The Vestrum Model for Physician Controlled Data
The healthcare industry has long recognized the value of physician-generated data and has capitalized on it through its collection and sale to third parties. To date, however, the medical community has not pooled its collective strength to create an influential data market entity that serves its interests. With the exception of infrequent one-off cases, physicians do not directly benefit from their data, their work, or their financial investment in data-generating software. Vestrum Health creates healthcare databases whose value is shared with contributing physicians. This is accomplished through the aggregation of physician EHR data into a single database. An aggregated, longitudinal healthcare database from a demographically diverse sample of physicians has significant utility to physicians, practices, and patients in three principle areas: revenue generation, benchmarking, and clinical research.
Vestrum Health’s mission is to help physicians capture value from their EHR data. Vestrum Health has developed a proprietary, safe, secure, and regulatory-compliant technology platform that allows participating physicians to securely transmit their EHR data to a proprietary database, without compromising the stability and security of the their EHR system. Physician and patient identifiers are removed in accordance with HIPAA regulations and the data is made available to participating physicians for analytics and clinical research. Physicians retain control over how their data is utilized. In addition, in an industry first, Vestrum Health shares a significant portion of revenue generated by data sales in the form of royalty payments to participating physicians. Vestrum Health provides physicians with the ability to finally capture a monetary return on their EHR investment.
As payers move towards value-based and outcomes-based payment models, it will be critical for physicians to have access to their data in a format that allows them to analyze their utilization and outcomes. Payers will have access to this data for participating physicians. If physicians do not have that same data they will be at a distinct disadvantage in payer contracting. The Vestrum Health database allows physicians to analyze their data and compare it to national normative data.
Is my practice data secure?
Yes, your data is extremely secure. The Vestrum Health IT team has broad experience working with the IRS, U.S. Treasury, and Department of Defense and industry-standard security procedures are utilized to maintain data security. In addition, patient information is de-identified prior to transfer from the EHR to Vestrum.
To whom does Vestrum sell the data?
Vestrum Health’s primary customers are the pharmaceutical industry, medical device manufacturers (MDM) and the financial services industry (hedge funds, analysts, etc.). Vestrum will not sell any data to payers, government entities, or attorneys.
How are physicians de-identified?
Data that is sold to industry does not include physician or practice names. Some demographic information is provided to clients in order to increase its utility and value. However, the demographic information is limited in specificity. Data provided for clinical research does not include any physician identifiers or demographics.
How are patients de-identified?
Patient identifiers are removed and replaced with an alphanumeric identifier using an industry-standard one-way hash algorithm. No one can reverse the algorithm to generate patient identifiers – not even Vestrum Health.
Do all physicians in the practice have to participate?
No. Vestrum Health encourages full and unrestricted participation to maximize the value of the dataset, but each individual physician in a practice can choose to participate or not. In addition, physicians who choose to participate may elect to restrict authorized use of their collected data for only specific usages.
Can a physician or practice sell their data to industry directly?
No. OIG regulations preclude physicians from selling their data directly to industry as it could be viewed as an inducement. It also precludes physicians from selling their data through entities in which they have ownership.
Can our practice participate in other data initiatives if we participate in Vestrum?
Yes. Your relationship to Vestrum is not exclusive. You may participate in the AAO’s IRIS registry or other commercial data initiatives. However, participation in other commercial data initiatives may lead to decreased physician revenue and therefore decreased physician royalties.
Can I terminate participation?
Yes. Physicians may terminate their participation at any time.
Does it cost anything to participate?
No. There are no activation, interface, or maintenance fees.