One is innovative collaboration with commercial payers. Weiss announced an interesting one right before the holidays, with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. Weiss calls it the "first step towards a revolutionary accountable care organization."
It's a bold, but savvy bet, Weiss says. The deal involves lots of sharing of data and a good deal of trust, but it's trust borne out of about a decade of work building from what Weiss calls "a competitive and professionally distant relationship" between the payer and the health system.
"We were bickering over price, not value, which made no sense," he says.
Seeking a better way, Weiss and the CEO of the health plan met in Jacksonville last year. This followed early discussions that suggested the insurer would like to steer more patients toward NCH because of its high quality scores and better than average record of value—especially compared to its competitors.
"We have room for improvement, but the whole industry is just so off in terms of waste, any little improvement we have looks better than you can imagine," Weiss says. "[Blue Cross Blue Shield] started the conversation, but we were poised to come to the same conclusion: What can we do to improve ourselves?"
Sharing of claims data was a good starting point, and the exercise revealed that even though NCH physicians were doing a pretty good job of eliminating waste, a combination of resources could make real-time interventions on physician decision-making based on evidence possible. That would eliminate so-called hidden waste.
"Just getting a seamless exchange of information among the clinicians is an early objective and knowing who's doing what among the physicians, almost in real time, makes a huge difference," Weiss says.