HealthLoop Inc. was born out of clinical failure. Founder Dr. Jordan Shlain had prescribed antibiotics for a 60-year-old woman with pneumonia. She ended up in the intensive-care unit with respiratory failure.
Shlain wondered why she didn't follow up. Then he wondered why he didn't, either. He began keeping a spreadsheet to help track patients and soon met with a computer programmer to automate the process.
Today, HealthLoop's software helps health organizations monitor and engage patients through their smartphones, computer or tablet. Patients receive instructions in bite-sized chunks and answer questions about their health. Their answers are used to collect patient feedback and flag potential complications that could lead to expensive emergency room visits or readmissions.
Services like HealthLoop are increasingly in demand as Medicare changes its payment system to encourage hospitals to become more responsible for patients' clinical and financial outcomes over the entire episode of care—that is from the time they were admitted to the hospital until 90 days after discharge.
“It's the new revenue cycle,” said HealthLoop CEO Todd Johnson, adding that Medicare and Medicaid are shifting billions of dollars in payments into episode-based reimbursement schemes. The CMS' latest program, which covers bypass surgery, heart attacks, hip and femur fractures, represents about $11 billion in annual spending.