Health Care 2021: A Vision for New York

(L to R) Andrea G. Cohen, Senior Vice President for Program, United Hospital Fund; Karen Ignagni, President and CEO EmblemHealth; Linda Brady, MD, President and CEO, Kingsbrook Healthcare System; and Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, MPH, MS, President and CEO, Urban Health Plan.

EmblemHealth President and CEO Karen Ignagni joined fellow health care leaders in panel discussion on how health plans and providers are leading reform and adapting to changes in the health care system. Co-sponsored by United Hospital Fund and the New York State Health Foundation, “Health Care 2021: A Vision for New York” featured a keynote lecture by former Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson and panel discussions on patient engagement, health information technology and value-based care with leaders from Northwell, PatientsLikeMe, Consumers Union, Community Catalyst, Urban Health Plan, Aledade and New York-based provider groups.

In the future, Halvorson predicted, over 40 percent of the care being delivered in clinics today will be delivered in patients’ homes — a shift that EmblemHealth is at the forefront of with telehealth, care coordination and resources for family caregivers, noted Ignagni. “EmblemHealth is a mini-Kaiser uniquely positioned to lead the market in value-based care,” she explained. “Our relationships with ambulatory care services, telehealth providers, hospitals and multi-specialty practices like AdvantageCare Physicians allow us to follow the journey of the patient through every delivery setting.” This is particularly important in at-risk boroughs such as Brooklyn which, panelist Linda Brady of Kingsbrook Healthcare System noted, have high rates of diabetes, obesity and comorbidity. With the opening of a new EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care location in Crown Heights in April, EmblemHealth will not only serve at-risk members in Brooklyn at the population health level, but at the community level, as well.

In her opening remarks, Ignagni tackled the issue raised in an earlier panel discussion — led by Farzad Mostashari, CEO of Aledade and Eugene Heslin, Lead Physician at Bridge Street Family Medicine — that technology is only good as the data that it leverages. “EmblemHealth has invested significantly in predictive modeling, which enables us to support smaller providers who have limited care coordination capabilities,” she stated. “This collaboration empowers doctors to work to the top of their license.”

Looking ahead, Ignagni and Jeffrey Kraut, Northwell’s EVP of Strategy & Analytics, agreed that the “Uber of healthcare” analogy needs to reexamined. “The Uber model assumes surge-pricing and other costs will be absorbed by the upper middle class consumer,” said Ignagni. “However, in this analogy, we also need to consider others, such as working families and Medicaid members.” As Community Catalyst’s Michael Miller noted in an earlier panel on patient engagement, the seminal RAND Health Insurance Experiment’s findings do not necessarily apply to low-income or chronically ill patients. “The cost-sharing solution and the notion of having more skin in the game isn’t going to work for them,” he argued. To that end, Ignagni emphasized affordability in rethinking the health care delivery model. “The promise of the Affordable Care Act cannot be sustainable if payment reform is upside-only,” she said. “We need to work together to map out a plan to achieve affordability, which means sustainability of the system.”

For more on the future of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, follow @EmblemHealth’s live Twitter coverage of Karen Ignagni’s University of Rochester, Simon School of Business seminar on Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 PM EST.