Member Dan Hogan highlighted in the Tennessean


No matter what the outcome is of the Supreme Court’s review of the Affordable Care Act, one assured outcome of this legislation is an upsurge in entrepreneurialism. In Nashville, innovative new ventures created in the wake of the Affordable Care Act not only fuel the local economy, they also improve the quality and efficiency of health care in America.

For example, the law contains a provision aimed at reducing the rate at which patients are rehospitalized after an initial discharge. According to the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, a reduction of hospital readmission rates by just 2 percent among home-care patients would help 928,000 people avoid the pain of re-hospitalization and save the health-care system upward of $500 million. The Affordable Care Act directly addresses this issue: Beginning in October, if hospitals have higher-than-expected 30-day readmission rates for patients with a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia, they could see their Medicare pay cut by up to 1 percent. The cut could be as much as 3 percent starting in October 2014.

I know about this problem firsthand from five years of owning and operating a home-care agency in Manchester, Tenn., as a key challenge that we faced in growing our agency was keeping patients out of the hospital. Studies have demonstrated that up to 31 percent of elderly patient hospital admissions are associated with drug-related problems.

With that information and the looming Affordable Care Act deadlines in mind, in 2009 we founded Medalogix, which uses proprietary medication risk-assessment tools to accurately predict a patient’s risk of requiring unplanned hospitalization. In early versions of the model, we’ve been able to accurately predict 75 percent of hospitalizations on a home-care census. The information Medalogix provides allows home health agencies to make more efficient use of their clinical resources and keep patients healthier — the twin goals of the Affordable Care Act.

Other local health-care entrepreneurs have taken a proactive stance toward the Affordable Care Act, as well, seeking creative solutions to improve health outcomes and better coordinate care. One of these entrepreneurs is Scotte Hudsmith, whose medical information technology company, Parental Health, provides a unique interactive software platform, called MISTY (Medical Information Systems To You), that helps seniors and their families better manage their care by centrally coordinating the flow of patient information across channels.

A software tool that runs on a touchscreen device, MISTY allows seniors to maintain their independence through its easy-to-use interface, which has nine primary functions covering everything from medication management to general health monitoring. With MISTY, seniors are empowered to take charge as consumers across the continuum of care, reducing the risk of unnecessary hospitalization while seamlessly coordinating the flow of patient information to families and providers alike, all in real time.

As Medalogix and Parental Health have shown, when business and government work on the same side — the customer’s side — there is hope for both a strong economy and a healthy population. Legislation like the Affordable Care Act, which raises the bar for what we are willing to accept as basic human needs, can stir entrepreneurs to action rather than discourage business success, with the result being improved efficiency of the system across the board.

Dan Hogan is president and CEO of Medalogix, a health-care technology company.



http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120330/OPINION03/303300044/Affordable-Care-Act-sparks-innovators?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Opinion|p


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