Transparencies Role in Healthcare
Episode

Kevin O’Brien, Chief Business Development Officer at Innovu

Transparencies Role in Healthcare

In this episode, we are excited to host Kevin O’Brien, the Senior Vice President of Distribution at Innovu. Kevin discusses how his company leverages data to drive savings, opportunities, and transparency in health care. He talks about collaborating with companies, aggregating data across all service providers, digging deep into the insights, and collaborating and empowering companies to drive the action. Kevin also shared his insights about risk mitigation, combining health data with risk data to get a new perspective, the importance of educating people, the most significant mistakes employers make, and many more. Please tune in and enjoy the conversation.

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Transparencies Role in Healthcare

About Kevin O’Brien
He’s the senior vice president of distribution at Innovu. He’s got a history of health care leadership across many different companies. But also he is a serial entrepreneur, founding companies like Aislinn Group and also a more. He’s really specialized in employee benefits and workers comp insurance, but ultimately using data to make insights and ultimately improve outcomes and business success.

 

Transparencies Role in Healthcare with Kevin O’Brien, Chief Business Development Officer at Innovu transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Transparencies Role in Healthcare with Kevin O’Brien, Chief Business Development Officer at Innovu was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket. Saul Marquez is here, and today I have the privilege of hosting Kevin O’Brien. He’s the senior vice president of distribution at Innovu. He’s got a history of health care leadership across many different companies. But also he is a serial entrepreneur, founding companies like Aislinn Group and also a more. He’s really specialized in the area of employee benefits, workers comp insurance, but ultimately using data to make insights so that you could do best things for your business, your employees, and ultimately improve outcomes and business success. So, Kevin, I’m so privileged to have you here on the podcast with us. And I want to thank you for joining us. Yeah.

Kevin O’Brien:
Thanks for having me. Really looking forward to the conversation today.

Saul Marquez:
Likewise. So did I leave anything out in that bio that maybe you want the listeners to know about?

Kevin O’Brien:
You know, I think that’s a pretty good introduction. You’re very interested in really driving savings and opportunities into the health care space and really at it over. It’s all about transparency and data and how that really accomplishes that. So I think from that standpoint, we’ve got it covered.

Saul Marquez:
Awesome. Before we dive into transparency and the work that you guys are doing to help your advisors, employers, the people that you serve, improve outcomes and save money, tell me a little bit about you and what inspires your work in health care.

Kevin O’Brien:
So I think it’s it’s really twofold. One, my family’s been in and around health care, so kind of grew up, as, you know, an arm’s length distance apart from my father, who’s an insurance always kind of added around me. But when you think of just health care in general, you know, so much of it is positive and really helping people to live a better and healthier life. And with technology advancing the way this these days reach more people, it’s just, you know, it’s just a really interesting industry. On the flip side, when you think of the business aspects of it, health care is something that really does touch almost every American and every person around the country. And with potentially a quarter of it being waste, there’s just a huge opportunity to help employers and employees purchase health care more efficiently and then really ultimately assess the level of care that they need at a more effective rate.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, you are on point, my friend. Purchasing health care more efficiently is important to all of us, whether it’s us as individuals, whether it’s us as business leaders running our own business, it’s important. And that transparency, that accountability, all those things are things that aren’t as omnipresent as we’d like to be in the benefits game. And so I’m curious what you and we are doing in this space. So tell us a little bit about how you guys add value to the health care ecosystem.

Kevin O’Brien:
Yeah, absolutely. So at Innovu we are a data analytics company, and so we are pulling data feeds from all of the carriers, Topo’s, PB’s and solutions providers out there in the ecosystem on behalf of self-funded employers. And so as different debugged strategies have come into vogue for reference based pricing, employers are really looking for a centralized place to house all of their data to really identify health care opportunities and hold everybody in the health care ecosystem accountable. And so that’s the need that it feels for our clients where we have that centralized data set and then we have specialists actually looking at the data on behalf of our clients to help them understand where those opportunities live. And then we work collaboratively with their advisors and their charge to ask charge, wherever that might be, to implement solutions that make sense for them based on their unique issues of it.

