What They’re Watching – David Bergman

David Bergman is a Principal at Health Management Associates. He joins in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss the innovative ways that health systems are leveraging smart strategies for data and creating tools for improving care delivery and financing.

 

 

There are a lot of interesting things happening around digital health and telemedicine; how the flow of information and funding is going from governments to payers to different kinds of providers, and how those tools are being actually used by consumers in order to drive behavior change that ultimately results in cost savings. It’s about delivering the right kind of care at the right place for the consumer when they’re ready to consume the care. 

You have to design these systems in a way that removes all the barriers, so that it’s really a seamless way that they’re interacting with different kinds of health systems. There’s also a component of this that’s about figuring out how you’re going to get reimbursed for this, and there are constant changes to how the federal government and states and plans are reimbursing for some of the services through these means as well. But there’s really a huge opportunity, particularly around addressing shortages, whether that’s because you are in a rural community or there are a dearth of providers of certain types or certain kinds of services that are not widely available. 

Medication assisted therapy is a big area where there are some opportunities to deliver that care digitally, and to do it in a safe and effective way. Often what you find is that individuals are suffering with some kind of opioid addiction, one of the barriers when they have to keep coming back for medication assisted therapy is that they have to travel long distances in order to get to a provider. By using digital health tools providers can stay in touch with them and continue to monitor progress and authorize the ongoing medication that supports their ultimate recovery. So, you’re removing a lot of these barriers and helping people achieve a level of recovery that would have otherwise been very difficult.”