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November 7, 2018

Northern Light Health ACO partners with Boston tech firm

Courtesy / PatientPing
Courtesy / PatientPing
Jay Desai, CEO of PatientPing, said the Boston-based health technology company, has launched a partnership with Northern Light Beacon Health to implement a system for coordinating patient care in real time between different health care providers throughout the state.

Northern Light Beacon Health ACO will partner with a Boston tech firm to implement a system for coordinating patient care in real time between different health care providers throughout the state. It expects that in doing so it will improve patient care and reduce costs across Northern Health's network of Maine hospitals and providers.

It's the first health care organization in Maine to implement the PatientPing technology that will link it to a growing network of New England providers.

Northern Light Health's system includes nine hospitals with locations throughout the state, as well as ambulatory care centers, long-term care facilities, and home care and hospice agencies. With the PatientPing platform, Beacon Health's specialized nurse care managers are able to access and share patient information, both inside and outside Northern Light Health's system, through Pings that provide real-time notifications when a patient receives care. It also provides stories — important patient context — at the point of care.

As one of Medicare's original Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations, Beacon Health launched in 2012 to improve patient care while reducing costs for Medicare patients but later expanded its mission to include patients covered by private payers and self-insured employers.

PatientPing is a health technology company based in Boston whose network includes tens of thousands of providers nationwide. The company states on its website that it is rapidly accelerating its nationwide expansion so that any providers who share patients anywhere in the country can coordinate care with one another.

As a current participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Northern Light Beacon Health said it will benefit from PatientPing's ability to share ADT (admit-discharge-transfer) alerts from hospitals in real-time and to share critical patient information during transitions of care.

Improving care

Courtesy / PatientPing
Courtesy / PatientPing
PatientPing alerts frontline health care teams in real time as soon as a patient moves from one care setting to another.

"We are excited about our new partnership with PatientPing, which represents the next step in our journey toward better supporting our people on their health care journey across all points of care," said Dr. Ed Gilkey, medical director of Northern Light Beacon Health. "PatientPing alerts our frontline care teams in real time as soon as a patient moves from one care setting to another. PatientPing also lets us know what is happening with our patients who receive care from other providers. As a result, we are better able to proactively coordinate care that we believe will support our patients having better outcomes."

PatientPing reported on its website in November 2017 that its ACO customers have achieved significant success across various shared savings models, according to national data sets from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "These ACO customers fared well compared to the national average and achieved more than $120 million in total savings for 2016," the company stated.

The company said the key to those savings is its technology that coordinates care for patients in real time between hospitals and multiple health care providers — thereby avoiding care that's duplicative or not optimum for the current symptoms.

"The average elderly patient sees seven different providers each year," PatientPing stated on its website. "Those with chronic conditions or serious illness can see more than 25 across unaffiliated facilities like primary care clinics, emergency rooms, hospitals, rehab facilities, and home health agencies. A combination of poorly designed financial incentives and disconnected information systems often leaves care teams in the dark when it comes to their patients' past medical encounters."

Jay Desai, CEO of PatientPing, said the company is committed to coordinating care for patients throughout the country.

"We are honored to partner with Northern Light Beacon Health," Desai said. "As the first organization to implement PatientPing in Maine, Northern Light Beacon Health will help us improve care for patients in the state, and we couldn't be more excited to have them join our growing network of New England providers."

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