How 3 companies are making the most of data for better healthcare interactions

Social determinants of health data can support decisions that improve the health and wellness of individuals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has renewed focus on health disparities and systemic inequities. But the data must be gathered and examined in a way that provides a complete picture of the person's health and the environmental factors that influence it.  

During an Oct. 14 executive roundtable, sponsored by TransUnion Healthcare and hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, James Bohnsack, chief revenue and strategy officer of TransUnion Healthcare, moderated a panel of three thought leaders about using data to positively change the healthcare landscape. The panelists were:

  • Trenor Williams, MD, founder and CEO of Socially Determined 
  • Joseph Gonzalez, co-founder of CLX Health
  • Craig Antico, co-founder and COO of RIP Medical Debt

Here are how the panelists' companies are working with healthcare organizations to leverage data to gain meaningful insights and drive patient outcomes.

Socially Determined. Socially Determined, a health IT and analytics firm, partners with public health officials and healthcare organizations to leverage data to identify and then quantify the social risk exposure in communities for things like housing, economics and food insecurity, said Dr. Williams. With this data, healthcare organizations can prioritize where they should invest in social determinants of health. They are also able to measure how environmental factors affect people's healthcare choices. "The challenge is how do you find the meaningful data elements, combine them in science-driven models," Dr. Williams said. "It's not about data aggregation. It's about being able to quantify that impact. We pull in publicly available data around issues like housing, economics. We have aggregate information about credit scores to be able to paint a picture of public life. When you combine that with claims data, disease burden, you start to create a comprehensive picture."

CLX Health. CLX Health, a clinical information exchange, focuses on transactions between healthcare providers and labs. Providers can access current lab and diagnostic data through CLX Health's provider lab portal, and patients are able to schedule lab tests and monitor their health status and results through its mobile app. "What COVID did is create the consumer as a new stakeholder, so we have to account for a new stakeholder, find a way to credential them as a user of the data and have them as an assessor of data and be able to validate the transactions, the communication between the lab and that consumer," Mr. Gonzalez said. "Pop-up labs were appearing in shopping mall parking lots, so we had to start creating security around these new events taking place. So, we partnered with TransUnion as a validator of that consumer to verify who that person was when they registered through our mobile app."

RIP Medical Debt. RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit charity that buys medical debt for pennies on the dollar to forgive it, uses data to price a portfolio when they go to purchase it from a hospital or physician group, and to qualify which patients are a charitable class, said Mr. Antico. The company is also able to use data to find out the social determinants of health of people whose debt the company abolished. "The basics of our business is to qualify the person for medical debt forgiveness. Health systems require application, and we are using big data to determine who should get charity care," Mr. Antico said. "We can use credit or community-based data to find that. We need to find out their poverty level and want to find out [whether they are] insolvent. So, we use credit data and see how much debt they have. It's been very effective."

To access the executive roundtable, click here. To learn more about TransUnion Healthcare, click here


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