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Why It’s Time for a New Risk-Based Approach to Delivering Healthcare Technology Solutions

September 22, 2020 at 1:10 PM

CareSignal’s new risk-based model allows providers to hedge the risks associated with investments in emerging technology in healthcare. Here’s how.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed immense financial pressure on healthcare organizations — stretching their resources thin and making it harder to provide quality care. New financial constraints have also made investments in healthcare technology riskier for many providers, as these investments don’t always yield immediate ROI (and some never pan out).


And yet, as healthcare organizations scramble for ways to preserve margins and enhance care quality in this new environment, many are showing an unprecedented appetite for risk. In particular, health systems and provider groups show a willingness to implement risk-based contracts, which is, in turn, catalyzing demand for more risk in contracts with technology partners.


This new outlook represents somewhat of a paradigm shift in a notoriously risk-averse sector. Now, it’s up to healthcare technology firms to align their offerings with value-based care models and to deliver solutions that warrant this change in industry attitudes.


Aligning Business Models With Value


It’s not right for technology partners to avoid taking on risk. That’s why CareSignal is creating a business model that rewards us for providing value to partners. We firmly stand behind our technology’s ability to drive quantifiable operational, clinical, and financial returns, and we’re willing to take on upside and downside risk to prove it.


Healthcare organizations have been expanding their risk profiles in earnest in recent years — whether that’s under HEDIS metrics, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Medicare Advantage plans, or Star ratings. For most, making the transition to a risk-based approach isn’t easy; it requires a substantial technology investment. What’s more, mistakes can be costly, especially considering hospitals operate on incredibly narrow margins.


CareSignal’s new risk-based model allows providers to hedge the risks associated with investments in emerging technology in healthcare. Our model gives our client-partners elegant flexibility and ensures they’re equipped with everything they need to maximize ROI as quickly as possible.


Built With Risk in Mind


We’ve been developing our technology solution with risk in mind since day one. Our focus has always been on driving real operational, clinical, and financial success, both for clinical teams and for patients and network members.


Our remote patient monitoring technology — CareSignal Deviceless RPM™ — relies on a SaaS delivery model with no upfront physical technology requirements, which virtually eliminates our overhead technology costs. Unlike companies that may offer expensive devices like Bluetooth-connected pulse oximeters or Wi-Fi scales, our lack of hardware overhead increases scalability and lowers cost for our partners, allowing us to take on more financial risk in our partnerships.


Given the strength of our operational expertise and our ability to integrate seamlessly into existing provider workflows, we’re comfortable taking on elevated risk and confident in our solution’s ability to produce positive clinical results and substantial ROI. And we’re confident for a reason. Our platform has been thoroughly vetted and validated in more than 10 peer-reviewed publications, which confirm our technology’s ability to drive strong clinical and financial outcomes for partners.


Our recent partnership with UnityPoint Health, which serves more than 2 million Americans in the Midwest, provides a perfect illustration.


Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring in Action


At the start of the pandemic, UnityPoint wanted to efficiently monitor COVID-19 patients at home in order to prevent an inpatient surge. To that end, UnityPoint relied on CareSignal’s platform to conduct remote patient monitoring.


UnityPoint developed a custom two-pronged approach leveraging CareSignal to monitor low-risk patients via automated text message and high-risk patients via manual UnityPoint staff phone call. With our support, the provider network was able to scale the solution across five states in just 30 days and efficiently identify the most vulnerable patients in the middle of a global health crisis. See the case study for complete results.


Our approach to developing UnityPoint’s solution is the same one we use with all of our partners. We first work to identify key improvement metrics. Then, we design and implement a patient onboarding process that eliminates the enrollment burden and ensures the right patients are included on the platform to meet the relevant KPIs.


Our core product doesn’t change, either. CareSignal is deviceless remote patient monitoring that provides condition-specific, clinically actionable, highly scalable engagement for patient populations with chronic, behavioral, and social health challenges.


Doing Well by Doing Good


The future of healthcare technology depends largely on technology providers’ ability to adapt to an increasingly risk-hungry healthcare ecosystem. That means embracing their role as partners in accepting risk and working to provide solutions that deliver real, transformative outcomes and make the continued adoption of value-based care models sustainable long term.


Despite an industrywide shift in attitudes toward risk, the choice to invest in healthcare technology can still be a difficult one for providers. With CareSignal’s bottom-up ROI model — informed by client-specific population, cost, and clinical inputs and backed by peer-reviewed research — we try to make that choice a little less intimidating.


At CareSignal, we’re excited by the opportunity to do well by doing good, and vice versa. As providers demand more from technology partners, particularly in this pivotal time for healthcare, we feel we have a responsibility to make sure our partners aren’t caught in a vicious cycle of misaligned incentives as they dedicate their lives and livelihoods to the patients who need them the most.


We hope that our transition to a risk-based pricing model will help us give them the ability to make better strategic decisions and investments that prepare them for the future without compromising financial stability in the present.