Population Health Analytics.....Right Time, Right Solution

Posted by Tim Huke on January 26, 2017


I’ve spent my entire professional career in healthcare - 24 years and counting. The vast majority of that time was spent in the cost containment segment, in particular PPO network management strategies and out-of-network repricing and negotiation strategies. For years, I passionately believed that the products and services I represented were providing value to my clients by reducing their paid claims expense. Over the last 5-7 years of my tenure in that segment of the business it became more and more apparent to me that the traditional PPO network model of discounting medical claims was no longer holding up against rising healthcare costs, and the value of those contracts, relative to Medicare and other reference-based fee schedules, was being scrutinized and eroding…..quickly.  I no longer had conviction in what I was promoting to my clients and prospects, and once you lose that, especially in sales, it’s downhill from there and time to move on. 

Every time I see relevant industry articles on Population Health Analytics, cloud-based healthcare technology, data lakes vs traditional data warehouses, the need for integration and a single source of truth, which is basically almost every day, I feel more and more validated that I moved to the right segment of healthcare, at the right time, with the right company. One such article (and I plan to reference several over the next couple of weeks, so this will be a series) is an article I came across at years end on Health Data Management listed the Top 10 Healthcare Information Technology Trends for 2017… about timely and relevant. Not to my surprise, Deerwalk is right in line with several of the key trends, including:


The article sites that 83% of healthcare organizations are using cloud-based technology, and the healthcare cloud computing environment will grow to $9.48 billion by 2020. Deerwalk’s SaaS applications, Plan Analytics, Provider Analytics, Care Manager and Personal Health Portal, are all tied to a single source of truth (SSOT) data lake, operating in the cloud, using distributed processing (Spark) and distributed search (Elastic Search).  That was a mouthful, but the gist is we are using a modern technology stack, which makes our analytics applications much faster and more flexible than our competitors.


The article also speaks to a study referencing that 91% of healthcare customers take advantage of mobile applications when they are offered. Deerwalk’s personal health portal, now available via a new mobile app, packages individualized health information, including notifications on gaps in care, Health Risk Assessments (HRAs), health and wellness incentive management, and the ability to create personal health action plans delivered directly to members in an easy to use, intuitive web portal and mobile app.


The article speaks to the need to bring more data management technologies, predictive technologies and data-driven applications, providing complete views of stakeholders, so users can better orchestrate customer engagement.

The DeerwalkOne Population Health Management Platform brings multiple data-driven applications together for a single user experience – from identifying high risk members through gaps in care and risk triggers, normative benchmarks and predictive risk scoring in Plan Analytics, to managing those members in Care Manager, to engaging those members through the Personal Health Portal.

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Not only is seamless interoperability of multiple applications necessary, as described above, but integration of EHRs and other data types to improve patient care is becoming more and more imperative. Deerwalk's Data Integrator now integrates 26 unique data types in our data model for analytics and reporting, including medical, eligibility, pharmacy, lab, biometric, wellness and disease management participation data, dental, vision, EMR, workers comp, payroll, OSHA, and even 401k among others. This scrubbed and transformed healthcare data is not only exposed in our applications, but is also accessed in our Deerwalk Analytic Service REST-based API, and can be transferred to our client’s existing data warehouse, or pushed to a cloud-based data warehouse, creating a single source of truth (SSOT) between Plan Analytics and Reporting and your data warehouse solution.

The bottom line is that I’m very fortunate to have landed with a company that is on the leading edge of many of the latest IT trends in our industry. Coming full circle, we've even recently integrated Medicare Pricing Analytics into the application, which I'm thrilled about. And with the product roadmap I’ve been a party to, I assure you this trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. 

To learn more about Deerwalk's Population Health Analytics solutions, please visit us at, or click below to schedule a demo.


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