UPMC, Health Cat­a­lyst part­ner to mea­sure costs

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Michael San­dler

UPMC and Health Cat­a­lyst have formed a strate­gic part­ner­ship in an ef­fort to mea­sure and an­a­lyze the true costs of health­care ser­vices, a process that could be­come in­creas­ingly use­ful with loom­ing bun­dled-pay­ment mod­els.

Pitts­burgh-based health sys­tem and in­surer UPMC and Health Cat­a­lyst, a data ware­hous­ing com­pany based in Salt Lake City, last week an­nounced they are com­bin­ing UPMC’s ac­tiv­i­ty­based cost-man­age­ment sys­tem and Health Cat­a­lyst’s en­ter­prise data ware­house. Un­der the agree­ment, Health Cat­a­lyst will li­cense and com­mer­cial­ize the tech­nol­ogy, con­tent and an­a­lyt­ics de­vel­oped by UPMC.

UPMC has been work­ing on tools to man­age health­care costs since its board tasked of­fi­cials with track­ing prices on ser­vices such as surgery. UPMC came up with a tool com­pa­ra­ble to one used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, said Robert DeMichiei, UPMC’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer.

Health Cat­a­lyst gath­ers clin­i­cal, op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion from var­i­ous sys­tems within UPMC, and pro­vides pa­tient-spe­cific costs on a monthly ba­sis. Al­go­rithms de­vel­oped by UPMC al­low its fi­nan­cial an­a­lysts to match equip­ment use, sup­plies and var­i­ous clin­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties—such as time in the op­er­at­ing room—to pa­tients. The an­a­lytic tool has been live for a year in all of UPMC’s Al­legheny County hospi­tals, DeMichiei said, and will be im­ple­mented in five ad­di­tional re­gional hospi­tals in March. UPMC can now track what’s hap­pen­ing within its ser­vice lines, and drive ini­tia­tives based on data ca­pa­bil­i­ties not pre­vi­ously pos­si­ble, he said.

“Un­less you have data to un­der­stand cost, you can’t ac­tu­ally have dis­cus­sions with physicians,” DeMichiei said.

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