As the Head of Adobe’s healthcare practice, Michael is responsible for strategic marketing, solution architecture, and business development for a portfolio of Digital Experience Solutions for health care organizations and public sector agencies worldwide.
In his role, Michael leverages an extensive background in health economics, government relations, and technology to identify and prioritize market development opportunities, and to evangelize user-centric architectures throughout public sector and healthcare ecosystems.
Michael brings over 15 years’ experience in progressive roles at IT, biotech, and medical device companies, and a history of leveraging technology to help enterprises achieve measurable results. Prior to joining Adobe, he served as director of marketing and business development at MicroProbes for Life Science where he oversaw product commercialization and global distribution channels for implantable medical devices. Before MicroProbes, Michael was a marketing lead for Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. where he played an integral role in government relations and launching the company’s first hospital brands.
Michael earned an MBA as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Baltimore. As an adjunct professor, he has taught business and technology courses and served on the advisory board at Baltimore City Community College.
He is also a veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he proudly served as a Petty Officer.
*This article originally appeared in the Healthcare IT Connect online magazine
Change on the horizon
The current transformation of the healthcare IT industry has been referred by industry experts as “a period of extreme standardization.” The immediate need for adopting electronic health records to make the Meaningful Use benchmark of the US government is being traversed by pharmacies, clinics, medical practitioners, payers, and healthcare providers.
Fortunately for all involved there is one key ally in the field, blazing the trail ahead of the 2014 PPACA deadline. Adobe is pioneering solutions, including LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 3, that are utilized more and more by healthcare professionals to ramp up and leverage staggering amounts of digital data capture.
Adobe’s Aaron Bird recently shared the company’s experience helping healthcare providers prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, using the enterprise-class suite of Adobe products.
Adobe’s current focus:
This week, with the commemoration of Veterans Day in the US (and Remembrance Day in Canada), we honored those who have selflessly served in our country’s military with honor and distinction so that the freedoms we cherish may endure.
As a veteran of the US Coast Guard, I am proud to highlight a few of the ways that Adobe is collaborating with Veteran Affairs agencies in North America to improve access for disabled veterans and modernize administrative operations. In many cases, due to gains in efficiency, some resources may be reallocated to the actual care of the veterans these agencies are committed to serve.
- Streamlining workflows for management of benefits claims
US and Canadian VA agencies, including the US Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), have standardized on multiple Adobe solutions, like LiveCycle for BPM, transforming processes to collect, track, and automate the millions of benefits claims they receive every year.
The organizations have since reported reduced data error rates and significant improvements in efficiency throughout their enterprises, achieving the simple goals of fewer administrative delays and more timely service delivery for our veterans.
- Extending usability of veterans’ health records and other critical information
Considering that most systems of record were implemented before today’s mobile revolution, it’s no surprise that many of them do not natively support remote usability of enterprise information and multi-channel functionality for self-service apps.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the largest philanthropy in the United States devoted exclusively to health and health care. The Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years, the Foundation has been dedicated to producing, synthesizing, and distributing knowledge, new ideas, and health policy expertise that will help to improve the health and health care of all Americans.
Looking for a way to enhance its web presence through a dynamic, easily managed website, RWJF engaged the services of Velir, a full-service web design and development agency—which turned to Adobe CQ, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, to meet the challenges of actionable engagement.
As baby boomers in the US reach retirement age and Health Reform extends affordable coverage to many newly insured citizens, healthcare facilities are staying competitive by optimizing workflow efficiencies and hiring the best medical professionals.
This also places significant pressure on healthcare staffing leader CHG Healthcare Services. With a goal of engaging the best-qualified recruits and matching them with corresponding needs, the agency turned to Adobe Digital Marketing Suite to optimize its online presence and convert site traffic into business results.
“Adobe Digital Marketing Suite offered solutions that helped us look closely at our online interactions, create quality experiences, and drive conversion,” says Kyle Power, director of online marketing at CHG.
The adoption of cloud computing has steadily become one of the most significant enablers of innovation in recent years. From providing mobile access to remotely synchronized folders, to delivering on-demand streams of new video releases, the cloud has transformed how consumers interact with their devices in countless ways (often quietly behind the scenes).
Further blurring the line between private and public sector innovation, government agencies are increasingly turning to the cloud for similar technical advantages that translate directly into business value for their enterprises as well.
In fact, IDC predicts that public IT cloud services will see gains at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4 percent—five times that of the IT industry overall between 2012 and 2016. But despite promises of significant gains in agility, scalability, and reliability, most public sector executives commit to extensively crunching the numbers on ROI and addressing security concerns (at both agency and content levels) before taking the plunge into even the most popular cloud service models, including:
Mobile technology is no longer an optional luxury. Research shows that in 2011 more smartphones shipped than personal computers. Therefore, a truly effective Digital Government requires a strategy that moves beyond merely porting traditional web content to mobile devices. This post will explore why agencies must think about designing mobile service experiences from the citizen in, rather than from the system out; delivering personalized content and applications that are optimized for how citizens expect to use their devices.
The following article, sponsored by Adobe, was recently featured in the August 2012 edition of “Policy and Practice,” the magazine of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA).
As more parts of our lives “go digital”, the collection of data related to our transactions, interests, and other preferences continues to grow exponentially.
Many commercial enterprises have demonstrated that the ability to manage and even monetize such data provides a powerful competitive advantage. In fact, it’s that principle of Digital Marketing which allows for the delivery of unique personalized experiences for consumers online. Our health data is no exception.
