It’s amazing these days that whenever you employ a service on the front side that is marketed to benefit you, there’s always the action taking place on the back side that you may or may not be aware of and it appears that what we have here with Inovalon, the old one-two punch to create revenue streams with more data for sale. 

This is like a virus out there as I have said many times withimage the data selling epidemic we have taking place.  There are some very intelligent people out there who have figured out how to make money and profit using different “value” tactics to provide a service that contains value on the front end and then makes money on the back side with selling data.  Here’s the recent Walgreens press release as they have medical records in their clinics and now also are making that information available to pharmacists. 

United Healthcare with their technologies already has foot in their door in a big way way well with being able to use the medical records from the Mayo clinic to analyze and sell the queried data to researchers and other folks who might have an interest in de-identified data.  One of their focuses is to sell analytics relative to how medical devices perform and which are the top selected by hospitals and so on.  They also have a non profit “lab” company wrapped around the ability to also market data.

More Data For Sale Soon With Shared Clarity With United Healthcare Labs and Dignity Health–Crunching Numbers on Medical Devices With Shared Clarity

When you look at Walgreens pulling close to a cool billion a year selling data of course it somewhat looks like they are right on top of any methodologies to secure additional data for sale or to buy it and broker it back out there when queried with other data they buy or have in house.  It’s all about the Query Masters.  Greenway medical records is already on board to send medical records to insurers.  The amount of data today with insurers has to be huge as they also buy your Visa and MasterCard records. 

One has to kind of laugh when you read the reason Blue Cross gave as they said they can monitor members who may start buying clothes a size larger, get real, the Query Masters are going to town with that data to query with any other date they want.  If you read the want ads anywhere there’s huge lot of ads for data scientists.  Just recently too I blogged about the quality of the data scientists on the horizon as well since it is being commoditized.  The point I made there was the danger of the “pick six” model to where a guess is made when the data scientist has done all the research and is not able to produce “real” relationships between the millions of chunks of data they analyze, which kind of fashions itself after what happened with LIBOR, the “pick six” out of the sky to sell analytics.  This is why models need to be replicated by others to make sure nobody is cheating with a math model. 

I found this article interesting as well as a sales representative in this business had a conscience, maybe like a mini Snowden event, and talked about it.  Below is a quote from what he said and I blogged it here.  When there’s money to be made a real strong effort is made to ensure the marketing and the sale on the front end is strong and compelling to even include studies to sell their strategies. 

“It’s those who buy a Jawbone Up because it’s sold at the Apple Store then connect it to several Web apps because their trainer recommends them without considering long-term implications. Data is powerful, and just as it has the power to enhance our lives, in the wrong hands it can also harm us.”image

So again, looking beyond the sales pitch and marketing here, it comes back to data for sale and the page mentions researchers so get them on the bandwagon to buy the data as well to use in their research.

There is the pitch as well that the data and information gives value back to the physicians and I feel sorry for doctors as they have so many of these types of companies banging on their doors to sell such services and there are tons out there.  You can even look on a big scale basis with seeing that WellPoint is now a reseller of IBM Watson.  In addition WellPoint also gives a company Castlight revenue to hang around the weed through their data complexities.  You can’t help but sometimes think about all the complexities and the IT large expenses that go with it don’t somehow shuffle out to what we pay for policies..

Again the reality here is to give providers more information to analyze day in and day out and you have to look at the day of the average doctor as well, how much time do they have for all of this?  Not a lot as they are “seeing patients” too and all can’t be successful in cramming more analytics into their business but they all try with saying theirs is the best. 

I talked to a doctor this week who said seeing illegals who pay cash are imagehelping keep his practice alive and this was not on the west coast or in Texas.  A while back a CEO of a medical records company said to me “the payer folks have no clue on how difficult it is today for doctors to accurately enter all their patient data in charts today to meet everyone’s criteria” and yup I agree with that statement as well as years ago in the early days I wrote an EMR.  That is why I look at all of this and it makes perfect send to me as I have some background in creating software and see the “push-pull” of the data folks and their sales and marketing. 

So here in looking behind the scenes at where the data will go to end up making money selling data is a no-brainer and again having spent time with doctors day to day these folks are “out there” and don’t see how complex their jobs have become being data slaves to everyone out there, if you want to cut the bottom line here. 

So with all of this data competition, coupled with the pressure for data scientists to create profits (hopefully avoiding the pick six model) it’s going to be hard as I agree with some forward looking Australian bankers that half of all the analytics investments are going to be waste of investment, but many will on the back end continue to feed the “data selling” epidemic we have in the US, too many out there “flipping algorithms” for profit with little concern on the end users with the impact.  It is becoming extremely difficult to find the folks offering “real” value and seeing if there is truly a back end “data sell” which is probably the real driving force. 

Half of Analytics Investments By Companies and Banks Will Be a Waste–What Do We Analyze with Big Data and Does It Have Value–Some Algo Fairies Would Do Better at Disneyland…

As competition expands, so does the marketing and demand for profit and data.  Of course as it has been for a while for consumers, when analytics and studies are used out of context this stands to be the discriminatory attack on consumers ever seen.  I read some wild ones out there for sure.  With the elevated concern over the NSA, take a look at what private industry is doing by all means as their actions and analytics will have a bigger impact on your daily life than the spying of the NSA. 

Big Data/Analytics If Used Out of Context and Without True Values Stand To Be A Huge Discriminatory Practice Against Consumers–More Honest Data Scientists Needed to Formulate Accuracy/Value To Keep Algo Duping For Profit Out of the Game

A former Wall Street Quant agrees with me there as she’s a former quant (link below)  who worked at DE Shaw and sees it crystal clear like I do.  So again as I say, is there value here for the providers, maybe, but the bigger value is the data selling profits in the back end and the dividing lines between real “value” and “data selling value” are getting kind of gray out there.  Watch the videos in the footer of this blog to get more insight on how the mechanics of marketing and math work, “The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception” explored.  BD

Recommended Reading: “Where’s the Outrage Over Private Snooping?” “The Killer Algorithms Have Teeth & Don’t Care Who They Might Bite

Allscripts, a leading EHR vendor, and Inovalon, which supplies a wide range of data and analytics to health plans, have entered an agreement that enables users of Allscripts' ambulatory EHRs to send their clinical data to payers via Inovalon and receive patient-level analyses of the data in return.

This is the second major deal announced this year that facilitates data sharing between providers and health plans. Ambulatory EHR vendor Greenway, insurer Florida Blue, and Availity, a national health information network, announced last spring that they'd begun enabling Greenway clients to send clinical data to Florida Blue and to receive back patient care summaries based on claims and other data.

Although Inovalon didn't reveal which payers were interested in receiving Allscripts data, it serves hundreds of plans that together cover about half of the insured population, according to Keith Dunleavy, president and CEO of the company.

Inovalon aggregates claims, lab, pharmacy, durable medical equipment, functional status and patient demographic data for the payers, Dunleavy told InformationWeek Healthcare. For the past decade, Inovalon has also been collecting clinical data from providers for its health plan customers, he said. Most of that information has been manually abstracted from paper charts. But during the past five years, an increasing amount of the information has come from EHRs. With the permission of providers, he said, Inovalon has garnered "raw data" from their EHRs using a combination of export and "screen scraping" methods.


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