News | Innovation and Disruption

Healthcare News of Note: 14 healthcare providers unite to launch new data platform to glean more insight on medical conditions

News | Innovation and Disruption

Healthcare News of Note: 14 healthcare providers unite to launch new data platform to glean more insight on medical conditions

  • Truveta, the name of the newly launched data platform, will serve as a universal database of patient population information pooled from the participating health systems’ tens of millions of patients.
  • About 36% of nonelderly adults and 29% of children in the U.S. have delayed or forgone care because of concerns about being exposed to COVID-19 or because providers have limited services due to the pandemic.
  • Texas hospitals and health systems have risen to meet challenges as they battle winter storms, power outages, boil-water orders and more. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.

1. Health systems collaborate to launch a comprehensive, de-identified data platform to combat disease

According to a recent Becker’s Hospital Review article, “Fourteen health systems, including Trinity Health, Northwell Health and Tenet Health, are partnering to create a comprehensive, de-identified data platform that will glean more robust insights on medical conditions such as rare diseases and COVID-19.”

“The new platform, dubbed Truveta, will serve as a universal database of patient population information pooled from the participating health systems, according to a Feb. 11 announcement,” wrote author Jackie Drees. “The de-identified clinical data will span across all diagnoses, geographies and demographics to provide physicians and researchers with stronger analyses of medical conditions, treatment therapies and prognoses.

"For the first time in history, we're going to have data at scale to dramatically advance innovation in healthcare," Trinity Health CEO Michael Slubowski said in an interview with Becker's. "Our health systems participating in Truveta cover well over 10 percent of the U.S. population; this is really the first time that health systems have come together in this way to collaborate on a common mission, which is about saving lives.”

According to The Truveta website, the “founding partners care for tens of millions of patients and operate thousands of care facilities across 40 states.

“Our mission is to improve ALL people’s lives through excellence in science and art of health care,” said Wright Lassiter III, president & CEO, Henry Ford Health System, in a statement on the new venture’s website. “Truveta can uniquely provide the data and insights that will empower us to deliver equitable care with respect and compassion, which are the fundamental rights of those we serve.”

2. Report: Both adults and children have delayed or gone without care due to the pandemic

A Feb. 16 Healthcare Dive article reports, “About 36% of nonelderly adults and 29% of children in the U.S. have delayed or foregone care because of concerns of being exposed to COVID-19 or providers limiting services due to the pandemic, according to new reports from the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Of those who put off care, more than three-quarters had one or more chronic health conditions and one in three said the result of not getting treatment was worsening health or limiting their ability to work and perform regular daily activities, the research based on polling in September showed.”

The article by Ron Shinkman also gleaned the following from the reports:

  • 21% put off checkups and 16% put off screenings or medical tests
  • 40% of Blacks, 36% of Latinos and 34% of whites said they put off care
  • 30% of parents indicated they delayed at least one type of care for their children, while 16% delayed multiple types of care, with dental care the most delayed

How hospitals are preparing for a sicker patient population

For more about the ramifications of delayed healthcare during the pandemic, read the Winter 2020-21 hfm cover story, “Healthcare organizations prepare for sicker patients in 2021 due to deferred care."

3. Texas hospitals and health systems rise to meet challenge of severe winter storm

On Feb. 17, Healthcare Dive reported, “Severe winter weather is pummeling southern states that aren't accustomed to such conditions, hampering essential operations — including those at hospitals and health systems.”

“Frigid temperatures in Texas led to a surge in demand for electricity exceeding the available supply Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, leaving millions without power or heat,” writes Hailey Mensik. “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been working to restore services, though rolling outages are expected to continue, according to a release.

“Baylor Scott and White, Texas' dominant health system with 51 hospitals, closed drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites and rescheduled vaccine appointments Tuesday and Wednesday, according to an email statement from the system.

“It also arranged for staff to remain onsite at the hospital and at nearby hotels amid travel advisories. While its hospitals remain open, the system noted an increasing number of weather-related injuries in emergency departments.”

A Feb. 18 Becker’s Hospital Review article provided details on the issues hospitals were grappling with as of  Feb. 17:

  • There were a number of water-related problems, including lack of running water, low water pressure and, for many hospitals, boil-water mandates and burst pipes. 
  • Health systems including Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist, MD Anderson, St. Luke’s Health, Texas Children’s and UT Austin and UT Health Austin had suspended elective surgeries and patient appointments for storm-related reasons.
  • Low oxygen supplies have required the state to work with private-sector and federal partners to get additional oxygen tanks to hospitals experiencing shortages.

A Feb. 18 Modern Healthcare article reports in detail how the storm has impacted home care workers in the state, including details of workers having to stay overnight at client homes to provide service.

Bonus HFMA Content

“Report: Large sampling reveals 30% of hospitals haven’t complied with any aspect of the new price transparency requirements” is a Feb. 12 article by Nick Hut, senior editor with HFMA.

“Revenue Cycle: Re-engage Consumers and Improve Performance + Price Transparency Preconference” is a multidate workshop hosted by HFMA that kicks off March 1. It includes five education days and five workshop days.

About the Author

Deborah Filipek

is a senior editor with HFMA, Westchester, Ill.

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