The Link - A Health Policy & Management Newsletter

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The Link - A Health Policy & Management Newsletter

“My mother says I was born with a mouse in my hand,” Rami Rafeh laughs, when asked about his passion for healthcare IT. “Initially I wasn’t sure whether I should focus on the medical route and become a doctor, or pursue the business end of things and try to have an impact there. I’ve always been interested in computers, healthcare and data, and luckily, we’re currently in an environment where those interests line up nicely.”

In the last two years, Rafeh has been very successful at combining his passions. He is the visionary behind Spott3r, a healthcare start-up company that helps process gym reimbursement credits to pay individuals for their workouts. Spott3r assists people by navigating the complex administrative aspects of the reimbursement process. “Even if consumers are aware of a reimbursement credit, often they are not utilizing it because putting together the application can be complicated,” Rafeh says. Spott3r seeks to alleviate the complications by performing an eligibility check, to see if consumers qualify for a gym reimbursement from their employer or their insurance plan. If they do, Spott3r will review their activity data, compile a reimbursement package and submit all the required materials to the insurance companies...

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This Start-up Could Disrupt the Wellness Game

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This Start-up Could Disrupt the Wellness Game

When Rami Rafeh was finishing his master’s degree in health care policy management at Columbia University, he was tasked with a project to create a “disruptive start-up.” When it comes to health care and wellness businesses, he soon realized it was a cluttered space. He wanted to do something unique, but also rooted at the core of what causes most of the health problems that people deal with every day — lack of physical activity.

“The basic problem is, there are credits out there that are underutilized and employers want [their employees] to make use of their insurance credits,” he explains. “So, that’s why we created Spott3r, in order to show people, look you have this benefit where you can get credit on your insurance for using a gym, chances are you don’t notice this benefit, you’re looking at other things.”

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Top Small Business Owners Offer Keys to Success

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Top Small Business Owners Offer Keys to Success

We hear it all the time, small businesses are the engine that drives our economy.  Now more than ever, people are branching off and starting their own companies.

We asked some of NYC’s most successful business owners and executives to lend their advice and you’ll notice a common theme.

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The New Hot Spott3rs By Monica Mehta

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The New Hot Spott3rs By Monica Mehta

I’m now reflecting upon the recent annual Mailman Health Policy & Management Conference.  It was great to see generations of EMPHers:  my classmates milling about our predecessors and successors, sharing stories, and getting updates.  I realized at one point that I really must put some time into creating the all-essential one-liner to describe my work and path.  Somehow “clinical pharmacist transitioning into public health” doesn’t seem to fit anymore…and that’s when I ran into Rami who had the best one-liner ever.  When asked what he was up to, he told me,  “I now pay people to exercise.”

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HIT me

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HIT me

Through the adoption of electronic health records (EHR), providers across the country are bringing our nation’s health care system into the 21st century.  EHRs are designed to pool all of a patient’s health information into one computerized record such that primary and specialty care, hospital stays, ED visits, tests, and prescriptions are easily accessible and  shared across provider settings.  Electronic records are intended to prompt physicians when preventive screenings are warranted; manage prescriptions and ensure against negative interactions; support proactive chronic disease management and interventions; help coordinate care among and between different providers; and provide safer, less duplicative, less unnecessary care.

But implementing an EHR system is no easy task.  It’s expensive.  And it tends to disrupt the work flows that follow paper charts, requiring new ways of delivering care, interacting with patients, and managing business processes that can be daunting to providers, front office staff, billers, and managers alike.

This makes me think of a quote that Senator Ted Kennedy’s widow shared at a conference I attended last year.  She said it was a favorite of his.  That is, “for every difficult, complicated  problem there is always a simple and easy solution.  And it’s WRONG.”  EHRs are a little like that.  They offer a complicated – yet essential – solution to help achieve the challenging goals of higher quality and lower costs.

The class of 2012 is fortunate to have a HIT-whiz among us:  Rami Rafeh.  Below are some HIT questions I posed to Rami, along with his responses.

