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How Would You Budget Healthcare Innovation Initiatives?

Breaking down data silos and developing an enterprise data layer or hub is fundamental to achieving any one of these strategic initiatives and use cases that are essential to our ability to innovate, modernize and survive.


That was the prevailing insight industry leaders shared at a recent evening event held during AHIP 2016 in Las Vegas. Fifteen executives from organizations representing market leading payers, providers, health IT vendors and consultants, with titles that ranged vertically from director to CEO and horizontally from clinical, administrative, financial, product, operations and IT functions attended an invitation-only event to share their concerns around a handful of topics and rank their importance.

We wanted to focus on current concerns — so our topics were sourced in part from the Healthcare Executive Group 2016 Top Ten List as well as direct field interations. We chose the following:

  • Client Management
  • Consumer Engagement & Retention
  • Data Enablement & Infrastructure
  • Network Management
  • Payment & Reimbursement
  • Population Health & Medical Management
  • Quality, Accreditation & Compliance

As an exercise, we handed each executive $100 dollars that they would conceptually allocate toward different initiatives, so that we could score and prioritize the degree of impact and importance of data integration. We cribbed the exercise and the scoring methodology from the acclaimed book on innovation, “Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation,” by Nathan R. Furr and Paul Ahlstrom.

The max they could spend was $100 – and the minimum investment was $20 – so as to not dilute the results or spread too wide. Data Enablement & Network Management were the two big budget winners – although Customer Engagement & Retention had the highest interest by audience.

Here is the breakdown of how this conceptual budget would have been allocated:

Ave Index Score High Low Insight
Data Enablement & Enrichment $42.15 $50 $25 70% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a high frequency and high average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.
Network Management $35 $60 $20 25% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a low frequency but high average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.
Consumer Engagement & Retention $32.50 $50 $20 90% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a high frequency but average to below average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.
Population Health & Medical Management $30.63 $40 $20 70% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a high frequency but average to below average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.
Payment & Reimbursement $30 $40 $20 80% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a high frequency and below average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.
Client Management $26.25 $40 $20 25% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a low frequency and below average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.
Quality, Accreditation & Compliance $20 $20 $20 15% of the audience put some form of investment in this category. This was a low frequency and below average monetary contribution area of priority for data integration.

In summary, there was strong agreement among executive roundtable participants that data “infrastructure” investments and enhancements were needed before additional “application” investments and enhancements. To be specific, most executive roundtable participates agreed that their organizations needed an enterprise data “foundation” that is transactional, not just another static data warehouse, to integrate data across disparate sources and formats to “run our business on” before organizations could truly improve application performance, utilization and ultimately customer experience and satisfaction.

What are your thoughts? do you agree with our findings?

National Director, Healthcare Solutions

Bill Gaynor is a health IT and enterprise software executive who has led and managed strategy and growth initiatives for industry leaders such as Oracle, First Data, JPMorgan Chase, McKesson and Cambia Health. Bill has been recognized for success in other executive roles leading solution consulting, finance, product management, project management and implementations.

Bill has a diverse background leading launches, growth or turning around efforts in start-ups to Fortune 100 companies delivering enterprise software, consulting, financial services and health care IT solutions. Bill's healthcare experience and strategic relationships include leading health plans, TPAs, hospitals / health systems and health IT vendors.

Bill holds a MBA in finance and information systems from Marymount University, a B.A. in International Economics from American University, is a Certified Health Insurance Executive (CHIE), and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Bill serves as a member of the Healthcare Executive Group (HCEG) board of directors.

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