Saul Marquez:
So basically, you guys are aggregating data across all of the service providers and then with that aggregation, you’re able to dig deep and come up with insights to help employers save that.

Kevin O’Brien:
That’s that’s it in a nutshell.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. And so give us some examples. Kevin, I mean, I’d love to hear how what you guys are doing is, number one, different than what’s available, but then taking a deeper step into the solution and example maybe of how you’ve been able to help one or several of your customers.

Kevin O’Brien:
Yeah, it really comes down to the different levels. So I think what Innovu does differently than others is there are other people that have a technology platform where you can go toe to toe with anybody out there, but we really don’t put the keys over to our users. And like a traditional SaaS model, we take it one step further where we’re actually helping drive that action. So we have the specialists that are looking at their data and really giving them the answers. We don’t expect our clients to be the data monitors or the the analytics professionals. So we really focus on identifying the problems and helping them implement that. So that’s really where we take it one step further, differentiate ourselves. Examples. You can get really simple examples from different carriers. Your team is not transitioning end stage renal disease at thirty one months. I can. Have huge dollars associated with that. Then you get a little bit more complex where you start to look at a set of career opportunities where employees are not essentially going to an effective solutions. So a great example of that and a silver lining of covid is the prevalence of telemedicine. It’s been a viable solution for decades, but it has got pretty low utilization across the board for employers. But now I’ve covered a lot of employees of experience that understand the convenience application of that avenue at a lower cost and a safer alternative than going into a doctor’s office. So those are some of the things that we will help identify. And then you get to really kind of more complex issues where you’re starting to evaluate different PBM models or the variances between the traditional PBM and a pass through where there’s a lot of complexity in leveraging data analytics as a platform can really come in to help in that evaluation, because we can leverage millions and millions of lives and data versus just looking at it on a kind of employer employee basis.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. And it’s really that done for you. Service are done with you rather Right. service that you guys do differently. You don’t just say, hey, here’s the machine, have fun, because it’s I mean, this stuff is complicated.

Kevin O’Brien:
Absolutely. I mean, I think that’s that’s how health care has evolved into this really complex living thing. And most people think that they make a career change. And that’s done for a year where reality, health care needs to be monitored and measured every day out of the service aspect of it. And working collaboratively with advisors to get the actions done is really what it’s all about, because I’m in the data business. But if you’re not going to do anything with the information, then it’s just interested in taking action if it is actually the most critical step. So we focus day in, day out and leveraging those capabilities so people can take the appropriate action of it.

Saul Marquez:
And so we focused a little bit on the on the cost savings. But talk to us a little bit about risk and risk mitigation and some of the things that can be derived around risk mitigation for people covering their employees.

Kevin O’Brien:
So from a risk mitigation standpoint, I mean, I think that data is foundational. If we just take the world we’re living in, the alternative world we’re in right now and covid, it’s been more present than ever that as people are coming back to work, whether that’s remote or in the office, manufacturing plants, what have you, you’re not bringing a health element into the workers compensation arena. And so you starting to understand that collective nature that has always existed between health and risk. But we’re just able to see it in a more tangible way right now with covid. So at the end of the day, I think from a risk mitigation standpoint, safety procedures and protocols have had a really huge impact on lowering that risk since really the late eighties. Now we’re just starting to look at the health element as as a component of that. So do I have an issue? Is my need to have a sort of physical therapy for a long time that maybe my knee is in a bad spot? Or am I a truck driver that’s on the opioids, the different things that can really have some high dollar costs associated with it. We can now combine health data with the risk data to get a new lens on where that was.

Saul Marquez:
That’s interesting. And so when you think about the typical employer taking care of your health care expenses, I mean, we’re not in tune with what things are and how they work. And so what would you say is is one of the biggest mistakes that you see made by employers and maybe the best thing that Innovu does in those key areas?

Kevin O’Brien:
Yeah, I think the biggest mistake is relying on others to tell you the information versus kind of independently verify it yourself. So if you think about how other industries have evolved, it always starts with that that level of transparency, getting access to the information that really does open your eyes to what’s really going on. Then there’s a level of education that happens to say, OK, why is that occurring? And then typically from that, education becomes the action. And then in some industries you even get legislation and reactive things that come after that. But I think where we’re kind of hat in the US health care system is really at that transparency and education level. So a lot of people are now with tools like Innovu you know, who have the ability to kind of look behind the curtain and understand why health care has been escalating at a rate it does or what where is all the waste and fraud within the system? And so once you start to understand where that lies, you can educate yourself on and really do something about it. So I think that that foundational level of just relying on others to tell you why your rates are increasing or why your risk is going up without independently verifying is probably the the most foundational mistake that many make now.

