AHP Supports MassHealth in Protecting Patients at High Risk for COVID-19

After several months of work with three MassHealth provider networks on increasing their health information technology capabilities, Advocates for Human Potential’s (AHP) team of expert consultants didn’t expect to see their projects come to fruition during a pandemic. But now, the data warehouses, tracking dashboards, and analytic training they developed could be a tool in the fight against COVID-19.

While AHP had been building out these “big data” solutions for community partners (CPs) in projects originally designed to help with the ongoing shift toward accountable care in Massachusetts, they realized the data could have a more immediate impact: It would enable healthcare providers to easily and proactively identify and reach out to high-risk individuals as COVID-19 continued to spread across the state. 

The data warehouses contain aggregated and harmonized information from disparate sources such as insurance claims, case management systems, electronic medical records, and outcomes management systems. Once everything comes together in a usable form, “that big data can tell a very big story,” said Patrick Gauthier, director of AHP Healthcare Solutions. 

The warehouses and associated tools are just being launched, and AHP is training providers on how to put them to greatest use.  

With this enhanced capability to pinpoint cases, “I can look at a mountain of data representing a population in a region of the state, and I can identify in that data who is over a certain high-risk age, and who is in a particularly high-risk chronic condition group, a sub-group of all that data,” said Gauthier. “Now I can do some prevention. Now I can reach out to those people and say, ‘We need to make sure that you are sheltering in place, that you have everything you need. Maybe we’re going to see you a little bit more often on telehealth.’”  

Older adults and people with underlying health conditions, such as those who are immunocompromised and people with serious heart conditions, diabetes, or moderate to severe asthma, are at higher risk for developing severe symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

AHP’s data projects are part of the Massachusetts Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, helping accountable care organizations (ACOs) and CPs in the state improve patient outcomes and quality of care while lowering costs. 

These types of data applications are ripe for expansion, Gauthier said. “It’s definitely something that could be used more broadly going forward.” 


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