Thoughts about being the first software company to join MHA

This whole story starts a little strangely, but that is how real life can be.  A few weeks ago I was at the Loon Mountain Ski School end of season party (I am a part-time ski instructor there).  I was chatting with a fellow instructor, and the conversation moved to our “real” jobs.  (Don’t be fooled.  We are ski instructors first, and only have “real” jobs so we can afford to teach skiing for $11/hr.)  My colleague is a partner at Steffian Bradley, an architectural firm that does a lot of work for hospitals.

When he heard what we were doing at iGetBetter (help providers improve outcomes for discharged patients and reduce readmissions), he urged me to consider joining MHA (his firm is a member) so we could learn first-hand from hospital execs how they view the rapid transformation of the health care system that was underway, and their challenges and opportunities.

Huh.  I went home from the ski school party with this conversation ricocheting around my mind.

I ran it by my wife, who not only is much smarter than me, but also has been involved in the healthcare industry even longer than me.  She reminded me that one of the major drivers of the changes in the healthcare system is the rapid evolution of the payment model from fee-for-service to new fee-for-performance payment models that include shared financial risk for both payors and providers.  The conversation in the industry about this development has been primarily between payors and providers, and has not generally included the technology suppliers who play an important role in these changes by providing enabling technology for clinical care improvement and cost control.

Huh, again.  She was right.  We SHOULD be involved.  I checked the MHA membership roster.  There are hospitals (of course), ACOs, payors, and important members of the hospital ecosystem like financial service firms, law firms, architectural firms and construction companies.  But no high tech companies.  And that is why iGetBetter joined the Massachusetts Hospital Association as the first software company member.

In Massachusetts, the MHA offers hospitals and other care providers an effective organizational framework within which to address this unprecedented change.  Now we, iGetBetter, will have the opportunity to join in this conversation and help shape the healthcare system of the future.

I am really looking forward to the discussions with hospital execs at the MHA Annual Meeting in Chatham in July.

Win Burke, President  & CEO