Turning Data Wealth Into Patient Health

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In the final Summit session, “Turning Data Wealth into Patient Health,” Amy Heymans (Cueva), founder and chief experience officer of Mad*Pow, spoke about the unique methods her company uses when working with health care clients, noting that “changing real-world behaviors” is central to addressing the key challenges facing both society and business. Mad*Pow’s methods draw upon design concepts and motivational psychology to help patients achieve greater health and wellness, financial wellbeing, education and sustainability.

Also speaking as part of this “Data Wealth” session was John Ryan, general manager of UnitedHealthcare Vision.

  





Amy Heymans, Mad*Pow.
John Ryan, UHC Vision.




Human-Centered, Purposeful Design
“Data tells us what is going on. But we don’t necessarily know why it’s happening,” Heymans said. “To develop truly unique experiences that thrill customers, we embrace a systematic approach fueled by deep empathy and an understanding of behavior, directly aligned with business goals, and hyper-aware of organizational dynamics.”

This approach leverages the psychology of motivation via “human centered design”—involving people in the creation of the systems that they themselves will use—to achieve an omni-channel consumer experience that is “frictionless and delightful.”

Heymans encouraged attendees to “point in the direction of purpose” and find the virtuous circle that exists when an organization delivers real value to those it serves in the context of their lives, while also delivering results to the business. She also noted that establishing harmony between business goals and the needs of real people is vital, at a time when the health care sector is still very silo’ed.

To that end, another key goal should be to integrate and partner with other organizations to better serve patients who are navigating what is still a fairly disconnected health care ecosystem. Using the “journey mapping” framework, teams working with Mad*Pow used insights gained through participatory design activities to yield a cyclical “Interactive Experience Ecosystem” to help service providers visually and functionally understand the complexity of the patient journey, leading to better initiatives and client outcomes.

Heyman’s pointed out that according to the Com-B model, in order to adopt a given behavior, a person has to: have the physical, emotional and mental capability to change; be in social and physical environments that provide the opportunity to change; and have the right motivation. It is also vital to identify how “intervention functions,” including education and training, incentives, and other considerations impact Com B elements, in order to remove obstacles to behavioral change.

Additionally, the Self-Determination theory posits that humans need to feel autonomy, competence and relatedness in the solution, in order to change; in health care especially, external motivation alone is not enough to incentivize patients toward healthier lifestyles. Intrinsic, autonomous shifts are required for long-lasting behavior change.

When developing platforms for goods and services delivery, Heymans said it’s not enough that “the digital ‘thing’ is beautiful, useful and usable,” and designed with the input of actual and intended users—it has to be (and be part of) a great experience overall, in order to achieve behavioral change in the real world. She briefly cited a case study of ImagineCare, where Mad*Pow worked with the company to develop a model “putting care in people’s homes;” this resulted in a reduced cost of care (20 percent less); improved patient outcomes including a reduction in emergency room visits; and a 95 percent user satisfaction rate.

Heymans emphasized that “we are the design,” and as such we need to optimize not only the various “touch points” consumers engage with, but also, inside our organizations; and finally, to know which other organizations patients are interacting with in order to strengthen the ecosystem by connecting, collaborating and integrating.
  
  



Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (l) and Dr. John Whyte (r) moderate a panel consisting of (L to R) Roger Smith, Justine Santa Cruz, Amy Heymans, John Ryan and Dave Bovenschulte.
  
Driving Customer Satisfaction
John Ryan, who has oversight of UnitedHealthcare’s managed vision business, said he has been impressed during his initial round of meetings with partners and executives at other companies in the vision care business. “This is an incredibly collaborative industry,” said Ryan, who joined UnitedHealthcare’s managed vision care group just nine months ago after spending most of his career in other areas of health care. “Coming from the medical side, where everyone is a competitor, this is a little different,” he said, noting that he’s already had meetings with executives representing other managed vision care plans during his first several months in his new role.

Among the overall objectives the company has set, UnitedHealthcare is working toward raising its net promoter scores into the 70 range across every business segment, Ryan said, which he acknowledged will be a challenge for UnitedHealthcare as it is for most companies in the health payer category.

In order to advance this effort, UnitedHealthcare has developed member surveys that it is using to determine via plan members what the key factors are in driving member satisfaction. In its survey of vision plan members, UnitedHealthcare has found a number of things that rate high in member preference, including politeness of customer service representatives, the quality of the eyewear materials, skill of the eyecare professional providing the eye exam service, the ease of identifying in-network ECPs, and cost of the coverage.

These are the “table stakes” for the managed vision care segment, and not just factors that plans can use to differentiate themselves, he noted.

The recent Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey has further expanded upon the things that consumers/patients are seeking from their health plans, Ryan said. For example, many people, especially younger consumers, are interested in selecting health care providers with digital capabilities, and people are showing a growing interest in non-traditional care settings.

A separate PwC survey found that retailers are “growing in trust as a non-traditional” setting for health care delivery, with 43 percent of respondents saying that they would have an eye exam in one of the non-traditional locations, he said. Looking forward, there are signs that drugstore retailers such as Walgreens and CVS are going to be a more-often used sites of care for many consumers, including patients who are having eye exams, he said.

Ryan said UnitedHealthcare’s managed vision plans provide patients with more than 100,000 access points and tries to simplify the overall eye-care experience, and that it believes in providing a diverse network of access points. He also noted that the plan received heat in the past when it announced its affiliation with Warby Parker, but noted that UnitedHealthcare is simply working to provide what consumers are saying they want from their vision plan.

