How Providence St. Joseph's New Venture Plans to Tackle Population Health

Jared Kaltwasser
APRIL 01, 2019
ayin health,providence st joseph population health,providence population health,ayin health solutions
Images courtesy of Ayin Health Solutions.

Providence St. Joseph Health, the nation’s third largest nonprofit health system, has launched a for-profit population health management company, hoping to export its insights to capitalize on a booming segment of the healthcare sector.

The network, spanning 51 hospitals and more than 800 clinics in seven western states, aims to accomplish these goals through Ayin Health Solutions, which will focus on selling and developing population health management products and services to clients such as providers, insurers, government and employers. The company will be based in Portland, Oregon.

Rhonda Medows, M.D., CEO of Ayin and president of population health management for Providence St. Joseph Health, told Inside Digital Health™ that the health system and its Providence Health Plan have already earned a strong reputation.

“Through Ayin, we’ve decided to seize the opportunity to expand on what we’ve built by starting a separate entity to utilize expertise of the health plan and Providence St. Joseph Health,” she said. “Ayin is the best of both worlds.”

Ayin’s suite of products is extensive. It includes care, quality and utilization management, pharmacy and benefit management, strategic consulting, information technology and bundled payment decision support services.

The company is also touting a proprietary risk-management tool to help manage costs and improve patient outcomes.

“Ayin’s service offerings are the core competencies of the great work that Providence St. Joseph Health already does today,” Medows said. “We identified PSJH’s greatest population health proficiencies, tested the solutions well past proof of concept and are now responding to requests for help.”

In launching a PHM venture, PSJH is joining a growing number of health systems who have taken a hands-on approach in the digital health era by developing their own products and systems and then using them to drive revenue.

UPMC, the Pittsburgh-based health system, has launched a portfolio of companies through its UPMC Enterprises arm. And Penn Medicine, in Philadelphia, last fall announced it would work to develop new electronic health records technology.

However, Ayin’s entry also comes at a time when the competition among population health management startups is fierce. Grand View Research, a California-based market research firm, estimates that the market will reach $101 billion globally by 2025. North America is the largest market for the services, though the company said the Asian Pacific market will likely become the highest-growth region.

Medows said the fact that her company was launched by a health system will give it a competitive advantage in the crowded field.

“One of the ways that Ayin is unique is that we are provider sponsored — where others may be more analytics focused, are offshoots of payers or are evolutions of disease management or care management companies,” she said. “We are leveraging the experience and expertise of the health plan and the health system’s providers.”

That experience also translates into hard data that can back up the value of the company’s products.

“When we go to new clients, we can talk about services that we are already providing and can share data that we’ve delivered,” she said. “We don’t offer clients anything that has not been proven.”

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