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Health Directions Acquired by The Camden Group

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 12, 2015 11:08:00 AM

Two National Healthcare Consulting Firms Combine to Address Increased Demand for Population Health and Physician Advisory Services

The Camden GroupAs you are aware, Health Directions has been growing rapidly as we help our clients navigate through their strategic, operational, and financial challenges. Because of our growth, we felt that the time was right to look to outside partners to help facilitate and accelerate our firm’s development.

We are happy to announce that after a thorough and comprehensive consideration, Health Directions agreed to be acquired by The Camden Group effective January 1, 2015. 

This move will be especially beneficial to our clients in that a greater wealth of resources is now in place to strategically support their needs. One key component to the acquisition was the cultural fit and industry expertise each firm brings to the relationship. We will continue to build our existing footprint in the Chicago area while creating a new Camden Group presence in Texas via our Austin office.

Visit The Camden Group's leadership page to meet the senior leaders on The Camden Group team!

The Insights Blog will remain in tact and will be published and delivered in the same manner in which you are accustomed. If you have any questions, please email Matthew Smith at msmith@thecamdengroup.com.

The full press release may be accessed here or by reading below.

The Camden Group, one of the nation's largest healthcare business advisory firms, today announced it has acquired Health Directions, LLC. Health Directions is a national consulting firm that provides business solutions for healthcare organizations, helping medical groups and hospitals improve their financial performance, enhance physician satisfaction, take full advantage of health IT, and strengthen their strategic position. The merger results in an enhancement of the depth of services and expertise of both firms, providing additional advantages for clients in developing clinical integration programs, accountable care organizations, improving the performance of their physician enterprise, and implementing other population health solutions involving innovation to care delivery and payment models.

MarinoQuote"Health Directions is a highly respected and well-regarded national healthcare consulting firm, dedicated to assisting healthcare systems and physician groups," says Steven T. Valentine, president of The Camden Group. "The firm is a great cultural fit, and given the evolving needs of our clients and our commitment to assist in their successful transformation, this acquisition strengthens our capabilities to provide the best solutions that fit the broad range of client needs for migrating this change, as well as expand our footprint in Chicago and establish our presence in the Texas market." Additionally, clients will benefit from Health Directions' data analytics and expertise in HIT selection and implementation.

"By teaming up with one the largest healthcare consulting firms in the country, we are now better able to assist clients as they navigate a post-healthcare reform world and transition into value-based care," said Daniel Marino, president, Health Directions. "As a full-service firm, The Camden Group's ability to provide a broad array of advisory services delivers distinct advantages to our clients." Offices in Chicago and Austin, Texas, will now operate under The Camden Group banner.

About The Camden Group

With offices across the country, The Camden Group is one of the nation's leading healthcare business advisory firms. Since 1970, the firm has been providing management and consulting services to the healthcare industry exclusively, assisting more than 2,000 healthcare organizations nationwide. Its multidisciplinary team of industry experts and clinical leaders is nationally recognized for its thought leadership, results-oriented approach, and personalized service. The Camden Group has extensive, hands-on experience in many facets of healthcare, including hospitals, health systems, medical groups, health plans, and a wide array of business advisory services to accelerate success with population health, clinical integration,bundled paymenttransactions, and performance improvement. For more insights from the team and information on The Camden Group's services, please visit www.thecamdengroup.com.

Topics: Health Directions, Population Health, The Camden Group, Physician Advisory Services

What’s In It for Me? Six Compelling Reasons for Systems to Clinically Integrate

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 16, 2014 2:42:00 PM
By Daniel J. Marino,
President/CEO,
Health Directions

WIIFM, What's In It For Me?What’s in it for me? That’s a question systems should ask--and answer--before taking on the challenges of forming a clinical integration program or becoming an accountable care organization. Failure to create a shared vision, and an informed commitment to that vision despite all obstacles and concerns, can easily derail change management initiatives down the road. It is important to identify likely concerns and objections, and formally articulate a response to them, early on in the planning process.

