The 2019 Innovator Awards Program: Provider Winners: It’s a New World—and the Innovators Are Creating it

March 26, 2019

At a time of transformative change in the industry, leaders of healthcare organizations of all types are working to figure out how to move their organizations forward into the emerging world of value-based healthcare delivery and payment. What’s more, a clear policy direction has emerged that is forcing the issue. As the Office of the Actuary inside the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported in February, the Medicare actuaries predicted that total U.S. healthcare system spending will reach $6 trillion by 2027, and will reach 19.4 percent of GDP by that year.

Given the self-evident burning platform of the nationwide cost cliff looming on the near horizon, it’s not surprising that healthcare leaders are looking to one another for leadership and innovation. The good news is that plentiful examples are sprouting up everywhere across the country of healthcare organizations that really are moving the needle, along a variety of dimensions, and showing the way to the future of healthcare.

This year, the tenth year in a row in which we, the editors of Healthcare Innovation (until this year, known as Healthcare Informatics), have been recognizing teams of innovators, we are proud once again to share with you the profiles of the winning teams in our Innovator Awards Program for provider organizations. This year, we are excited to share four profile stories for you from: Millennium Physician Group, Allina Health, Bon Secours Mercy Health, and UnitedHealthcare.

The Fort Myers, Fla.-based Millennium Physician Group has leveraged data analytics to turbocharge its population health risk assessment and care management processes, resulting in extraordinary results as a participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The Minneapolis-based Allina Health, and Bon Secours Mercy Health, with dual headquarters in Marriottsville, Md. and Cincinnati, have been on parallel journeys in addressing the opioid crisis, with diverse approaches to managing and guiding opioid prescriptions on the part of prescribers. And the Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest commercial health insurers in the country, has launched a groundbreaking initiative to incorporate social determinants of health data into the coding of clinician documentation, in order to support care teams in clinics, as they manage the care of high-risk plan members. Meanwhile, six semi-finalist organizations have innovated in a wide range of areas, from reducing clinical variation to reducing venous thromboembolism rates. Every one of our finalist and semi-finalist winning teams has a compelling story to tell, and we’re thrilled to be able to share these narratives with you, our readers.

Progress is happening in the U.S. healthcare system, and the examples showcased here offer inspiration for all of those leaders working forward to transform our industry. Congratulations to all the winning teams, and Godspeed to all innovative leaders out there in the industry.

--The Editors of Healthcare Innovation

[Editor’s note: Winners from the vendor track will begin to be profiled in the May/June issue of Healthcare Innovation]. 

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