The health care industry has been criticized for being a laggard when it comes to tapping the wealth of information that’s often locked away in terabytes of stored data, both structured and unstructured, compounding with every insurance claim or provider interaction. That’s changing, however, as innovative solutions that have modernized industries like travel, financial services, and others are gradually being leveraged throughout the healthcare ecosystem.
Recently, at the Adobe-sponsored State Healthcare IT Connect Summit, I met with executives from state and federal agencies as well as leaders of private sector health organizations to explore the key role of IT in identifying trends, cutting costs, and saving lives.
Three recurring use cases for transforming this accumulating data into actionable knowledge emerged during our meetings:
Dissecting the Decision
Yesterday, as the Supreme Court upheld the vast majority of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a couple caveats were highlighted in the court’s ruling. Regarding the mandate, most people understand the law is economically sustainable only if all citizens participate. The court established that the penalty to be paid by those citizens who refuse to acquire health insurance essentially amounts to a “tax.” Therefore, congress was within its constitutional rights to include such a mandate/tax/penalty in the law. Although to some it may seem the Supreme Court’s ruling was based partly on semantics, ACA proponents declare it a victory since everyone was previously burdened with the shared costs of caring for the uninsured by way of increasing hospital charges and insurance premiums.
The court also ruled that expansion of Medicaid to offer more citizens health coverage may proceed, but without the ACA stipulation that US states that don’t comply would be denied matching federal funding for their original Medicaid programs. So states may now choose whether to participate in the federally-funded expansion. Note: the ACA already included a similar provision (Section 1332: Waiver for State Innovation) that allows for states to opt out so long as they offer citizens the same level of quality care at a cost that is equal to lesser than the ACA, but not until 2017.
As focus shifts from the law’s credibility to its timely implementation, Health IT will play a prominent role in the delivery of affordable care to more than 30 million new customers. Many provisions of the ACA rely heavily on IT to raise awareness, determine eligibility, manage payments, improve decision-making, measure quality, and more.
To anyone passionate about applying technology to drive transformative change and improve the way we live, this week is shaping up to be a tough one to beat in the public sector. It’s been like receiving a gift-wrapped box of energy, laser focused on government innovation and modernization.
Yesterday, President Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of all US executive departments and agencies calling on them to leverage “technological advances to fundamentally change how they serve their customers.”
The memo, entitled "Building a 21st Century Digital Government," goes on to explain:
“For far too long, the American people have been forced to navigate a labyrinth of information across different Government programs in order to find the services they need. In addition, at a time when Americans increasingly pay bills and buy tickets on mobile devices, Government services often are not optimized for smartphones or tablets, assuming the services are even available online.”
As a follow-up to Executive Order 13571 (Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service) which he signed in April 2011, the president’s memo also announced the release of a new Government-wide strategy developed to accomplish the monumental goal of enabling “more efficient and coordinated digital service delivery” across all agencies.
Simultaneously, yesterday in New York City at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012, Steven Van Roekel (US Chief Information Officer) and Todd Park (US Chief Technology Officer), launched this landmark initiative to thousands of attendees excited to learn the details.
The comprehensive accompanying strategy, entitled “"Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People", includes a 12-month road map that emphasizes three priority actions:
- Encouraging agencies to deliver information in new ways that fully utilize the power and potential of mobile and web-based technologies
- Ensuring the safe and secure delivery and use of digital services to protect information and privacy
- Requiring all agencies to establish central online resources for outside developers, and to adopt new standards for making applicable Government information open and machine-readable by default
In today’s interconnected global economy, such leadership will likely provide a blueprint for similar international efforts as government enterprises worldwide mobilize to optimize efficiency and offer citizens digital experiences on par with those offered by their private sector counterparts.
To that end, we recently hosted the first annual Adobe Government Assembly (AGA) for Canada. The recent creation of Shared Services Canada, a new agency dedicated to optimizing service delivery, has brought new attention to efforts there to "improve the efficiency of IT services across the Canadian federal government and ensure value for taxpayers' dollars."
Occasionally, a company may face a disruptive market shift that forces it to adapt in order to remain competitive (think Blockbuster). But seldom does an entire industry experience multiple simultaneous game changers, like those facing the US health insurance market today.
Beyond the looming uncertainty of the Supreme Court’s pending rule on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are several other seismic catalysts forcing private payers to reevaluate the ways they service their customers. The most obvious of which is the customers themselves.
Evolving expectations are dictating that companies in most industries shift resources to account for new “always connected” stakeholders. As digital consumers, we have all grown accustomed to conducting business our way, on our terms. And why should the business of healthcare be any different?
When implemented properly, digital marketing aims to identify personal interests and trends and deliver unique experiences that resonate individually with each customer across multiple channels.
But unlike most other industries, health payers also have a vested interest in education and member outreach (some would argue that it’s actually a responsibility), since the offline lifestyle decisions of their consumers directly impact their bottom line. In a nutshell, acute medical emergencies are much more expensive than regular preventative health maintenance.
Additionally, the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provision of the ACA stipulates that insurers shall spend at least 80-85% of their premium income on healthcare claims and quality improvement activities. That leaves 15-20% for administrative expenses, including marketing. In fact, it is estimated that private payers who fail to comply will issue consumer rebates totaling over $1 billion by August. So, now more than ever, it is imperative for payers to internally optimize efficiencies and develop effective marketing strategies that deliver measurable results.
In the long run, these changes are expected to result in affordable care for a healthier population. And as other provisions of the ACA significantly expand the pool of new customers for health insurers, the most successful organizations will be those who effectively navigate the changing landscape to build relationships with their customers, rather than continuing to simply facilitate transactions.