Fast Forward with Chris Klomp, EVP, Acute & Payer, PointClickCare

In this Fast Forward interview, Home Health Care News sits down with PointClickCare EVP of Acute & Payer Chris Klomp to learn about the key factors driving the transformation of home health and home care in 2021 and 2022. He also shares his views on where the home health care industry will be in three years, and provides insights into the opportunities, challenges and disruptors that will help forge that vision.

HHCN: What was the path that led you to your current role with PointClickCare?

Klomp: I run PointClickCare’s Acute and Payer team. Our team is responsible for the enterprise’s work across all areas of acute, ambulatory and risk bearing entities, including accountable care organizations and health plans.

Prior to that, I served as the CEO of Collective Medical, the leading developer of real-time patient care transitions and provider activation software, based in Salt Lake City. We were acquired by PointClickCare in December 2020.

Fast forward. Where do you see yourself and PointClickCare three years from now?

A long time ago, I learned to stop prognosticating about where I’ll be three years from now. I’m not sure I know where I’m going to be at 3 p.m. today! But from a first principles perspective, PointClickCare will continue to focus on our mission, which is serving vulnerable populations to ensure their care needs are met as they transition across care settings along their journey to health. We’ll do that as both the leader in senior care, but also as the leader in real-time cross-continuum care transitions serving the safety net as we continue to operate the single largest and highest quality real-time data network at the center of it all. We will continue to enable the collaboration of distributed care teams across the entire care continuum for the good of every single patient.

What do you think will be the greatest challenge for PointClickCare toward that goal in the short-term future?

I’d say the most significant challenge is serving up honest-to-goodness, high-value insights that 1) prompt the provider to make a better, differential clinical decision for the patient because it is 2) highly trustworthy and relevant, and 3) delivered in a perfectly timed and workflow-optimized way. As it turns out, this is exceptionally difficult to do – to deliver contextualized insights that enable providers to act in a high confidence way and meaningfully improve patient care at lower cost – but it’s a worthy and necessary pursuit, and so we are pursuing it despite the difficulty.

Health care is utterly awash in data. I think we all know that. It’s ubiquitous. The problem, unfortunately, is that a lot of this data is filled with noise — it’s out of date, inaccurate, miscalibrated, lacking context, or otherwise just plain unreliable. As a result, it is often disregarded, and the provider begins diagnostics anew. That’s utterly wasteful and ridiculous. We can and must do better.

I think the biggest challenges for us are at least two-fold: 1) sorting through all that noise and distilling signals in a way that we can generate high-quality insights that change the course of a patient’s health outcome, and 2) packaging and delivering those signals in a manner by which they can be consumed, internalized, relied upon, and ultimately, acted upon. Providers need scale, speed and depth to impact the patient journey across the continuum — and that is our focus. Ours is a quest to rise the tide for all providers who care for all patients. We have little concern with creating competitive advantage for one provider over another — that already happens and will continue to happen under normal course. This is about achieving a collective good for the greatest number of vulnerable individuals possible.

What do you think will be the greatest source of health care disruption in the next three years?

One that I think is pretty evident is the shift of care networks to greater degrees of specialization. That specialization has positive externalities and leads to better care outcomes by more focused, highly trained individuals who are better suited to deal with idiosyncratic patient needs.

It has some negative externalities as well. It produces a lot more documentation and data coupled with changing risk models. As a result, providers today look a lot more like payers, and traditional health plans look nearly indistinguishable from providers these days. I happen to think that convergence is fantastic because I’m a huge believer in incentives; when aligned, magical things happen.

Gone are the days of white picket fences where the small-town doc knew everyone and everyone knew them. Those fragmented care silos lead to fragmented data, which leads to fragmented insights and care delivery care plans, and ultimately sub-optimized clinical outcomes. But we’re reaching a breaking point, and I’m genuinely excited about that. Acute and post-acute, for example, are being compelled to come together in novel ways. The obvious enabler is smart software that stitches together these otherwise fragmented care settings: acute, to SNF, to home (with ongoing ambulatory support), all in a continuum.

