When I was in graduate school, I quickly gravitated to projects and classes that focused on the relatively new field of database design and database technology. I loved the deep analysis of data and exploring the question of how to leverage technology to support storage and access to data in order to find answers. It was challenging, it was new, and it was a field that I knew would have a huge impact. My thesis was about data organization and optimization, and I was lucky to be able to experiment with all sorts of database challenges and software as I ultimately built my own contribution to the science.
At the Optum Forum conference this year, once again I was brought back to the data. As a recent partner with Optum, Healthmonix provides MACRA (MIPS and ACO) reporting for Optum clients in addition to our existing client base. At the conference, I heard the cries of how fundamental the data really is as we move forward in the value-based care market. As much as we need to work with providers and payers to change patterns of practice, a critical component is the data that supports the change and that measures the impact.
This is because data is what drives precision medicine and AI initiatives. It drives understanding, affirms what we already know, points out new patterns that we haven’t realized, and shows us where our perceptions are correct and where they are not.