Some of the most common concerns we’ve heard from system executives are one or more of the following:

  • Why change at all?  Fee-for-service is still working for us in this market. In fact, our entire business model is predicated upon it. Specifically, the Medicare penalties for excess rates of readmissions-- an early area of focus for many ACOs--are a just a small “cost of doing business” compared to the potential lost revenue from commercial insurers if we really improved in this area.
  • Why change now? We’ve been told before that “the end is near” and that we have to change. Those predictions did not come true then, so why should I believe they’ll come true now? In particular, what happens to ACOs and shared savings-type contracts once all the savings have been wrung out?
  • Can we afford it? How much will it cost, and for how long will we have to subsidize the program? We have a lot of competing demands for dollars.
  • What’s the ROI? Traditional financial models struggle to find a reasonable return on investment. In fact, some show material losses.
  • Do we have to partner with “community” physicians to do this?  Many systems have invested heavily in physician employment. Some are struggling to integrate them or to see demonstrably better quality as a result of these investments. Why spend more now with non-system employed physicians?

Narrow Networks, ACO, Healthcare SystemsHere are some of the more common responses to physician concerns:

  1. Better Care for Patients – The investments the network will make in information technologies, care coordination, performance feedback and other initiatives can drastically improve outcomes for patients. It has been demonstrated by other successful clinical integration programs. The vision statement for most every healthcare system talks to the preeminence of caring for the patient. Clinical integration and accountable care structures allow systems to reach whole new levels of quality, value and care.
  2. Responsive to Market Demands – The sheer number of ACOs--both Medicare and commercial--that have emerged in just the past two years or so is the best evidence that value-based payment arrangements are in demand. More and more insurers are moving to narrow network products too, as employers have become more open to these kinds of models to help rein in their healthcare benefits expense.
  3. Avoid Risks of Non-Participation – A common characteristic of ACO and shared savings-type contract arrangements is that network physicians--or at least primary care physicians--can only be listed in one ACO in the market. Furthermore, commercial insurers are moving more and more into narrow network products that only contract with organized networks of physicians--primary care and specialists. Few systems are able to employ enough physicians to satisfy the network requirements of even the narrowest of these networks. As more and more organizations are forming ACOs, and as narrow networks are increasingly introduced to markets, systems face increasing risk of being “left out in the cold” as markets mature around them.
  4. Upside Payment Potential – Reductions to “unit price” fee schedules by both Medicare and commercial insurers are widely anticipated. Participation in value-based payment models offer systems some opportunity to access additional payment streams from various “value based” contracting forms that are recently or will shortly be emerging.
  5. The Program Can Increase My Business – One of the concerns commonly expressed by system executives is that greater access to primary care services, care coordination and the creation of other efficiencies--typical areas of focus for ACOs--will cut into traditional hospital “profit centers” such as longer than necessary lengths of stay, excessive Level 1 and 2 ER visits, avoidable readmissions, etc. Appropriately designed, there are many ways in which programs can help direct care “in network” to ensure quality and efficiency, enhancing protocols are followed. Furthermore, many healthcare systems are now contracting with their own clinical integration programs for the health benefits of their employees. Savings realized by more efficient care management of system employees and family members can represent a significant offset to other lost or diminished sources of revenue.
  6. Our Prospects Are Better Together – There are those systems that think they could participate as effectively in value based payment models by themselves or with just their employed base of physicians. There are certain areas of value creation that can only be achieved through close working relationship with a broad base of physicians in specialties and geographic locations beyond those in which they have employed physicians.

 Daniel J. Marino, CIN, Clinically Integrated Networks; As President/CEO of Health Directions, Daniel J. Marino shapes strategic initiatives for healthcare organizations and senior health care leaders in key areas such as population health management, clinical integration, physician alignment, and Health IT. With a broad background in all aspects of practice management and hospital/ physician alignment, Dan is nationally recognized as a strategic leader in Accountable Care Organizations and clinical integration development. He frequently speaks at national conferences and regularly authors articles for the nation’s top healthcare industry publications related to current transformations in healthcare delivery. Dan may be reached via email at dmarino@healthdirections.com or by phone at 312-396-5400.

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Topics: Accountable Care, Clinical Integration, Health Directions, Clinically Integrated Networks, Daniel J. Marino, Narrow Networks

Health Directions Recruiting For a Healthcare Data Analyst

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 14, 2014 3:59:00 PM

Hiring, Health Directions, Healthcare Data AnalystHealth Directions is seeking an experienced Healthcare Data Analyst for its Austin, Texas location to perform financial modeling, budgeting and accounts reconciliation. The Healthcare Data Analyst will support the firm's senior staff by importing, validating, transforming, cleaning and/or modeling data with the purpose of understanding or making conclusions from the data.

We're looking for an Excel expert. Someone who stands out from the pack when it comes to finding ways to effectively collect and analyze different types of data. If you've built outstanding databases that yielded impactful financial results, we'd like to speak with you--especially if you can manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Qualified applicants must live in the greater Austin area and be able to drive within the metropolitan area.

