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ZeOmega provides whole-person health management solutions for any value-based care initiative
Steven Loeb speaks with Sam Rangaswamy, founder and CEO of ZeOmega, a company that provides whole-person health management solutions for any value-based care initiative.
Our goal is to understand tech breakthroughs radically changing healthcare: the way we screen, diagnose and treat conditions and measure outcomes. And whether tech is helping or hurting our well-being physically and mentally.
Highlights from the interview:
- As Rangaswamy was starting ZeOmega, he was looking for opportunities to build something of value and one of the things that became clear was how Baby Boomers would need care in the coming decades. During that discovery process, he also learned that health plans would really need this technology 10 or 15 years from then to manage the health of their populations.
- There was a lot of focus on physical health and health plans were very dependent on providers to provide the right health at the right cost. Their only option was to educate their members to understand their health status so they’d ask the right questions of their providers so they'd get the right care. Payers always had a challenge engaging with providers, so ZeOmega helps them engage the members first by providing them with the platform as they receive care, while providing the plan with the tools to engage them, to inform them of their conditions, and really help them help their membership receive the right care.
- Public health is more around policy, and how the government looks at health care as a whole, but when we're looking at population health, it's really the process of how you provision care for a population and administer care for them. That population might be countrywide or in a geographical category or it could be just a zip code or census tract level. So, it depends on how you define the population. And then, what are the needs of that population? What's the best way to deliver care to that population? When you take that approach if you're a payer then you look at your membership, and you identify the various segments in your population, identify the needs of that population. Ultimately, you're addressing the needs of every member in that population based on their health status.
- Population health management and value-based care are intertwined because when you say value based care, you're always talking about it in context of a population; you're literally defining the benefit by that population. When you're talking about population health, unless you have value somewhere in that equation, you're not really managing the health of the population. So, it is a very essential component of population health and it's very relevant when you identify the problematic areas. For example, if ESRD patients who cannot afford transportation or can't make it to the hospital due to various conditions get at-home dialysis for free, that's a value based care intervention that was derived as part of the population health program, because you were able to determine that this is the specific need in this population. If you don't address this, you're not addressing health equity, you're not really adding value.
- The conversations have changed over the years and now there's an emphasis on member satisfaction or patient satisfaction. ZeOmega is doing all of this to reduce cost of care, improve quality of care, but they have to do it making sure that the patient, the one who's receiving the care, has the opportunity to say whether they are doing a good job or not. A lot of the measures that are coming out now, with respect to HEDIS, are around social determinants of care and member satisfaction.
- AI is essential component to ZeOmega: the predictive nature is very important and so is the retrospective analytics. The company provides retro, predictive, and concurrent data, meaning what to do today based on the member being in the ER or in the hospital. The predictive ones are important, because there is 20 years of data one the platform, so ZeOmega can tell, based on certain attributes of the member, how likely they are to engage on the phone, or if the member is better off getting a text and a link. The company has that level of data to predict and make sure they're teed up for the right type of intervention. It's all about making sure that the limited human resources are enhanced using these AI and ML capabilities and ZeOmega makes them more productive by using these capabilities.
- At-home care helps get rid of the blinders that physicians have at the traditional point of care. The discovery process could help answer a lot more questions and stabilize that person's status. There's always been that realization that more could be done, but there's never been the financial incentive to do that, and now, with that changing, this has just been all a step in a good direction for us and COVID actually was a good catalyst in that regard.
- There’s two kinds of ROI for ZeOmega: hard ROI and soft ROI. The hard ROI typically is around savings, and the company has certain metrics that it defines. Based on experience, it can actually project what the savings are if the client eliminates its fax process versus using a better integration approach. Also, in terms of the economics of implementing some of the programs, in terms of the reduction in ER visits, in terms of the reduction in total days spent in the hospital, these are hard savings that it can provide. In terms of the soft ROI, ZeOmega really looks to member satisfaction, provider satisfaction, and it can show its clients how they can improve on the satisfaction of key stakeholders, which are the employers, the members, and the providers.
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