INTERVIEW WITH LOUIS BURNS, CEO, INTEL – GE CARE INNOVATIONS

Louis_Burns-CEO intelIn advance of the iHT2 Health IT Summit in PhoenixLouis Burns, CEO, Intel – GE Care Innovations joined the iHT2 Education Department to discuss Accountable Care Organizations, Remote Care Management, his upcoming keynote presentation taking place at the Summit.

One of Care-Innovations’ goals is to create technology solutions that enable people to live more independently. What solutions currently hold the most promise to play a pivotal role in reducing cost?
At its core, technology should power people and organizations to live and operate with confidence.  For patients and caregivers, this means giving them the tools not only to understand their health conditions, but also to enable behavior change – that’s what will really reduce costs.  Intel and Care Innovations have led quite a bit of research on this topic, finding that simple concepts like linking short-term efforts with long-term gains and giving feedback visually can help people make major changes in their health.  Remote care management through technology is one truly effective way to deliver this type of information.  Because providers must remember, technology can’t just be about gathering important information from the patient – it must be about changing how that patient operates on a daily basis.

What are the two most pressing challenges facing Intel-GE Care Innovations customers and how are you working to overcome these hurdles?
We all know that changes in business processes are difficult – but it seems even more so in a regulated industry like healthcare.  That is our #1 challenge.  A second, related challenge is providers’ hesitation to just pull the trigger and try something new for their organization, even when it’s been proven to work time and time again.  To combat these issues, we’ve developed a strong consultancy and services organization so that we can take providers through the entire process, from evaluating the type of solution they need to upgrading their business processes to implementing a full program.

There is a tremendous amount of focus on ACOs and their potential to reduce cost and improve quality. What other care delivery/business models can potentially accomplish this as well?
Care coordination through models like the ACO are hugely important, but there’s one other piece that should be called out: any integrated care approach MUST incorporate the home environment.  Delivering care in a person’s home is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a financial necessity, as well as a medical, staffing, and social necessity.  There are many business models that can enable home care; for example, it could be a payer-directed program to provide flexible care in the home with the aim of reducing costly hospital visits, or it could be a hospital-directed post-discharge program to help avoid the 30-day readmission penalties.

You will be delivering the opening keynote presentation at the upcoming iHT2 Health IT Summit in Phoenix, what can attendees of the program expect to take away from your presentation?
Attendees will learn the three core elements of business innovation and how to apply them to their own organizations.  I spent most of my career at Intel, which had a very measured, strategic approach to innovation, and I believe that any business can make innovation a reality with the right approach.  I’ll talk about these steps to innovative business models, give some examples of how to apply them to healthcare, and also explore some of the most disruptive forces happening in the healthcare business today.

As we enter 2013, what are the 2-3 most important areas providers should be focused on over the next 12 months.
1. Providers are already seeing the Affordable Care Act affecting their businesses.  But they must start thinking about how changing their care models can make them successful in the post-reform landscape, instead of just focusing on avoiding penalties.  Change is a reality, and it can also be an impetus to success with the right innovations.

2. Providers must also start thinking about how to reengineer their businesses.  The healthcare provider of today may very well be extinct in five years unless they make massive changes to their business models.  It’s time to start flipping their thinking; the hospital cannot continue being the center of care.  We must start broadening our thoughts about where care is delivered.

3. Perhaps there’s only a single question that providers should ask themselves.  With the landscape changing so dramatically, as a provider, do you want to lead – or to follow and be left behind?  Answering that question should be the #1 priority for 2013.

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