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your resume, and salary history. Please note:

  • Submissions without cover letters will not be considered. 
  • Submissions without salary history and/or salary expectations will not be considered.

For more information on Health Directions, please visit our website at www.healthdirections.com and our HD Insights Blog at www.info.healthdirections.com/blog.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Experience with financial modeling
  • Expert skills in Microsoft Excel
  • Bachelor's Degree in Information Management, Healthcare Information, Computing, Mathematics, Economics, Statistics, or related fields preferred
  • Familiarity with PowerPoint and Access
  • Ability to research & perform data analysis
  • Strong analytical skills with financial data
  • Strong written & verbal skills
  • Detail oriented and self-motivated
Apply Online for Healthcare Data Analyst

Topics: Health Directions, Hiring, Healthcare Data Analyst

Free Webinar: Implementing Quality-Based Programs in a Medical Practice

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 28, 2014 4:47:00 PM

Health Directions, Webinar

When:

Wednesday January 29, 2014

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (CST)

Beginning this year, the reporting of clinical quality measures (CQMs) has changed for all providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.

All providers will be required to report CQMs, based on the new criteria, in order to demonstrate Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

Target Audiences:

  • Providers
  • Physician Office Practice Managers
  • Nurses
  • Quality Improvement Staff
  • Health IT Personnel

Agenda:

This webinar will:

  • Provide information on Clinical Quality Measuresto facilitate reporting quality data reporting for Meaningful Use and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs
  • Use a case study to demonstrate how to implement a quality-based program

Presenters:

Lucy Zielinski, CCSP, Vice President of Health Directions, LLC

Zielinski has more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of practice management, population health management, clinical integration, physician alignment, PQRS and PCMH initiatives. She has a broad background in practice management and is well recognized for her ability to assist physicians in making and executing complex business decisions. She has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of practice management from business operations to quality programs.

Cindy Barrett, LPN, Senior Associate of Health Directions, LLC

With more than 30 years of clinical experience in the ambulatory environment, Barrett collaborates with EMR implementation support teams to facilitate and build process, workflows, post-implementation support and optimization as it applies to the EMR module. She is recognized for her expertise in EMR clinical workflow analyses, technical EMR system builds, training oversight, and practice support during pre-implementation, implementation, go-live and post go-live. Additionally, Barrett works with health care teams on several quality reporting programs, including Meaningful Use, PQRS and PCMH initiatives.

Register

Topics: EHR, Electronic Health Records, Health Directions, CQM, Webinar, Telligen, Lucy Zielinski, Cindy Barrett

Health Directions Now Hiring: Managing Associate, Population Health

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 13, 2014 4:02:00 PM

Hiring, Managing Associate, Population Health, Clinical IntegrationHealth Directions is seeking an experienced consultant to work with the firm’s population health management solutions group.

In this role, the qualified candidate will work with team of professionals to develop and lead the implementation of clinical integration, accountable care and other innovation strategies for the firm’s clients. Key qualifications include:

  • Strong project management skills including project planning and oversight, team building, meeting facilitation, presentations and communications
  • Experience working with physicians, clinical and operational staff and health system leadership
  • Knowledge of governance and management processes related to clinical integration programs, accountable care organizations, bundled payment system and/or care coordination across the continuum
  • Experience capturing and monitoring clinical performance measures including PQRS, HEDIS, NCQF and other specialty association data elements
  • Operational/Clinical experience in both ambulatory/physician practices and inpatient settings
  • Ability to manage multiple engagements at a time

Desired Skills and Experience

  • 5+ years of operational/clinical experience in provider settings
  • RN or equivalent training/experience in clinical operations
  • Strong analytical, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently on location
  • Effectively manage client meetings and relationships
  • Willingness to travel 60% of the time

Salary and Benefits:  Commensurate with experience

About Health Directions

As a national healthcare consulting firm, Health Directions focuses on improving the financial, operational and strategic performances of medical groups and their affiliated hospital partners. Key practice areas of expertise include

  • Health IT Implementation and Optimization;
  • Population Health Strategy;
  • Physician Services; and
  • Revenue Cycle Management.

The firm works with a wide-range of clients including academic and non-academic group practices, employed groups, independent physician practices, MSOs, hospitals and affiliated hospital departments.

With principal offices in Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois (suburban Chicago) and Austin, Texas, Health Directions’ consulting professionals have extensive experience working through the complex organizational, administrative and operational issues that exist within medical environments.

