Category: Podcast

Interview with MEDecision’s Dr. Henry DePhillips

published date
September 18th, 2007 by

Dr. Henry DePhillips is EVP and Chief Medical Officer of MEDecision, a “collaborative care management company” that enables payers to share clinical information with physicians to improve care and reduce costs. Dr. DePhillips and I were both speaking at the Disease Management Leadership Forum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and found time to catch up between sessions. We spoke about how MEDecision uses payer data, pharmacy data, care management data, lab data, PHRs and EHRs to provide useful information to providers in ways that fit into existing workflows.

I was particularly intrigued by MEDecision’s experience with providing information in the emergency department, a setting where it’s often hard to get physicians interested in accessing outside information. After a couple of false starts with physicians and nurses, MEDecision found a way to integrate into the workflow of the administrative staff. In the end the payer saved money and yet physicians also came out ahead financially. Patients benefited, too.

Medical tourism interview with GlobalChoice Healthcare’s CEO, Ken Erickson (transcript)

published date
September 6th, 2007 by

I recently interviewed Ken Erickson, CEO of GlobalChoice Healthcare for MedTripInfo. GlobalChoice isn’t a medical tourism agency. It bills itself as a procedure management firm, offering employers a supplemental benefit that extends their provider network to additional US and international locations.

Ken and I spoke about his providers and customers, continuity of care, accreditation, credentialing and malpractice, among other topics.

Visit MedTripInfo for the audio version and full transcript.

David Williams: Ken, thanks for joining me.

Ken Erickson: Thank you for the invitation.

David: Ken, what is GlobalChoice Healthcare?

Ken: GlobalChoice Healthcare is a company that was organized to fulfill the promise of medical travel. We have created a product called the GlobalChoice Health Benefit that provides access to hospitals–both in the US and internationally–and all the wrap-around services for one of our clients to access those medical facilities.

David: When you talk about wrap-around services, what sort of services are those?

Ken: The services are anything associated with the medical care, which means all of the pre-medical care, wrangling of medical records, and getting that person approved for care at the remote location. And then, all of the interrelated travel services to get them to the location, the care while they’re at that location–all the logistical care while they’re at that location–case management while they’re there, and then integrating them back into their care system when they get back home.

David: When you talk about having a global network, I noticed that you’ve got facilities in very disparate locations ranging from Turkey, to Singapore, to Wisconsin, to Los Vegas, to Mexico. How did you decide where these facilities would be?

Ken: Internationally, it has to do with quality, cost, and location. We have actually worked through many, many different locations internationally. And we have really settled on those that we feel have the quality–have the JCI accreditation–and have the cost advantage. It needs to be a location that’s actually somewhere that a US individual would actually feel safe, secure and it’s clean. So that being the case, you’ll notice that at this point, we’re not in India.

David: And do you think India has potential or it’s just too far in the future or just never going to be a good part of your mix?

To continue reading, please visit MedTripInfo for the audio version and full transcript.

Interview with Maggi Ann Grace, author of State of the Heart

published date
September 5th, 2007 by

In 2004 Howard Staab found out he would need surgery to repair a failing heart valve. Unfortunately for Howard he was uninsured. Unable to afford the $200,000 cost for the surgery in North Carolina, but too well off for Medicaid, Howard didn’t know what to do.

His partner, Maggi Ann Grace, tried negotiating with Durham Regional Hospital. She offered to pay the hospital the discounted rate that an insurance company would pay. No dice, said the hospital CEO and CFO.

Maggi’s son had spent a summer in India after his first year of medical school and he suggested the radical idea of having the surgery done in India. So eventually Maggi and Howard went to the Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi, where Howard underwent successful surgery for under $10,000.

Maggi’s new book about that experience is called State of the Heart: A Medical Tourist’s True Story of Lifesaving Surgery in India. She’s also created a website with updated information and her speaking schedule. I spoke with Maggi about it this afternoon for MedTripInfo.

Interview with GlobalChoice Healthcare’s CEO, Ken Erickson

published date
August 10th, 2007 by

I spoke earlier today with Ken Erickson, founder of GlobalChoice Healthcare. GlobalChoice isn’t a medical tourism agency. It bills itself as a procedure management firm, offering employers a supplemental benefit that extends their provider network to additional US and international locations. Ken and I spoke about his providers and customers, continuity of care, accreditation, credentialing, and malpractice -among other topics.

Interview with KK Women’s and Children’s Chong Pik Wan (transcript)

published date
August 8th, 2007 by

I’ve posted the transcript of my interview with Chong Pik Wan from Singapore’s KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital on MedTripInfo.  Here’s the first part:

David E. Williams: Hello, this is David E. Williams, CEO MedTripInfo. Today I toured KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, a 900-bed tertiary care facility in Singapore. After a tour of the facility, which matches anything I’ve seen in the US in terms of physical plant and creature comforts, I sat down to speak with Chong Pik Wan, the hospital’s Director of International Medical Services, in order to learn more about KK’s OB and fertility services, and their relevance for medical travelers.

What’s the purpose of having women’s and children’s hospital together instead of just having one dedicated to women and one dedicated to children?

Pik Wan: Having a women’s and children’s hospital together allows us to meet the needs of women and children a lot more effectively. For instance our high risk pregnancies, all right, in some cases the children will be born with congenital deformities and would need special clinical care.

Therefore what happens is that very early on in the women’s pregnancy once we identify that the child is going to have particular difficulties, our obstetricians and pediatric surgeons start working together very closely. This allows parents to be informed of their options, to get advice on their treatment that needs to happen when the child is born and then for us to try and therefore create as good a clinical outcome as possible for their child and plan for this outcome even before the child is born.

David: What are some of the differences in how obstetrics is practiced in Singapore compared to Europe or the United States? Are there any meaningful differences like natural child birth or vaginal birth after Cesarean? Any different approaches?

Pik Wan: I don’t think that there are serious differences between childbirth practices in Singapore and Europe or in the US. I think where we may be right now is that probably at KK Women’s and Children’s hospital we tend to be a little bit more careful in terms of deliveries. Now a large part of that is because we are a tertiary referral center and for high risk pregnancies. And therefore you would find at this point of time we do not have water birth.

So we are very particular in that sense because we haven’t seen clearly documented evidence that water births actually have a better outcome and so on. So you will find out that in the KK Hospital we do not do water birth at this point in time. So in that sense, doctors will actually want to see the evidence before they go into this method of childbirth.

To continue reading, visit MedTripInfo.