A Young Entrepreneur Cracks the Code of Healthcare Inefficiency

Everybody is talking about value-based care, says Chris Bradley, CEO of Mana Health, referring to the term for new paths to treat patients with more efficiency across healthcare systems.

The move to value-based care, payment for procedures a patient wants and needs, has been a focus for hospital systems as they move from a traditional fee-for-service models, a kind of payment that is extremely variable, and not based on quality. Procedures, such as imaging and screening, can have great variations of cost regardless of the kind of care, according to Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

But value-based care has little value if the technology isn’t working, the electronic health records are slowed, and the cost of integrating a system is nearly half million dollars, never mind that doctors and administrators aren’t happy about it, Bradley says.

Yet that’s where a lot of hospital systems and health centers find themselves.  “Let’s be honest, it’s not where it could be,” Bradley says. “The EMRs (electronic medical records) themselves, they are not as useful as people had hoped, and for interoperability, many haven’t seen them take off as they thought.”

Interoperability is the extent into which systems and devices exchange and interpret data.

The immense possibilities – and sometimes improbabilities – of healthcare is what got Bradley into this business. He is the founder and co-owner of New York City -based Mana Health, a technology provider that focuses on healthcare data access solutions, with the idea of making them faster, and more cost-effective.

The idea of Mana Health – which means ‘flowing energy’ – is to streamline data access, interoperability, and innovation. The analogy makes sense for Bradley, who has a neuroscience background, who grew up in a family of doctors and initially thought he’d go into medicine. Instead, he found he could help more people on the technology end of things.

“We want to crack the code of having a sustainable and scalable network.”

The company touts its innovative key data access programs, including those named ManaCloud, ManaCreate and ManaPortal.  ManaCreate works, in part, to reduce the usually  time-consuming function of bringing IT systems to market, and the company has a specific focus on application program interface (API), the protocols and tools to building software applications.

 

Bradley says there is a growing movement to standardize the way applications can access data, through API, which has been “notoriously absent in health IT until very recently” in an article he wrote for  MedCity News.

Integrating and launching an application on top of medical data can be a nightmare, and getting the data into the application and hosting that data in a HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliant service is where things slow down and cost begins to spin out of control, Bradley says.

Although Mana Health is only a few years old, Bradley says it is growing its clientele, and has recently completed a program for an as yet undisclosed upstate New York hospital system that may save them upwards of $1 million. In one plan, Mana Health is working on proposals to develop a chat room for patients and families, where they can create data “and everyone knows what’s going on,” Bradley says.

Bradley puts it this way in a statement: “A cardiologist envisions treating patients faster with the right data points and providing targeted content. She is certain that with this experience she can improve outcomes.” So, where does she go from there? Bradley says.

“With ManaCreate and an efficient development team, she can expedite the design process, integrate all the right data and move into deployment mode faster for the betterment of healthcare,” Bradley adds.

“Data and interoperability and API, that is now a hot area,” he tells me.

Bradley says he recently attended a CEO roundtable, and the discussion was supposed to be about “value-based care, and that’s what they wanted to talk about. It delved into a conversation about interoperability. You cannot have value-based care without it.”

But when the CEOs talk about what they want, or the problems they face, often the topics revolve around data: it can be applications they want to deployed faster, saving millions from an EPIC investment, or improve tracking of patients with EMRs. “The one thing they have in common is the data” question, he says.

“That’s the highest value problem to solve,” he says of the data.

“Sometimes (healthcare leaders) don’t know they need to solve it until they go down that rabbit hole and realize, ‘Wait a second, I’m being asked to implement a variety of population health measures to integrate an (Accountable Care Organization), and I can’t because these systems don’t work with each other.’ Then you say you have an API, and you can launch an application in weeks instead of six months, they say ‘that’s interesting.”

“That,” he adds, “is how we get into it.”

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