Ochsner Health – Validation Institute Podcast Ep 9

Ochsner Health has demonstrated remarkable success in managing chronic diseases through digital platforms, validated by the Validation Institute. This third-party confirmation highlights the efficacy of their healthcare strategies in reducing costs. The partnership exemplifies how digital health solutions can significantly enhance patient care.

  1. Validation Institute provided third-party validation for Ochsner Health, confirming the effectiveness of its digital chronic disease management programs. This validation underscores the credibility and reliability of Ochsner’s healthcare solutions.
  2. Ochsner Health’s approach focuses on remote patient management rather than just monitoring, integrating team-based care that extends beyond traditional methods. This strategy significantly enhances patient outcomes and healthcare efficiency.
  3. The use of digital tools has transitioned Ochsner Health from episodic to continuous care, emphasizing preventive and predictive healthcare strategies. This shift ensures that care is more personalized and proactive, meeting patients wherever they are in their healthcare journey.
  4. Ochsner Health’s validated success with digital health solutions provides a model for other organizations aiming to improve healthcare delivery and reduce costs. The partnership with Validation Institute highlights the importance of verified results in promoting trust and adoption of new healthcare technologies.


Validation Institute:

I’m happy to be joined by Dr. David Houghton, digital medicine medical director for Ochsner Health. Hi David, thank you for joining me here today.

Dr. David Houghton, Digital Medicine Medical Director for Ochsner Health:

It’s a pleasure to be here.

From Regional System to Digital Pioneer: Ochsner Health’s Journey

Validation Institute:

We’re very excited that Ochsner Health achieved a savings validation from Validation Institute. Our findings are that participants in Ochsner’s digital chronic disease management program have lower per member per month cost than similar matched non-participants.

We looked at participants from Medicaid and Medicare as well as working age population so employers can be assured that they will see the same level of savings. Now I have to ask, how does an 80 year old regional health system become a digital health provider across all 50 states?

Dr. David Houghton, Digital Medicine Medical Director for Ochsner Health:

Well, that’s a great question and maybe it’s sort of like the question, how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time. For us, it made a ton of sense for us to very slowly but methodically get into this space almost a decade ago as you suggested, an 80 year old bricks and mortar system located right in the Gulf South in New Orleans, 35,000 employees, 3,500 physicians with a self-insured medical plan for our own.

We realized that first we would take care of ourselves and we were looking for different ways to bring value to take care of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

Then we would help take care of the community right in our own backyard. Then our backyard expanded across the region into multiple states and finally it made sense for us to, as you suggested, show all the value that we have in our own backyard across the country.

Transforming Patient Care: Ochsner’s Innovative Approach to Remote Patient Management

Validation Institute:

Wow, that’s amazing. And so, that kind of rolls into how does your approach differ from more traditional remote patient monitoring companies that are on the market?

Dr. David Houghton:

Yes, so when we say RPM here at Ochsner, we mean remote patient management more than remote patient monitoring. It really speaks to the team-based care approach that we think is so vital.

Team-based care approaches have been utilized for things like diabetes, hypertension, cancer care. I’m a neurologist with my day job. We use a lot of team-based approaches taking care of neurodegenerative diseases.

But in the digital world, going from remote patient monitoring where we’re able to gather 30 or 40 times the amount of blood pressure readings or blood glucose readings wasn’t enough.

We then wrapped that with a health coach but also a clinician in many circumstances, a clinical pharmacist some circumstances, a PA then in some circumstances, a physician themselves who is able to really pull the lever and be not just reactive to when those blood pressures start to get out of control for instance, but more proactive and to predict when those things are going to happen and make medication changes along with lifestyle changes along with anticipating new changes to social determinants of health for instance. That’s that team-based approach but now it’s been taken to the digital space.

Shaping the Future of Healthcare with Ochsner’s Digital Innovations

Validation Institute:

So with all that technology, how do you see the technology and the programs being applied to healthcare landscape in the future?”

Dr. David Houghton:

What does a digital world look like in healthcare? Really, it’s going from episodic care to continuous care. It’s going from reactive sick care to predictive and preventive care.

It’s no longer generalized or personalized and it’s meeting the patients where they are, sometimes that’s geographically or physically they’re at home or they’re at work or they’re on vacation but a lot of the time that’s where they are in their own healthcare journey.

So we can’t just rely on humans alone, we can’t just rely on data alone, we really do have to put together that continuous work which includes the people, it includes the data but it also includes the processes that we know are most effective.

And in looking at a digital healthcare world in general, it’s not just the continuous back-end chronic disease management but there’s other offerings, things like asynchronous e-visits between a patient and their provider, things like asynchronous e-consults from provider to provider to increase access and help solve some pop health issues. So all of these things are at our fingertips and that’s really what the future looks like and for us the future is now.

Enhancing Credibility Through Third-Party Validation for Ochsner Health

Validation Institute:

Wow, that’s amazing. And I’m going to switch gears on you here. At the beginning, I talked about your validation. I’m curious how you learned about Validation Institute and why going through the validation process was important to Ochsner?

Dr. David Houghton:

Across healthcare news and social media, LinkedIn, other places, we became more and more aware of what the Validation Institute stands for and what they can do to really provide us with third-party validation of the work that we’ve done.

It was important to us that people, potential clients, customers in the insurance space, large employer space, brokers, and even direct to consumer patient space don’t just take our word for it.

We knew that by partnering with someone like VI, we would have that third-party unbiased opinion and that they would be able to in fact prove, as we have proven, the validity of our results.”

Leveraging External Insights for Enhanced Healthcare Validation

Validation Institute:

That’s great. So, I have to thank you and you must have spent a lot of time with our team because you use the word VI, not many people use that word when it has an abbreviation for us except for us internally. So I guess my question there is, what advice would you have for companies considering validation?

Dr. David Houghton:

It’s a great question. Don’t be afraid of working closely with another group to look at the work that you’ve done. This is true in medicine as a clinician, you want to be able to discuss cases with other providers and discuss patients with other consultants.

Well, when we start a large process like we did with VI in looking at our digital medicine program, our logic was the same. We want to show the results but we also want to have somebody come in and look under the covers.

So to another company, you might be interested in having this process vetted out over time. You should be reassured that the work that’s being done is one that is honest, is one that is truthful and most importantly beyond that, one that others will be able to look at and feel the same way about.

Validation Institute:

Everything at Ochsner that you have achieved has been awesome and this has been very good. Thank you very much for joining me here today, David. And for anyone out there that wants to learn more about Ochsner Health and how they can save you money, go to validationinstitute.com and read their validation report. I hope you all have a great day.

Dr. David Houghton:

Thank you very much.

Validation Institute:

Thank you.


Ochsner Health Validated Program Report

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