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Health Tech Panel @ Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

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Health Tech Panel @ Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

This will be an exciting opportunity to join a discussion with NYC-based startups and leaders in health technology. The goal of the panel is to explore the key trends in health technology, particularly those that overlap with public health aims. We also hope to touch on the ways in which policy is influencing the inter...section of healthcare and technology. Lastly, we'd like to discuss how public health graduates can add value to this growing field.

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Pharma 2.0 Series Kick-off - Rx for the Future

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Pharma 2.0 Series Kick-off - Rx for the Future

We are very pleased to announce the kick off for the Pharma 2.0 Series, Rx for the Future.  At Pharma 2.0 events we will examine a few companies that are trying to change the way the pharmaceutical industry works and go deep on topics in the space.

We also would like to express our appreciation to the incubator Blueprint Health for supplying a venue. This is our first event there and we are very pleased to be able to introduce this great space to the community.

Thank you as well to Truveris, our new sponsor for the series enabling us to provide upgraded refreshments.  Thank you!

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New York Mobile Integrated Healthcare Association (NYMIHA)

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New York Mobile Integrated Healthcare Association (NYMIHA)

The New York Mobile Integrated Healthcare Association (NYMIHA) was formed by members of the local EMS community who recognized that the role of prehospital care systems was very limited in relation to the larger healthcare system and at times even at odds with the triple aims of pursuing the improvement of the patient experience, improving the health of the population, and lowering the per capita costs of delivering care.  It was the feeling of both local as well as national leaders in prehospital medicine that there was a larger role that EMS could play to help fill unmet needs within our local communities.

Mobile Integrated Healthcare (a.k.a. Community Paramedicine) is a broad term that is used differently by various constituencies and in various regions.  The NYMIHA uses the term to describe an expansion of the role (not scope) of EMT’s and Paramedics to provide higher quality patient-centered prehospital care and helping to prevent acute medical complications of chronic conditions.  It refers to a collective group of proposed activities and roles for out-of-hospital care systems that exist outside of the traditional and existing 9-1-1 emergency response paradigm, or the interfacility transport paradigm.

We describe three aspects of community paramedicine:

1) Patient-Centered Emergency Response - Making 9-1-1 more flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of the patient including transporting to alternate destinations (Primary Care Office, Dialysis Centers, Urgent Care Centers, etc) and “treat and release” protocols.

2) Integration with the Healthcare Service Delivery System – Extending a hospital’s or health system’s care model into the community through proactive out-of-hospital care programs and improved clinical coordination of care. Adding value to routine patient interactions during non-9-1-1, interfacility, and discharge associated ambulance transports.

3) Integration with the Community & Public Health - Integrating out-of-hospital care systems into the public health infrastructure of a community. Vaccination programs, personal preparedness training, fall risk reduction are just a few of the ways that EMS can serve as the foot-soldiers of the public health system.

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Startup Health

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Startup Health

A Global StartUp Platform to Accelerate Health & Wellness Innovation

StartUp Health is a new model for helping innovation succeed in the health sector. Part community, part Academy, and 1,000% passion, the company provides health and wellness innovators ("Healthcare Transformers") with a structured curriculum designed to help navigate the unique challenges of building a sustainable growth business in the health sector. StartUp Health is based on a simple premise: the best way to improve healthcare in America is to provide health and wellness entrepreneurs with ongoing inspiration, education, and access to customers, capital, and other critical resources so that startups can innovate more quickly. Our goal is to help 1,000 Health Transformers build sustainable-growth businesses over the next decade. StartUp Health was founded by health tech entrepreneurs Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes and is Chaired by former TimeWarner CEO Jerry Levin.

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A Novel Function of Interleukin-10 Promoting Self-Renewal of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

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A Novel Function of Interleukin-10 Promoting Self-Renewal of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

There is evidence that Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) exhibit the unique ability to self-renew.  However, little is known about the mechanisms associated with promoting this ability during the asymmetric division of HSCs.  This paper examines the role of an immune regulator known as Interleukin-10 (IL-10) on HSC self-renewal using animal models divided into two groups that differed in genotype.  The genotypic difference in the two groups was used in order to identify the origin of the cells being observed as either being derived from the donor or from the recipient (Kang et al, 2007).  Also used in this study was an animal model that lacks the gene for IL-10, known as IL-10 knockout (KO) mice.

 

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