In Good Companies, Volume II

Working at an insurance brokerage and consulting firm, I have the privilege of seeing some very innovative companies who work with clients at the firm.  I also do quite a bit of research myself on various health care companies – it only helps me to do my job as a client advocate better.  In addition, I’m a bit of a healthcare geek…I know…shocking.  I actually find this stuff fascinating.  Some, if not most, of what you’re about to read below is information I’ve gathered on my own (meaning independent of my work).

With that said, I thought it would be sort of neat to highlight some of these companies in a piece I’m calling “In Good Companies”.  You are now in the midst of Volume II!  And in case you are interested, I’m including a link to Volume I. 

Back to Volume II: here are a few companies I’ve selected – they are in no particular order. If my blog does not do them justice, check them out for yourselves!

Patients Like Me – When you’ve been diagnosed with a rare, complex and/or terminal disease or illness, you can feel quite alone. Hopefully you have family to support you, but even if you do, they are not going through what you’re going through.  There has been research done on how sharing stories and bringing together a community around particular disease states helps patient outcomes.  Started by brothers Benjamin and James Heywood in response to seeking information about their brother Stephen’s ALS, PatientsLikeMe was born using this approach of sharing information.  The data gathered and shared isn’t just amongst patients, however.  Healthcare professionals and medical companies like pharmaceuticals share the data as well.  And with sharing comes better ideas and better treatment so that those afflicted with awful diseases may benefit from those who have walked the path before them.  What a tremendous tribute and show of love from the Heywood brothers for Stephen.

Shape Up The Nation – Rajiv Kumar and Brad Weinberg started Shape Up the Nation…but it wasn’t “nation” back then. It was Rhode Island – the biggest little state in the nation.  Come to find out, their idea was a good one and this Rhode Island company expanded nationally.  What do they do?  Good question!  I would describe it as wellness with a social/community spin. They work with large enterprise employers as well as health plans to gather the company’s employees together into a wellness community and then use that social circle to drive action and healthy behavior.  Statistics show that the social approach drives upwards of 30%-50% participation – much better than the more static “incentive” based wellness and prevention programs out there.  With a vendor agnostic approach and expansion into the smaller markets, they can work with other companies to bring their community approach to prevention and wellness. You will likely be hearing more from the folks at SUTN.

Consumer’s Medical Resource – Healthcare today is changing rapidly.  Those who practice medicine have evidence based guidelines to help determine the ‘best practice’ for particular conditions.  Patients are in high deductible plans that force more involvement and engagement.  The Internet is fast becoming the leading medium in which information in healthcare is shared and exchanged.  EBM + Consumerism + Internet + a dash of patient empowerment = Consumer’s Medical Resource (CMR).  Talk about a needed service.  Those who have chronic diseases are able to gather information and be an active participant when it comes time to discuss treatment options with their physician.  Those who may not be ill but like to be engaged healthcare consumers will also find this service valuable.  I would wager that many more will soon be looking at this company for themselves and their loved ones.

AdhereTx – With the population continuing to age, it’s only a matter of time before you know a loved one, relative, or friend who is sick, getting up there in age, and on multiple medications.  Medication management is a real challenge for some.  AdhereTx is helping to tackle that challenge. With their web-based KnowMyMeds software platform, they are able to help manage the medication regimes for older adults.  Providers can use the software to collect self-reported patient data that can then be aggregated and reconciled automatically with EHRs and claims.  A rules-based engine then conducts an automated medication review for the patient and authenticates data to support medication reconciliation at transitions of care.  The results:  better outcomes, lower costs.  Just another step in the right direction. 

Aliment Health – I must admit that I know very little about this organization. In fact, I don’t even think they’re up and running yet. But here’s what I do know.  They are developing a hand-held diagnostic device for those with food allergies or metabolic disorders like Celiac disease (taken pretty much verbatim from the company’s Linked In profile).  In addition, the founder is Mitch Portnoy, the former President and COO of Symmetry (now part of Ingenix).  Mitch was one of the founding fathers of Episode Treatment Groups (ETGs) and Episode Risk Groups (ERGs) which help determine cost/efficiency and risk for episodes of care.  This standard is used throughout the healthcare industry.  So if Mitch is onto something with Aliment Health, I’d be sure to monitor them closely.

That does it for another edition of In Good Companies.  If you know of an innovative health company, let me know!  You might just see it in Volume III!

[Disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation or bonus from any of these companies to do this. This isn’t an endorsement of these companies based on personal or professional experience.  I do not speak for my employer.  This post does not influence client placement or recommendations to clients. I just think it is neat to showcase some great minds and great companies at work.]

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