Topics: Clinical Integration, Health Directions, Population Health, Managing Associate, Consulting

Health Directions Now Hiring: Data Analyst for Austin, TX Office

Posted by Matthew Smith on Dec 12, 2013 2:20:00 PM

Hiring, Data AnalystAre you an Excel expert? Do you stand out from the pack when it comes to finding ways to effectively collect and analyze different types of data? Have you built outstanding databases that yielded impactful financial results? Do you prefer to manage multiple projects simultaneously? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might be the person Health Directions is looking for. 

Health Directions, a national healthcare consulting firm, is seeking an experienced Data Analyst to perform financial modeling and budgeting efforts. The Data Analyst will support the firm's senior staff by importing, validating, transforming, cleaning and/or modeling data with the purpose of understanding or making conclusions from the data.

This position is currently being offered as a contract position (estimated at 3-6 months) with the possibility of full-time employment at the end of the contract based on the performance of the hired candidate.

Qualified applicants must live in the greater Austin area and be able to drive within the metropolitan area.

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your resume, and salary history. Submissions without cover letters will not be considered. Submissions without salary history and/or requirements will not be considered.

For more information on Health Directions, please visit our website at www.healthdirections.com and our HD Insights Blog at www.info.healthdirections.com/blog.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Experience with financial modeling
  • Expert skills in Microsoft Excel, 
  • Bachelor's Degree in Information Management, Healthcare Information, Computing, Mathematics, Economics, Statistics, or related fields preferred
  • Ability to design and develop relational databases for collecting data
  • Familiarity with PowerPoint and Access
  • Ability to research & perform data analysis
  • Strong analytical skills with financial data
  • Strong written & verbal skills
  • Detail oriented and self-motivated
Apply Via LinkedIn

Topics: Health Directions, Data Analyst, Hiring

Health Directions Now Hiring: Managing Associate

Posted by Matthew Smith on Nov 25, 2013 3:56:00 PM

How Hiring, Managing Associate, Population Health ConsultantHealth Directions is seeking an experienced consultant to work with the firm’s population health management solutions group. In this role, the qualified candidate will work with team of professionals to develop and lead the implementation of clinical integration, accountable care and other innovation strategies for the firm’s clients. Key qualifications include:

  • Strong project management skills including project planning and oversight, team building, meeting facilitation, presentations and communications
  • Experience working with physicians, clinical and operational staff and health system leadership
  • Knowledge of governance and management processes related to clinical integration programs, accountable care organizations, bundled payment system and/or care coordination across the continuum
  • Experience capturing and monitoring clinical performance measures including PQRS, HEDIS, NCQF and other specialty association data elements
  • Operational/Clinical experience in both ambulatory/physician practices and inpatient settings
  • Ability to manage multiple engagements at a time

Desired Skills and Experience

  • 5+ years of operational/clinical experience in provider settings
  • RN or equivalent training/experience in clinical operations
  • Strong analytical, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently on location
  • Effectively manage client meetings and relationships
  • Willingness to travel 60% of the time

Salary and Benefits:  Commensurate with experience

About Health Directions

As a national healthcare consulting firm, Health Directions focuses on improving the financial, operational and strategic performances of medical groups and their affiliated hospital partners. Key practice areas of expertise include

  • Health IT Implementation and Optimization;
  • Population Health Strategy;
  • Physician Services; and
  • Revenue Cycle Management.

The firm works with a wide-range of clients including academic and non-academic group practices, employed groups, independent physician practices, MSOs, hospitals and affiliated hospital departments.

With principal offices in Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois (suburban Chicago) and Austin, Texas, Health Directions’ consulting professionals have extensive experience working through the complex organizational, administrative and operational issues that exist within medical environments.

Managing Associate, Health Directions, Population Health

Topics: Health Directions, Population Health, Managing Associate, Consulting

Advocate for Physician-Led ACOs Shares Secret of Success

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jun 13, 2013 1:12:00 PM
By Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, June 13, 2013

Health Leaders Media, Health DirectionsThe former president of Advocate Physician Partners says it's a slow process to get newly hired physicians smoothly cobbled into an accountable care organization. But "culture is the main determinant" of an ACO's success.

Marty Manning built "one of the nation's leading clinical integration programs," as his new bosses describe it. The former president of Advocate Physician Partners, Manning helped design managed care contracts and other personnel ventures involving 4,000 physicians in nine hospitals within the Advocate Health Care System, based in the Chicago area. In that role, he worked to build consensus among private and employed physicians.

He did the job for eight years, and it was fun, Manning told me. "We had gotten to be a mature and successful organization … and I enjoyed the business incubation in different circumstances." In the process, he saw in accountable care organization development "so much opportunity."

So much that the prospect of more ACO development work effectively prompted Manning to leave his job. In May, he resigned from Advocate Physician Partners and joined Health Directions as executive VP to lead physician integration, clinical integration and especially ACO practices at the healthcare consulting firm based in Oakbrook Terrace, IL.

He wanted to do something slightly different.

Health Directions, Marty Manning, ACO

Topics: ACO, Health Directions, Marty Manning, Healthcare Consulting, Accountable Care Organizations, Advocate Health

William K. Faber, MD Joins Health Directions as Chief Medical Officer

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jun 7, 2013 10:06:00 AM

William K. Faber, Health Directions, Population HealthHealth Directions is pleased to announce that William K. Faber, MD, MA, MHCM, has joined the firm as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Faber will lead the clinical initiatives for Health Directions’ Population Health practice area and oversee the Health Directions Physicians Advisory Board.

“Dr. Faber is an enthusiastic leader who has the ability to work with diverse stakeholders to create a collaborative environment to achieve both strategic and operational goals,” said Dan Marino, President and CEO, Health Directions. “He will be a tremendous asset to our clients and we are thrilled to have him as part of our Health Directions’ team at this exciting time of company growth and as our capabilities continue to expand.”

Dr. Faber most recently served as the Senior Vice President of the Rochester (New York) General Hospital Health System (RGHS) while concurrently serving as the Executive Medical Director for the Rochester General Medical Group. While at RGHS, he assisted in the development of the System’s Clinical Integration program and led more than 150 providers at 44 sites through the conversion process from paper records to an Electronic Health Records system (Epic).

Prior to his time at RGHS, Dr. Faber served as the Medical Director for Credentials, Peer Review, and Quality Improvement Education for Advocate Physician Partners—which coordinates care management and managed care contracting between Advocate Health Care and more than 4,000 Advocate physicians via its nationally recognized Clinical Integration program.

Dr. Faber will work with Marty Manning, Executive Vice President, to lead the clinical initiatives for Health Directions’ Population Health practice, which develops and implements clinical integration, accountable care and other innovation strategies for clients.  He will also oversee Health Directions’ Physicians Advisory Board, comprised of leading physicians who provide advice and direction in areas such as physician compensation, clinical integration, physician on-boarding and provider credentialing.

Dr. Faber is board certified in Family Medicine. He is a graduate of Loma Linda University where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree. He completed his Master of Arts in Medical Ethics at Loma Linda University, and earned a Master of Science in Health Care Management from Harvard School of Public Health. He is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physician Executives.

Clinical Integration, Health Directions

Topics: Clinical Integration, Health Directions, Population Health, William K. Faber MD

Health Directions Welcomes Marty Manning as EVP; Will Lead Clinical Integration Initiatives

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 14, 2013 9:38:00 AM

Marty Manning, Clinical IntegrationHealth Directions is pleased to announce that Marty Manning, former President of Advocate Physician Partners, has joined the Health Directions team. Marty will serve as Executive Vice President of Health Directions, leading our physician integration, clinical integration and accountable care practice areas.

“I’m excited to have Marty on board, but more excited for Health Directions’ clients who will now have Marty there to provide them with solutions to the challenges they face in clinical integration and population health,” said Dan Marino, President and CEO, Health Directions. “His knowledge of clinical integration and his significant experience working with leading healthcare organizations and industry executives provides significant strategic and operational value to Health Directions and the clients we serve.”

As President of Advocate Physician Partners, a venture between nine hospitals in the Advocate Health Care system with more than 4,000 physicians on its medical staff, Marty helped build one of the nation’s leading clinical integration programs.  In that role, he gained significant experience working with, and building consensus among, both private practice and system-employed physicians, leading to the successful design and implementation of managed care contracting for hospitals and physicians.

Marty has more than 30 years ‘experience in strategic, operational and financial planning. His expert knowledge of contemporary healthcare management issues provides the context for building and operating clinical integration and accountable care organizations. Prior to Advocate Physician Partners, he held positions with Advocate Health Care, Good Samaritan Hospital and Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

Marty has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Clinical Integration, Strategy Development

Topics: Accountable Care, Clinical Integration, Health Directions, Physician Integration, Marty Manning

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