Health systems have been under tremendous revenue strain since the COVID-19 pandemic with disruptions to preventive and elective procedures. As the pandemic continues to disrupt the healthcare economy, providers are often flying blind about changing market dynamics, which creates challenges when making investments for future growth.
Healthcare analytics company Trilliant Health developed a new predictive analytics tool that enables strategy teams to see a 10-year view of the healthcare market with insights all the way down to the local market level.
The aim is to help providers "see around the corner" in a post-COVID-19 healthcare economy with constantly changing market dynamics, company executives said.
Historically, the healthcare industry has developed generic strategic plans assuming that the national increase in burden of disease is predictive of future demand in local markets. Trilliant Health applies advanced machine learning technology to its large datasets to provide customers with a more forward-looking perspective that forecasts demand down to local levels, executives said.
"It’s that forward-looking view that enables health systems to game plan a scenario out and make better investments to care for patients in the community," Jason Nardella, senior vice president of predictive analytics at Trilliant Health, told Fierce Healthcare.
Trilliant works with more than 75 of the top U.S. health systems that encompass more than 1,500 hospitals. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company synthesizes a variety of first-party and third-party datasets to power its data analytics tools.
The demand forecast analytics platform is designed to help providers allocate resources and understand how to create growth strategies, according to company executives.
"We have more entrants coming into the healthcare market with more constraints on capital and we know how expensive it is to operate these health systems. Health systems need to start looking forward, and understanding not just one possible scenario in the future but many possible scenarios in the future," said Nardella, who previously worked as a business development executive at Steward Health Care.
"At its core, it's about getting a better understanding of who is in their market, not just from a hospital level and a provider level but also from a consumer level. What drives healthcare is the consumer. You need to understand what kind of care they need and best set up your operations and facilities to care for those patients. Hospital space and doctors and nurses are way too expensive to use a strategy of 'just build it all and hope they come'," he said.
Developed over the last three years, the company's demand forecast provides a 10-year view of the healthcare market based on a variety of claims, demographic and psychographic data. The application provides health system strategy teams with a deep understanding of the relationship between consumer demand in a local market and the supply of healthcare providers available to serve that demand.
“Health systems must be able to trust that the solution is built around the uniqueness of their market, not modeled from a national view. An effective solution must not restrict discovery to predefined views, but should instead allow its user to construct scenarios, based on the local market realities. Most importantly, a solution should fit into the user’s process, not the other way around," Nardella said.
Trilliant designed the predictive analytics platform to enable providers to drill into specific service lines and procedures related to their strategic planning initiatives, giving them the ability to understand which consumers are driving growth across gender, age, location and care behavior (incidence rate). These insights allow strategy teams to better understand, target and quantify the forecast impact on their system, Nardella said.
The analytics also offers up a range of scenarios using confidence intervals so providers can measure different outcomes and incorporate their comfort level or risk aversion to a particular strategic initiative, according to the company. The application comes with a "build your own" capability, enabling customized forecast visualizations and data outputs in real time.
Trilliant's all-payer claims data set combines commercial, Medicare Advantage, traditional Medicare and Medicaid claims, representing about 70 billion medical claims accounting for more than 300 million U.S. patients on a de-identified level.
The company recent released an in-depth report looking at the U.S. healthcare system’s supply-and-demand issues. That report found future demand for healthcare services will be relatively flat to declining, with little to no effect from the COVID-19 pandemic, and contradicts the commonly held belief that the demand for healthcare services nationwide is rising.
That report also found that the use of telehealth is beginning to taper off, declining as much as 37% from peak pandemic highs in some states.
Founded in 2017, Trilliant Health is backed by investors Primus Capita, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Providence Ventures, Martin Ventures, Noro-Moseley Partners and Nashville Capital Network.
Trilliant Health aims to use its datasets and analytics technology to build on its predictive analytics capabilities, Nardella said.
"We are going to starting to pull together these disparate assets around the consumer and around the markets, and start to do similarity analysis to understand these different segments and how they relate to one another. Those index scores and that understanding of what is similar and what is not similar within the market across different dimensions will help us to pull together something that we’re working toward which is a recommender system. We'll be able to start making recommendations based on a health system's market," he said.
The aim is to help health systems better invest their resources based on more accurate healthcare demand forecasts, he said.
"On the finance side, having worked at a hospital, I understand that you’ve got $500 million of capital and $3 billion worth of requests. I understand how constrained those resources are and how important is to get these things right," he said.