Saul Marquez:
And it’s too bad. And there’s opportunities now for all of us to consider new ways of taking a look at our data, verifying it, and then getting insights from that data to get savings that it takes a trained eye. In the past, I’ve used this example, Kevin, with a. Years ago, my wife and I went to Hawaii and it was February, we wanted to see the whales and we were just look and look and couldn’t find them. We get in a boat and the whale person starts telling us what to look for. And after that boat ride, literally, we saw whales from everywhere we were standing, you know, and it wasn’t until we had that education. And I love that you guys offer both the technology and the people to be able to get to that insight. Because you guys see across so many different companies, you will see patterns, I imagine.

Kevin O’Brien:
Very much so. And you see patterns, you see performance. You see who just has clean data. Right? So who manages those types of things on a more granular level? So because we deal with the entire country and so far the employers from everywhere, we see all those different models. So part of what you get from us kind of being that extra level of service is you get that experience as well. We’re not just talking to you about your data. We’re talking to you about what do we see out there in terms of what solutions are actually working, what are some quantifiable results we’re seeing who’s doing it the best. And so that’s really an extra layer of value that our analysts can bring to the equation, because we we get to see data in a much more broad spectrum than most.

Saul Marquez:
And that’s hugely valuable, as you think about today in our health system is undergoing massive transformation. What would you say you’re most excited about?

Kevin O’Brien:
I think the most thing that gets me excited most, it’s getting the visibility, I think that it has required, I think because it has become or as at least been the second or third biggest item on those companies balance sheets behind human capital and in some cases, raw materials. It’s really starting to get the attention that it requires. And I think with tools like, Innovu, the CFO, CEO, Transition HRR, who are really focused on reducing that exposure, helping their employees become healthier, which reduces risk, and then ultimately purchased health care more effectively. There’s a lot of excitement there. And so they’re interested in what the solutions are. They want to have the hypothetical conversations. And I think they’re interested in educating their employee base to a point where they feel comfortable with doing some of the more cutting edge type of strategies.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it’s certainly exciting. And a lot of people have their eyes on health care. It’s inevitable. We have to do a better job of managing our costs and taking care of our people at the same time. Certainly a great discussion with you today, Kevin, and the work that you guys are doing adding. So please, why don’t you go ahead and leave us with a closing thought and then the best place for the listeners to get in touch with you for further exploration about how to potentially use you guys or partner with you.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, thanks. I guess my closing thought would be we live in a world right now where you pull out your iPhone and get a ticket to Hawaii with a few clicks Right.. It’s not unreasonable to think that you can have that level of transparency in education and your health care did as well. So it no longer is a black box. So if you’re interested in really understanding why those costs are escalating, just ask the questions. The data is available to you. And if that’s Innovu can help with that, we’re definitely interested so you can reach me. Email at Innovu is at KO’Brien@innovu.com. Yeah, just shoot me an email and we’ll definitely get somebody in touch with you. They can talk to you about what we can bring to the table.

Saul Marquez:
I love it, Kevin. This is insightful. And folks, I’m a firm believer that you’re the average of your five closest peers. And Kevin and the team over there, they got pretty high average on understanding the insurance game. And so why not reach out and see what you could learn? I mean, it might mean the difference between you being competitive or not or reaching out and getting that next product out faster because you saved a couple of bucks, millions, a couple insurance bucks add up. So, Kevin, this has been great. I certainly appreciate the opportunity you’ve given us to to connect with you and also with your team. So I appreciate the time you spent with us.

Kevin O’Brien:
Yeah, likewise. Appreciate you having us on. And always a great conversation around health care.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • How to empower businesses through data and data consulting
  • US healthcare needs better transparency and education.

 

Resources:
kobrien@innovu.com
https://www.innovu.com/