“We need to decide what we are good at and what we are not good at,” he added. Ryan noted that managed vision care is among the entities in health care that has a lot of data that it has collected, and that the company makes significant annual investments in technology and innovation to manage and make better use of the data it has collected.









Dave Bovenschulte, Klick Health.
Justine Santa Cruz, Satisfi Labs.
Roger Smith, AdventHealth Nicholson Center.






Group Discussion of Data Focuses On Balancing Convenience and Privacy
Heymans and Ryan then joined Dave Bovenschulte, VP of strategy, Klick Health; Justine Santa Cruz, SVP of enterprise and retail, Satisfi Labs; and Roger Smith chief technology officer, AdventHealth Nicholson Center, in a wide-ranging conversation about the ways data is being used to connect patients, providers, settings and systems. The panel was moderated by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn and Dr. John Whyte of WebMD.

When asked about “experience innovation” in design, Santa Cruz noted that we are all still grappling with “the tipping point between convenience and creepiness,” as companies decide how to engage with users in a time of ample and available consumer data. Determining where, when, and how consumers are OK with sharing some of their privacy in order to achieve a desired outcome will be a key, ongoing consideration as new systems are developed.

Bovenschulte noted that the process of constructing meaningful, actionable insights from all the data being collected is something we are all still struggling with, and acknowledged the potential for experience innovation to move the needle.


A Matter of Trust
Patient trust was a dominant consideration throughout the panel. Dr. Whyte brought up the “element of trust” and how skepticism of the health care system’s intentions may be fueling the “DIY” push around accessing health information and care. Sarasohn-Kahn asked whether it was possible to “design trust into our interactions;” Heymans stressed that we have an obligation to ask consumer permission, not just assume we have it, and that “there needs to be a design element in place to ensure that people understand what they are agreeing to.” Bovenschulte noted that this goes hand in hand with instilling a sense of control in patients, especially with regard to how they access data.

Sarasohn-Kahn named trust, authenticity, and satisfaction as “the most important precursors to consumers engaging in any aspect of health,” and cited privacy concerns, insurance billing discrepancies, and cyber breaches as factors impacting this engagement. Heymans noted that interoperability can fall short of expectations in real-world execution, and identified this as an opportunity to enhance care and improve outcomes by, for example, decreasing friction around accessing a patient’s EHR quickly and securely. Blockchain credentialing was highlighted as a promising tool to authenticate in-network provider directories and help prevent surprise bills.

Smith of AdventHealth Nicholson Center said he believes that a year ago there was consensus around using blockchain to handle protected patient data, but over the past 12 months this thinking has changed. “This year, nobody will ever say that,” he noted. “Why is that? Because of the European laws around GDPR.”
  






Jane Sarasohn-Kahn
John Whyte




Designing for Consumers
When designing new apps for eyecare patient/consumers, Santa Cruz urged attendees to “put something out there that asks “What can we do for you?” in order to design frictionless experiences that serve needs and wants, thus yielding the desired outcome for both the user and the provider. Per Bovenschulte, when designing for trust we must instill a sense of consumer control over their data; in order to do so, we need to understand “where data lives, what the access points are,” and how consumers are connecting to it.

Heymans recommended designing systems that “look out for patients,” for example by combining health monitoring technology with a human response and solution. She also mentioned a children’s hospital case study in which the patient and family experience was improved by “really getting to know the people served” and designing so that the experience reflects them, their needs, and their journey, while fostering meaningful person-to-person interactions at key intervals.

Santa Cruz noted that AI offers powerful opportunities to alleviate mundane, repetitive inquiries posed to human customer service agents, thus “giving dignity back to the job” by empowering them to spend more time creatively supporting customers and problem-solving at a higher level. Heymans also praised AI’s potential to complement clinician interaction at the doctor’s office, increasing efficiency and freeing them to “bring more empathy” to the visit by “making human moments more meaningful.” Bovenschulte echoed this, encouraging the audience to continue exploring “the right intersection points between machine learning and live human beings.”


Protecting the New ‘Health Citizen’
As the session concluded, Sarasohn-Kahn raised the issue of the “health citizen’s” privacy concerns, and how health industries can “corral respect back” at a time when the privacy protection net in the U.S. is akin to a “patchwork quilt.” She again pinpointed trust as a fundamental driver for patients to share the full story—“sex, drugs & rock-n-roll”—of their lifestyles, in order for providers to be able to treat “the whole patient.”

Santa Cruz advised that companies request and obtain explicit permission for all data acquisition and use, as Satisfi does. Bovenschulte granted that while Americans on the whole are “pretty bad at managing data” (using social media data as a prime example), he believes that the rapidly evolving requirements of the digital age have spawned “a new information-leaning persona” in the workforce, who will be at the forefront of navigating the long road ahead.

Sara Bonizio, Contributing Editor
— Mark Tosh, Senior Editor




This video includes highlights of the following Summit speakers: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, THINK-Health and Health Populi; WebMD’s John Whyte, MD; Roger Smith, AdventHealth Nicholson Center; Justine Santa Cruz, Satisfi Labs; Amy Heymans, Mad*Pow; John Ryan, UnitedHealthcare Vision; and Dave Bovenschulte, Klick Health.