children's schools?
  • How well is the plan rated?

Continue reading…

The opinions expressed in this blog are of the authors and not of PokitDok's. The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice.
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  Tags: Consumer