PointClickCare to buy Collective Medical for more data-driven care: 2 execs share plans

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On Dec. 8, PointClickCare announced its intent to acquire Collective Medical, which would create the largest acute and post-acute network for care coordination in the nation. 

Becker's Hospital Review caught up with Dave Wessinger, president of PointClickCare, and Chris Klomp, CEO of Collective Medical, to talk about what the acquisition would mean for the industry.

Question: What opportunities will Collective Medical have after it becomes part of PointClickCare?

Dave Wessinger: With this acquisition, we have an incredible opportunity to transform the future of healthcare and offer our customers the highest quality, most comprehensive and highest value real-time integrated care coordination solution. The hospitals, ambulatory practices and ACOs that Collective supports will be able to access the largest network of long-term and post-acute care providers in the United States, allowing Collective to expand its network even faster. While Collective has always supported care teams working with complex and highly vulnerable patient populations of all backgrounds, bringing Collective into the PointClickCare family helps us more easily identify and catch those patients who may have otherwise fallen through the cracks.

Historically, the long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) provider community has often been left out of government incentive programs that accelerated the adoption of health IT. This technology disparity between hospitals and [skilled nursing facilities], as an example, makes care transitions for the senior population even more difficult. And we know that poor care transitions lead to up to $78 million in waste annually, nationwide. However, through this acquisition, we are able to meaningfully bridge the gaps between post-acute and acute care, ultimately enabling a new era of data-enriched collaboration across the care continuum.

With PointClickCare's extensive depth in the LTPAC market, Collective is able to provide hospitals, health plans and public health entities the real-time patient insights they need to allow for better decision-making and improved clinical outcomes at lower cost.

Chris Klomp: Recently, we've seen the industry start paying greater attention to the LTPAC community. We're fortunate that CMS and the ONC have made huge progress in guiding the industry toward interoperability and tighter care coordination with the recently released rules, part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The CMS Interoperability and Patient Access rule, specifically, puts into motion a requirement that hospitals, including critical access and psychiatric hospitals, send notifications to primary care physicians and skilled nursing facilities when a patient is admitted, discharged or transferred. We're excited about how, together, Collective and PointClickCare can make this coordination between acute and post-acute more seamless and effective.

DW: We've seen many times what happens when the LTPAC community is largely disconnected from the rest of the care continuum, and the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely put an even greater spotlight on this. Together with Collective, we can help bring that needed visibility to senior care providers so that public health entities can make informed decisions on how to allocate resources to support the pandemic response.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for healthcare teams today when it comes to data analytics and care coordination?

DW: Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges is the lack of timely information to proactively manage care for an individual. Physicians, nurses and other members of an individual's care team work tirelessly to coordinate on transitions and care decisions, but they're often doing that with out-of-date or incomplete information – or worse, no information at all.

CK: That's right. Even today, we see care managers working to coordinate with a member with a high-risk medical condition off of claims data that may be 60 to 90 days old. You can imagine how a patient with a recent cancer diagnosis feels when a very well-intentioned nurse care manager reaches out about their diagnosis 90 days later. Or with a mother identified with an at-risk pregnancy in her second trimester who really needs support and help, but her broader care team doesn't know she needs help until after she has delivered due to old and incomplete information.

DW: Through this acquisition, we are able to get critical care insights to providers across the continuum in real time and at the point of care — and we can do it at scale. PointClickCare and Collective share a mission to support vulnerable populations with complex care needs. Our patient population is the least visible across the continuum, and there is a real need for access to connect their journey to preserve their health and independence. This population also represents the most variation in terms of costs of healthcare. Together, our combined technologies can help to repair a fragmented care continuum to ensure no patient slips through the cracks while also driving down healthcare costs.

Q: How do you expect the healthcare system to shift toward value-based care in 2021?

DW: We've been seeing the industry move rapidly toward value-based models of care since 2008, and it doesn't appear to be slowing down. Medicare Advantage plans have changed the game for providers across the country, and now we have multiple ACO-like programs for providers caring for Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health plan beneficiaries. CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Direct Contracting model, an evolution of the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program, also appears to be taking hold. CMMI announced that 51 entities are participating in the implementation period of that new program.

Integrated care management, getting the right information in real time to care teams regardless of care setting, is key to success in any of these value-based models.

Q: How will Collective Medical help healthcare providers lower the cost of care as part of PointClickCare?

CK: Just as Dave said, under value-based models of care, those real-time care insights are critical to success. That means smoother care transitions that result in better patient outcomes. In many cases, better patient outcomes mean improved financial outcomes as well.

Physicians and nurses are making the absolute best decisions they can about the individual right in front of them, but without the right information delivered at the right time, there's only so much they can do. With PointClickCare, we can ease the provider burden and support them in making the best care decisions possible.

Q: What are you most excited about for the future?

DW: We've been fortunate to work with Collective since 2019 as part of an industry partnership. We've already seen the promise of our combined technologies in terms of the ability to coordinate care transitions and guide better decision-making at the point of care, and we are thrilled to be able to amplify that impact across our combined network. Our shared values and mission to support vulnerable patient populations create a perfect harmony. PointClickCare and Collective are both driven to connect the healthcare system at scale for the benefit of all patients, and we're going to help keep the most vulnerable individuals from falling through the cracks of an otherwise fragmented care continuum.

Dave Wessinger is president and co-founder of PointClickCare

Chris Klomp is CEO of Collective Medical


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