For the second consecutive year, both in January no less, Definitive Healthcare amped up its data intelligence arsenal with a strategic acquisition designed to play a key role in the company’s ongoing growth. Today, Definitive Health announced its acquisition of PatientFinder, a software analytics firm that concentrates on identifying patient clusters. Last year at this time, Definitive Health scooped up the data services division of HIMSS Analytics.
In an exclusive interview, Healthcare Purchasing News Senior Editor asked Jason Krantz, Founder and CEO, Definitive Healthcare, what makes his company’s acquisition of PatientFinder so … definitive … and significant. Essentially, according to Krantz, the data and information gleaned from these two companies together will improve performance in the areas of population health, and personalized and precision medicine, and in the long run, procedural improvement and product evaluations and selection.
HPN: In layman’s terms, what are the net outcomes or results from this acquisition? From Definitive Healthcare’s perspective for clients? From the provider perspective in terms of administrative, clinical, financial and operational opportunities?
KRANTZ: The PatientFinder acquisition allows us to put a new analytical front-end on our best-in-class data surrounding providers and the claims within the patients that they serve. From a client perspective, this allows our clients to quickly analyze claims data and find very specific patient cohorts so that they’re able to find patients with certain combinations of procedures, diagnoses, and drug histories. And, in a world of personalized medicine – where the subsegments of patients are becoming smaller and smaller and more specific – this is an incredibly powerful tool for our medical device, biotech, and pharmaceutical clients.
What will Definitive Healthcare and its extensive customer base be able to achieve in the future that they weren’t able to achieve in the past?
This acquisition will now allow us to experiment with different sizes of different patient populations based on very specific criteria. In the past, our clients were required to do a tremendous amount of offline analysis, usually with consultants and technical research on their end. Now, they will be able to combine diagnoses together, or a diagnosis with a procedure, through our web-based front end in real-time. So, what previously took months is now reduced to seconds.
Definitive Healthcare lists as its clients “9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, 8 of the top 10 medical device firms and over 2,500 of the top healthcare providers, healthcare IT, healthcare staffing and consulting firms,” an impressive collection of healthcare-related corporate heft. How will Definitive be able to use the data gleaned from the PatientFinder and HIMSS Analytics’ Data Services division acquisitions to influence population health initiatives, clinical care pathways and payer-related issues in ways that prior efforts – noble as they have been – seemingly have not been able to achieve?
We have a tremendous client base including 9 out of the top 10 pharma and 8 out of the top 10 medical device firms that will benefit significantly from this acquisition. Both the PatientFinder acquisition, as well as last year’s HIMSS data acquisition, will help our clients with:
· Identifying underdiagnosed patients – In a world of sub-segmented and personalized types of medicine, it is increasingly difficult for physicians to (1) keep up to date on new drugs and (2) understand how they can help their vast populations of patients. Physicians are relying more heavily on representatives from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to educate them on new and innovative medicines, and which patients are most appropriate for these treatments.
· By using PatientFinder, clients can quickly identify where those patients exist and who are the providers that are both servicing and referring those patients. And, by knowing that information, our clients can be very targeted and focused on how they’re educating those physicians – helping to deliver an improved level of care.
How will Definitive Healthcare’s addition of PatientFinder, along with the HIMSS Analytics data services division back in January 2019, contribute to the adoption and implementation of electronic health/medical records among healthcare providers?
This acquisition will help clients get the benefit of the data that has been collected within electronic health record systems. According to Definitive Healthcare data, 98 percent of U.S. hospitals have an electronic health record (EHR) installed. These systems have collected a tremendous amount of information on patients – things like genetic markers, doctor notes, and all of the diagnoses and procedures that are following these patients. What PatientFinder allows our clients to do is to analyze and make sense that data far more quickly so that they can improve patient care and identify patients that would benefit from new, innovative drugs and medical devices.
Definitive Healthcare’s “connect-the-dots” platform is designed to help clients “solve their most critical revenue generating objectives,” through analyzing “referral patterns, patient leakage trends, total and average charges, patient outcomes and population health trends to drive a complete end-to-end commercialization effort.” While this may help improve administrative, clinical and financial performance between providers and payers, I don’t see how the third tier of the healthcare triangle fits in. Namely, I’m referencing operations and tying in transactional decisions between providers and suppliers, incorporating value analysis techniques to determine the most optimal products and services to use on patients based on clinical evidence. How will Definitive Health incorporate supply chain and value analysis issues within this expansion – either in the short-term or long-term future?
This acquisition will help Definitive Healthcare’s pharmaceutical and medical device clients commercialize more effectively by helping them become a value-added partner – educating providers on where there may be opportunities to provide better care within their specific patient populations.
In addition, PatientFinder will be helpful to these life sciences organizations as they think about where to spend their valuable innovation resources. Clients can start very early in the commercial effort to identify exactly where they want to spend their valuable resources and determine (1) “Who are the providers we want to talk to?” and (2) “What do we want to talk to them about?”
So, if these life sciences companies have a new technology platform and are trying to identify which disease categories would be most effective and cost effective for them to serve, PatientFinder allows them to quickly size those markets, identify how many patients potentially would benefit, where those patients are, and how to reach them.
Based on what you just said I can see the features and benefits for the pharmaceutical and medical device clients – namely, suppliers – to attract and service their customers – namely, providers. Obviously, the providers – namely, hospitals, IDNs and other healthcare facilities – will benefit from the consulting, services and technologies augmented by Definitive Healthcare’s expanded platform. Supply chain-related IT may be something of a crowded and noisy space, but do you plan to reach out to providers directly with any kind of product to help them think about “where to spend their valuable resources,” too? Why? Essentially, what I see you referencing is an ability for suppliers to pick and choose their provider customers by disease state or patient population so why not enable providers to pick and choose their vendor partners by product category and evidence-based outcomes?
[Definitive Healthcare’s] CohortBuilder, if you zoom out, is ultimately for anyone selling healthcare products and services to a patient population that’s less than “all of the patients in the world.” Providers are most definitely included in that. Providers want to understand where patients start, who’s referring patients to them vs. competitors, and where relevant patient populations are “leaking” to (i.e., seeing provider A, then ultimately getting treated by provider B).
Ultimately, this acquisition will help providers focus their limited internal resources on patient populations of interest better than they do now, so that they can do an even better job facilitating the right treatment at the right time.