By Abigail Smith, FedHealthIT.com
Population Health and Creating the Ultimate Impact
Telligen has a 40-year history supporting and delivering Population Health solutions for both federal and state health agencies, along with the private sector. Telligen delivers innovative solutions that bring clinical quality improvement, health information technology and analytics together to help clients improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care. This interview with Brian Barry, the Telligen VP for Information Management, highlights key areas of focus as this group positions for future opportunity in the marketplace.
FedHealthIT: Why has Telligen had such great success in the Federal market?
Brian Barry: Our position in the marketplace is reflected by our mission to “transform lives and economies by improving health.” While this mantra has steered Telligen for decades, only recently did we broaden the focus from health care to overall health in order to serve the larger population and drive better results. Brian adds, “When you consider the proportional contributions to premature death, only ten percent is attributed to the health care setting, which is where [the United States] spends the most [money].” “We have expanded our focus of population health beyond health care, taking into account other health factors, such as behavioral, environmental or socio/economic conditions, and even genetic predispositions, with the goal of creating the ultimate impact.”
Telligen takes a “two-pronged approach” to measure the company’s effectiveness in achieving their mission. He says, “We value our involvement in national programs that shape the future of health care delivery and the economies they serve. We also actively track the number of lives we impact when helping clients overcome challenges related to improving health care quality and delivering cost-effective care.”
FedHealthIT: Where is Telligen making investments?
Brian Barry: One investment of great importance to Telligen is finding employees with the technical and clinical skill sets that complement the organization’s flexible approach. These skills range from “IT developers for systems, application and data management to biostatisticians for data analysis; and nurse case managers with the clinical understanding to deliver the actual services.”
In addition, Telligen continues to invest heavily in developing next generation tools, expertise and capabilities. A few examples include “continued development of an enterprise data management platform that combines multiple data sources into a single population-centric warehouse and allows statistical tools such as SAS to convert that data into actionable information.” Another example includes Telligen’s focus on Agile development. “We have been practicing Agile methodologies for nearly 10 years, with the development of our internal Population Health Management system, serving our State and Private customers. This experience has served us well as our federal customers continue to adopt more and more of an agile approach to delivery.”
“Our goal is to empower the health delivery community with the tools they need to get the right information, on the right person at the right time,” he says.
FedHealthIT: What key strategy do you attribute to your success?
Brian Barry: A critical factor in Telligen’s success is a commitment to developing strong and sustainable relationships with both customers and partners. “Having a solid understanding of the evolving goals and priorities that come with a multiple-year contract requires an agile approach that continually adjusts with changing program dynamics,” he said.
FedHealthIT: What about future opportunities?
Brian Barry: The way that health care is “delivered, consumed and paid for is no longer sustainable. There needs to be a fundamental shift for [the United States] to succeed in supporting the health of our populations.” The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), one of Telligen’s largest customers, and the Department of Health and Human Services have done a good job laying out a sustainable framework. “If you consider the move from volume to value that gets tied to the move from payment to quality with alternate payment models, that’s the right direction.” The challenge, Brian points out, “is how to get there. We need to be ready to adapt and innovate.”