Marc Andreessen famously said, “software is eating the world.” True. And now, as a subset, artificial intelligence is eating traditional software. It’s not a buzzword, it’s not a technology in search of a problem to solve, but it’s also not a standalone solution absent meaningful human involvement. It’s tackling problems that the human mind alone is incapable of resolving at otherwise unachievable speeds. To date, it has largely focused on operational efficiency improvements — for example, automating away otherwise necessary but mundane, low-value tasks. The more interesting applications — those for which the level of disruptive opportunity cannot be underestimated — lie with the actual delivery and clinical decision-making aspects of healthcare. Both sets are necessary, but the first free the caregiver to focus on the second, which include critical path, really-difficult-to-do things like collaborating across care settings in a highly aligned and unified way. We’re also using it to wade through the morass of clinical records to extract exceptionally high-value insights that otherwise go unnoticed and which, when known and acted upon, can differentially drive improved clinical and economic patient outcomes.

What do you see as the most exciting economic or bottom-line opportunity during that time?

I’m going to take a vulnerable population lens to this, and when I say vulnerable population, I mean people who are struggling with things like housing insecurity, food insecurity, employment challenges and other social determinants. I also mean seniors who have more significant ongoing care needs.

To me, the most exciting thing is this notion of integrated care coordination because we can bring the care continuum together for the good of the single patient. We might have 15 different provider organizations responsible for one patient’s care, operating as a single, contiguous team because they have a shared stewardship for their patient. As we think of varying care teams and settings not as distinct stops at which a patient pauses to interact, but rather, as a seamless continuum of care across a patient journey, we get to completely restructure care delivery in a much more optimized way. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s incredibly exciting. Obviously, policy and reimbursement challenges remain, and while technology alone won’t magically solve all problems, it can be the great enabler as we bridge from one model to the next.

What do you foresee as the greatest technological advancement on the horizon with respect to what you’re doing at PointClickCare?

It’s the ability to bring the data together and manage it into relevant, reliable insights. We will be able to clean, curate, extract, transform and load it in a way that it’s useful, then distill it into high-confidence, high-value insights, across the entire continuum of care.

Being able to place those insights in the right place for the right stakeholders is equally important for improving health outcomes. We’re building technology that provides a holistic view of the patient that breaks down not just data silos, but care silos that bring teams together in a focused and connected way.

What do you think will be the greatest social influence on the industry during this near term?

This is such a cliche answer, but it’s got to be the baby boomers. Seniors will outnumber children for the first time in the history of our country by 2030. That creates all sorts of very complex, demographically driven challenges. The boomer generation is going to place pressure on our health care system like we have never experienced before. That’s an enormous social influence.

Providers must brace themselves for these truly seismic and transformative demographic shifts. They also have to get used to the fact that this and successive generations expect real customer service and that healthcare, as a sector, must up its game and enter the 21st century across all dimensions of consumer experience. We feel driven to be a part of the solution to this need. As a part of this, seamless record exchange is true table stakes. To borrow a restaurant analogy, I expect to make a reservation online. When I show up, I expect not to have to provide all of my information again. And then I expect a table to be ready, the server to show up promptly and be informed, to coordinate with the kitchen and wait staff, to have transparency in menu pricing (sorry, but “market price” at the end of the meal doesn’t cut it). I also expect to be asked if everything met my expectations, and when it doesn’t, to have it be made right. Finally, I expect to be able to easily pay in an easy, systematic way with zero surprises. Same goes for my (albeit much more complex) healthcare, and getting that right starts with the underpinnings of our technical infrastructure, data, and software layers.

Complete the sentence: Three years from now, I hope care delivery will be …

Seamless. Let’s dump the friction and create a high-value, highly coordinated consumer experience.

Companies featured in this article: