Monday, May 22, 2017

HCSI Interview with Dr. Josh Luke

In this show, Lance King of HCSI (www.hcsiinc.com) interviewed Dr. Josh Luke, Healthcare Futurist and #1 Best Selling Author of “Re-admission Prevention: Solutions Across the Provider Continuum”(https://joshluke.org/)


Background
Josh Luke began his career in sports marketing. He then was a nursing home administrator and then hospital CEO. After ten years, Luke found himself out of a job with no health insurance for his family, plus his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Because of his experiences on both sides of healthcare, he has a perspective few administrators do. Dr. Josh Luke now uses that perspective to build population management strategies that create new revenue streams for health systems.

Failure
Josh worked for failing hospitals and care centers and made them successful, so he was known as a turnaround king. He also had his share of failures of his career. His largest failure was helping hospitals implement value-based care. Case managers have been the advocates for patient choice, but hospitals need to educate case managers on what the actual choices are. Josh tried to change check-out process to be more efficient. There was such push-back from case managers that it almost didn't happen. He learned that case managers must be more educated by hospital administration, so that they can better educate patients on their options.
Another thing that needs to change in our healthcare system is scripting, where the physician or case manager communicates patient care needs and how to meet those needs. Often, a case manager doesn't communicate the patient's right to go home, the risks that involves, and the home-based options that are available. Patients have never felt empowered to question doctor orders to do inpatient care but they should.

Value-based Care
Josh didn't think anyone thought about what happens if Obamacare goes away until election night. He says to think about when your checking account is empty, you don't spend money.  Now government has no money in account, so something needs to change but there are no good options right now. The traditional hospital model was fee-for-service, where the provider gets a fee for providing service; there was no criteria or accountability. For example: ER doctors did not (and still often do not) evaluate whether a patient actually needs to be admitted; they tried to admit as many patients as possible to receive increased revenue. Now
, the Affordability Care Act forces hospitals to have a value-based approach, which gives incentives to providers for keeping patients healthy so they avoid the hospital. Josh says, “In value-based care, any time a patient goes to the emergency room, that shows a failure of the system 80 percent of the time.” This is similar to thoughts shared by Dr. Paul Roemer, in a previous interview.
The main reasons patients go to the emergency department are because the patient didn't call the hospital or doctor first, or a senior citizen is scared after being discharged from the hospital. Josh Luke says that the inherent challenge in delivery (fee-for-service) model is that people understand that they can go to emergency room to get care without having to pay for it. This concept pre-dated the ACA and until we talk about access to free clinics to eliminate this abuse of system healthcare costs will continue to increase.

Affordability Care Act
Dr. Josh Luke says the ACA is failing because not every American wants insurance, many are not willing to pay for it, and most people under 40 don't need insurance. Then, instead of having the healthy population who don't use insurance help cover the costs/risks associated with older and sicker people, they pay the penalty fee for not having insurance. This makes costs associated with the ACA higher than anticipated because fewer healthy people opt-into health insurance coverage. Josh says that the benefit of the ACA, whether you like it or not, is that it expanded access to healthcare. Americans did not have the expectation of healthcare as a right in the 1980s; now after almost a decade with the entitlement, the percent of Americans who view healthcare as a right has increased. The ACA forced hospitals to think about post-acute care because it is value-based. When the ACA was introduced, readmission prevention had no data or enthusiasm behind it. No one knew anything about it, and the ACA was punitive and difficult to understand. Josh realized he was becoming an expert in value-based healthcare and readmission avoidance because no one else wanted to be the expert. He saw that people really gravitated to his personal story and professional story. He's now a champion of hospitals coordinating care with nursing facilities, and home-based care.

Vision for the Future
Josh says that the model of future is not readmission prevention, it's admission prevention. Where the government or insurance says to the health system, “Here's the allotted amount of money; take care of this patient with this amount.” Health systems are being forced to be accountable, efficient, and use pre-authorizations, and patient education to contain costs. He thinks the long-term impact could be the elimination of middle-man insurer, or at least having the power be transferred from the hospital or health system to the insurer. The basic premise of the ACA is to reduce spending and dollars, but increase and improve care. This means that as revenue dips, staff will be reduced or hospital will be closed. Core staffing requires minimum number of employees to stay open. Hospitals/health systems will need to focus on ways to make money outside the hospital if they are going to be successful. Hospitals used to be the king in a health system; now, they're the biggest expense.  Josh specializes in helping administrators find other revenue streams besides the hospital.

How Can Patients Save Money in Healthcare
Josh says the best way for patients to save money in healthcare is to become educated on available treatment options, including home-based care, and feel empowered to question doctors orders. Josh has realized that the rest of us must adapt to millennial culture of having a computer-in-hand; healthcare needs to adopt technology. (This sentiment is shared by many of our past interviewees, such as Scott Roethle and Bruce Blausen.)  Also, millennials define healthcare as living healthy, which is the future of healthcare. Josh is writing two books, commissioned by Forbes, about this topic. The first one is titled Is Healthcare Bankrupting Your Business and What are You Going to do About it?, and it will be released Fall 2017. It will focus on how executives can save money on healthcare for employees. The second book is called Is Healthcare Bankrupting Your Family and What are You Going to do About it? Its expected release date is Fall 2018, but it may release as early as Spring 2018. This book will focus on ways people can save on healthcare for themselves, their family members, and their aging parents.

Personal Habit Contributed to Success
Josh has developed the power of listening to and understanding his audience. He has an undergraduate degree in communications which is how he learned the value of “understanding your audience before you open your mouth.”
Also, when he trained as a nursing home administrator, he worked in every department for two weeks. While washing dishes with an immigrant who only had a high school education that more employees that could relate to the dishwasher than a CEO in a corner office and he adapted his managerial approach accordingly.

Three Absolute Truths
Josh has learned three absolute truths in his life, and they are:
Having a partner that is committed and lifts you up (and whom you lift) is necessary. He is thankful to have found that in is wife of almost 20 years.
Having alone time is important. Meditation, prayer, and thinking alone helps you know who you are.
It's important to play as hard as you live. He loves to travel with his family and is glad to be able to teach his children that it requires hard work to achieve the things you want in life.

Parting Advice
With regards to healthcare, please feel empowered to ask questions for yourself, your family, and your aging parents. Ask what your options are and question doctors orders, especially if they involve staying in the hospital.

Books and Contact Info
Re-admission Prevention: Solutions Across the Provider Continuum is written for hospital administrators and healthcare practitioners. It is very tactical and the only idea that costs money is the actual price of the book.

Ex-Acute: A former hospital CEO tells all on what’s wrong with American healthcare, What every American needs to know exposes the underbelly of healthcare, talks about why it's so expensive and empowers patients to question providers and know their options. He says it's fun and entertaining, and a quick 3-hour read. It also includes a glossary of terms for those unfamiliar with the industry.

Look for Josh Luke on LinkedIn and twitter (@joshluke4health), or visit his website https://joshluke.org/. He would love to speak at your company's event, and he usually brings a free copy of Ex-Acute for attendees.

Josh Luke Bio
Dr. Josh Luke is a Healthcare Futurist and #1 Best Selling Author of Re-admission Prevention: Solutions Across the Provider Continuum. After ten years as a hospital CEO, Luke was out of a job, had no health insurance for his family, and his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. He now finds solace in sharing his experiences as a caretaker for his mom; and being without health insurance for his family has given him a deeply emotional understanding of the other side of care delivery. Dr. Josh Luke’s expertise is in developing population management strategies that create new revenue streams for health systems. Luke shares Best Practices nationally to ensure hospitals develop revenue-driven programs in the post-acute, healthy lifestyle and wellness sectors. Peers describe Luke as innovative, a thought-leader on population management, coordinated care, and readmission prevention — as well as a “futurist” on the Affordable Care Act and how it will shape the continuum. He authored a book titled, “Re-admission Prevention: Solutions Across the Provider Continuum”, which is the best-selling management series book of the year for the American College of Healthcare Executives. Experience includes Executive Faculty at the University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy, in the Healthcare Administration Department at Cal State Long Beach and also at Cal State Fullerton. He is also a former Board member for the Hospital Association of Southern California and the California Hospital Association Center for Post-Acute Care. Having uniquely worked in acute & SNF, Luke founded the National Readmission Prevention Collaborative in 2013 and the National Bundled Payment Collaborative in 2015, to showcase Best Practice integration models. He currently serves in an Editorial and Advisory Board capacity for several organizations including the Readmission News. A veteran hospital CEO, Luke also designed the Total Wellness Torrance population management strategy working with the ACO, Bundled Payment & IPA teams while serving as Vice President, Post-Acute Services for Torrance Memorial Health System. TWT and its Post Acute Network received the 2013 Excellence in Programming award from CAHF.

Thanks to all our listeners and viewers! Remember to contact Lance King of Healthcare Compliance Solutions, Inc for all your compliance needs. See more interviews at our website, www.hcsiinc.com, on Facebook @hcsi, or on YouTube and PodCast and search for Doctor Entrepreneur.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

HCSI Interview with Jeromy Dixson of Smiles Dental Episode: 18

Lance King of Healthcare Compliance Solutions, Inc interviewed Jeromy Dixson. Dr. Dixson is a three- time INC Magazine 500/5000 awarded entrepreneur, the Founder and Former CEO of Smiles Services LLC and Founder and Former President of Smiles Dental Group PC.



Jeromy Dixson, DDS
Like most of the people in the healthcare industry that Lance has interviewed, Jeromy Dixson chose his career out of a desire to help other people. He spoke of two experiences in childhood that greatly influenced his path (-39:00 in interview). He had two injuries that required lengthy hospital stays. He decided he wanted to be like the people on the medical teams that took care of him during those times and dreamed of being a doctor. In college, Jeromy spoke to several doctors and they all recommended that he look into going into dentistry instead. He shadowed his dentist and discovered a love for the industry. He was excited to get to know families and even generations of families as patients.
He graduated from dental school in Southern Illinois University in 2004. About one-third to one-half of his graduating class went to work for Heartland Dental Group, the largest dental group in the nation at the time, and one of the first Dental Service Organizations (DSO) in the country.  When Jeromy returned 'home' to Portland, OR he brought back the idea of a DSO with him. He eventually founded the Smiles Dental Group, a DSO in the Portland Oregon area. Jeromy is currently on sabbatical with his wife and three children. They are taking a year off to travel around the world.

Smiles Dental Group
Smiles Dental Group is a DSO that buys private dental practices. Then, Smiles takes care of all the non-clinical aspects of running a practice, including (but not limited to) marketing, continuing education, facilities maintenance, and billing/insurance. Jeromy looked for the top 5-10 percent of practices in the area and then talked to the dentists about advantages of joining a DSO. The main reason dentists choose to go with Smiles Dental Group is because many new 
graduates don't want to own their own practice because of the complications involved with ownership.  Doctors want to focus on patient care. Also, many women are choosing to work part-time as a dentist. The DSO option allows more women to practice dentistry without spending time on the non-clinical parts. Another big driver for people choosing a DSO is the ability to adopt new technologies, such as CAD/CAM and CT machines. These devices facilitate greater patient care but are often cost prohibitive. With a DSO model, the group of practices share the cost so they can offer these treatment/diagnosing options, which will help differentiate their practices from competitors.

What Have You Learned From Failure?
Jeromy says that every successful entrepreneur has had catastrophic failures, and he's no exception. One of the most applicable lessons for anyone looking to buy a practice, or go into business with someone is to stay away from doctors who have both a big ego and whose identity is their practice. He said that you can work with one or the other, but not both. Also, he said that in any negotiation, if there's contention before the contract gets signed, there's going to be contention afterwards.  It's not worth working with someone who doesn't want to change or find common ground, so just walk away.

Entrepreneurship
When asked about entrepreneurship, Jeromy said, “You'll always have things thrown at you that make you want to quit.”  He says the keys to being successful are not to quit, take informed risks, know what your vision is, and build a great team. When he first started, Jeromy said he was naive about how much work and sacrifice was required to build a flourishing company. He says that now he has a basic framework of knowledge, experience, and strategy so he can realize his vision.  He subscribes to the “Blue Ocean Strategy,” namely where you create your own market (blue ocean) instead of fighting over the same market as everyone else (red ocean).  He periodically considers where the 'blue ocean' will be in 10 years and readjusts his focus.


Habits of Success
According to Jeromy, “Anyone I've known that's been extremely successful and a great leader has a curious mind.” He makes time daily to meditate and learn. He says that once a person stops learning and growing, they become comfortable. Jeromy doesn't let himself stay comfortable very long.  He says, “When you move and grow, you become greater.”

Three Absolute Truths
1. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind,” is a quote that Jeromy's wife recently shared with him. As he and his family travel around the world through different places and cultures, they see the commonalities in the human family, and that most differences can be worked out with kindness.
2. The things that matter most are our relationships with people we love and our experiences together.
3. There is no such thing as a free lunch.  People see the tip of the iceberg of success, but they don't see the hard work and determination beneath the surface. He says, “If you're entitled or a victim, then you're never going to achieve your goals. It will always be someone else's fault that you don't have a great family, or a good job, or a successful business.” People with determination work hard to achieve what they want, whether that be in relationships or careers.

Parting Advice
A business is made of of three things—people, product/service, and profit. You have to follow that same order in priority. If you don't treat people well, your business will fail. If you don't have the right product or service, your business will fail. And if you take care of the first two, the third (profit) will follow.

Jeromy Dixson, Bio
Dr. Jeromy Dixson, of Smiles Services and Smiles Dental Group. Dr. Dixson is a three- time INC Magazine 500/5000 awarded entrepreneur, the Founder/Former CEO of Smiles Services LLC and Founder/Former President of Smiles Dental Group PC. He is a visionary, inspirational, and transformational leader who builds unified individuals, teams, cultures, and world-class organizations. Dr. Dixson became the managing partner of Smiles Dental in 2008. In 2010 he finalized a buyout of his former partners, assumed the role of President and immediately accomplished a successful re-launch of the organization, setting Smiles Dental on a path to explosive growth. The company proceeded to double its number of locations and triple revenue in the ensuing three years. From 2013 to 2015, Smiles Dental nearly tripled the number of locations, revenue and EBITDA again. Under Dr. Dixson's leadership, Smiles Dental was recognized three years in a row (2013-2015) by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States, topping out at #550 in 2013. Additionally in 2013, he completed a successful private equity transaction. He is currently on sabbatical overseas. Follow his family blog at www.dixsonsout.com to catch up with him through mid-2017.

As always, thanks so much for listening, reading, and following Lance King and Healthcare Compliance Solutions, Inc. Remember to find us on Facebook, iTunes, YouTube, and LinkedIn for more interviews, articles, and helpful information about healthcare compliance and more. Www.hsciinc.com

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Monday, May 8, 2017

HCSI Interview with Paul Roemer of Pale Rhino Consulting Episode: 17

This show featured an interview by Lance King of Healthcare Compliance Solutions, Inc (www.hcsiinc.com) of Paul Roemer, CEO of Pale Rhino Consulting (www.palerhinoconsulting.com).




Paul Roemer, Background
Paul is from Philadelphia and has three children.  Besides being the CEO of Pale Rhino Consulting, he enjoys running and painting and is currently writing a couple of suspense/thriller novels.  He doesn't remember what he wanted to be as a child when he grew up, but he has always relished a challenge, which is why he chose consulting as a career.  With over 30 years in the field, most people might not realize that he doesn't usually have the answer to a problem walking in. He says he just “helps clients figure out what to do tomorrow and if you put enough tomorrows together, you'll have a solution.”

Biggest Failure
Once, Paul and his partner went to work on a 3-day job in Rio de Janeiro. It turned into a large, two-and-a-half year project requiring 30 people. At the end of the two-and-a-half years, both Paul and his partner realized they had both overlooked finding the next project, so they had nothing to do for a short time. In the consulting industry, people live by the saying, “if you don't shoot it, you don't eat,” (similar to Christopher Kunney's company, Infinite Options featured in a previous interview found here [insert link]).  Luckily, most of their jobs came from referrals and they weren't out of work for long.

Move into Healthcare Industry
Paul and his partner centered their consulting firm around consumerism (focusing on consumer access, engagement, and experience).  Being both a former cancer patient and a heart attack patient led Paul into consulting for the healthcare industry.
As a patient, he saw the glaring lack of focus on customer/patient experience in the entire healthcare industry. His partner retired about ten years ago and Paul decided to go into consulting exclusively for hospitals and large healthcare providers at that time. He says the biggest problem with consumerism (or lack thereof) in the healthcare industry is that when you only look at patients, you leave out a lot of people who interact with the health system like family members, care givers, referring physicians, and prospective patients.  

Gaps
Health systems spend millions of dollars in consulting fees, but don't focus on the right place—customer experience.  Paul specializes in finding gaps in access, engagement, and experience for patients that administrators of healthcare systems miss.  He shared a few examples with healthcare administrators and patients that illustrated how out of touch hospitals are with what patients care about. Paul has yet to see a large healthcare provider that has a definition of access, engagement, and experience beyond HCAHP scores. The problem with relying on HCAHP scores to determine patient satisfaction is that it does not poll people other than the patient, it does not measure experiences outside of the hospital stay (website, phone calls, etc), and it weighs all factors as equal (bathroom cleanliness counts the same as pain management).    

Recommendations
To start, a healthcare organization needs to look at where it is and where it wants to be. Paul says that hospitals should strive for a remarkable experience for everyone, every time, at any time, on any device.  The first place to start is the call center.  Most call centers only handle scheduling, yet health systems fail to recognize that only 20 percent of calls received at a call center have to do with scheduling. Eighty percent of callers are transferred or given another number to call because the call center can't answer their questions.  According to Paul, the focus should move away from being efficient to being effective.  Giving people the wrong answer after 2 minutes instead of giving people the wrong answer after 4 minutes does not improve customer experience.  Giving people the right answer does! The second recommendation Paul makes is to make an effective website. People go to a website because they want to; they call because they have to. If common reasons for calling can be identified, and those things have a fairly simple answer, hospitals can put those answers on their websites, thus increasing effectiveness of the website AND decreasing the number of calls to the call center. Human-centered design is key in building a website that users can access “any where, at any time, on any device.” An effective website would be able to track customer acquisition and lifetime value of customers because patients and potential patients would be able to make appointments and upload information, and providers could track conditions, billings, and appointments, plus analyze all of the data collected. If maximizing consumerism in a hospital experience, everything except getting actual treatment should be available online/on a mobile device, such as entering insurance cards, signing forms, filling out admissions forms, and submitting payments. Finally, Paul recommends hospitals and healthcare providers build an aggregator of data from devices and applications that people are already using, such at Fit Bit, and My Fitness Pal. Tracking this patient information could be used to provide better preventative care, but Paul has noticed that very few, if any, healthcare providers are taking advantage of that technology.  (Healthcare Compliance Solutions conducted an interview with a company that is at the forefront of this technology, which can be viewed here [insert link to HELO LX Roethle interview/shownotes].)

Legacy
Paul says that he is naive enough to think he can change hospital system/patient interactions. He hopes that he can convince health systems to begin measuring access, engagement, and experience of all people who come in contact with them.

Personal Habit That Has Contributed to Success
Paul is tenacious in looking for the right answer. He subscribes to the Occam's razor principle, which states that the simplest way is usually the right way. It's simpler to ask a patient about what they think is important than having marketing and IT come up with answers.

Three Life Truths
  1. Faith is foremost.
  2. Have integrity. Paul says, “I might as well tell the truth because it's easier to remember.”
  3. Treat others as you like to be treated. Manners are free, so it doesn't hurt to use them.
Connect with Paul
Paul will be leaving Pale Rhino and begin working with a healthcare start-up soon, so please email him at his personal email, paulroemer@gmail.com if you are an administrator seeking his services. You can read his blog at www.healthcareitstrategy.com
Thank you for watching, reading, listening, and sharing! More interviews, plus helpful advice and information about OSHA and HIPAA compliance can be found at our website www.hcsiinc.com. Listen to the Doctor Entrepreneur podcast and follow us on Facebook @hcsiinc.

About Paul

I am the guy who drags the transformation elephant into the room.

My career of a global consulting executive spans North and South America, the EU, and Asia Pacific. My clients have a combined customer base of more than 250 million customers.

I was the global leader of IBM's healthcare patient and customer consumerism, access, and engagement consulting practice. By transforming consumerism, I enable providers, payers, national retail pharmacies, and life sciences firms to manage care, enable population health, and drive wellness.

I work with healthcare executives to define a vision and create an effective and innovative consumerism strategy. The strategy, built upon human-centered-design, has a single goal--discover and exceed consumers' expectations the first time and every time they interact with their healthcare organization. The strategy is omnichannel--phone (call centers/CRM) and mobile-first (customer portal/apps). The vision is precise--A remarkable experience for every person, every time, at any time, and on any device.

I lead teams unabashedly towards change and teach them to fear the 'as-is'. I truly believe that 'good' is the enemy of 'great' and that great is a poor substitute for 'excellence'. I am a respected, principled leader with an earned reputation for a high level of integrity.

Expertise: consumerism, access, engagement, cognitive health, business development, practice management, innovation, human-centered design, patient/customer experience, mobile-first, customer portals, CRM, social-CRM, call centers, patient retention, business strategy, change management, Social Networking, and PMO.


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Monday, May 1, 2017

HCSI Interview with Christopher Kunney of Infinite Options Technology Consulting Episode: 16

This interview of Christopher Kunney, CIO and managing partner of Infinite Options Technology Consulting (www.iotechconsulting.com) was sponsored by Healthcare Compliance Solutions, Inc and was conducted by Lance King. (www.hcsiinc.com)



Christopher Kunney, Background
Christopher Kunney's family was one of the first in his neighborhood to get an Atari when he was growing up. His parents encouraged science and adoption of new technology from a young age. Christopher learned to value education and perseverance from his family. His grandmother was a college graduate and a teacher. His father not only held a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, but was a teacher and entrepreneur.  Christopher says that the sheer determination his father and grandmother showed in hard times laid the path for him to become who he is. He attended Fort Valley State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Mathematics and then went on to earn an Executive Master of Science in Management of Technology degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Failure—One of Life's Greatest Teachers
After he had graduated and held a few different positions, Christopher decided to buy a web development business in the late 1990s. The company did so well that Christopher decided to quit his job. Unfortunately, about 6 months later, the tech bubble burst, leaving him with a failed business and no income. Falling back on his roots, he decided to try adjunct teaching, where he discovered a passion for education.  He remembers teaching his students about emerging markets and taking advantage of trends in technology and business. He went home and asked himself why he wasn't taking advantage of trends he saw in healthcare and technology. He applied for a position at a healthcare company and became the Chief Information Officer within five years.  Through that experience, Christopher learned to ask himself two questions when taking a risk: “What's the worst that can happen?” and “Can I survive it?”  He says the answer is almost always, “Yes, I can survive it and I'll learn from it.”

Infinite Options Technology Consulting, The Ronin Samurai of Healthcare Technology
One of the risks that Christopher took which paid off was becoming part of Infinite Options Technology Consulting. Christopher likes to think of the Infinite Options team as the Ronin Samurai of Healthcare Technology. Ronin Samurai had no master, but had passion and worked within a set of standards to accomplish good. Infinite Options team members also have passion and work within core values to help make healthcare companies successful.
The firm provides many services, including management of electronic health records, cybersecurity consulting, analytics, diagnostics, network performance evaluations, system acquisition, and even acting as the virtual CIO. Infinite Options takes a clinical approach to consulting: first, the team asks about concerns within a company; second, it conducts and assessment to identify causes of problems; finally, it prescribes a remediation strategy. It will be there to help find solutions to every issue and act as an extension of the leadership team, long-term.  Just as a person does not visit the doctor once in his life to maintain good health, a company would not receive one consulting session to remain strong. Infinite Options prides itself on building long-term relationships with clients.  Please visit www.iotechconsulting.com, connect with Christopher Kunney on LinkedIn, follow him on twitter @healthITprof, call him directly at (404) 276-0738, or call Infinite Options toll-free at (888) 699-6992.

Cybersecurity Breaches: One of the Biggest Threats for Healthcare Providers
In Christopher's experience, he has determined that one of the biggest (if not the biggest) threats in the healthcare industry is cybersecurity breaches. He said that unfortunately, providers tend to take the “head in the sand” approach to cybersecurity, which opens huge gaps in the virtual wall around patient data. According to Christopher, “Most [healthcare service providers] have experienced a breach and don't know it yet.”  Doctors, nurses, and other providers are focused on their core mission of helping patients and delivering good healthcare, plus this level of reliance on technology to deliver that care is relatively new, so people are not used to thinking about how to protect the data. Infinite Options educates healthcare service providers about possible points of breaches, like stolen/lost flash drives, laptops left unsecured in cars, sharing computer passwords, and texting or emailing patient information without proper encryption. The company also tries to close the 'gaps in the wall' by recommending services, software, and practices that maintain security.

Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship requires commitment. It is not for the faint or lighthearted, but once you go down that path, it is very difficult to go back. It is a rewarding and liberating but difficult position to be in. Christopher says that at Infinite Options, they live by the saying, “You eat what you kill” meaning you have the ability to control your own destiny. You get to reap the rewards of your own effort.

Christopher Kunney's Legacy
Christopher hopes to leave a legacy of service. He is servant-minded, like his grandmother and father. He has served medical missions to Africa, served as a charter school chair, taught inner city kids about tech jobs, and went on a trade mission to Central America to mentor people in technology companies, as well as those working in countries' ministries of health. He looks forward to the service he can yet render in similar capacities.

Three Truths to Live By
1. Nothing is more important than family. Maximize your time with them and don't take them for granted.
2. Failure is not a bad thing. It strengthens and teaches you. Failure is not a permanent condition.
3. Find a hobby or a passion in life. His hobby is drawing and painting. His passion is giving. “Nothing gives him more satisfaction than giving.”

Christopher Kunney, Bio
Christopher Kunney is the Managing Partner and senior level healthcare information technology executive and strategist of Infinite Options Technology Consulting Group. He is called upon by his clients to provide guidance and thought leadership specific to emerging healthcare technology offerings, compliance related issues and technology adoption. His recent roles include serving as Director of Emerging Healthcare Technology for AT&T, Vice President & COO for Health Innovation and Vice President and CIO for Piedmont Healthcare. Christopher currently serves as managing partner of Infinite Options, LLC. network of seasoned IT leaders with the passion to educate and lead industry transformation effort. He has a track record of successfully implementing and providing strategic enterprise-wide solutions that address the current issues faced by health systems including; governance, meaningful use, PPACA, HITECH Act, HIPAA, EMR Adoption, CMS quality measures, and HIEs. In addition, Christopher is an experienced IT leader with demonstrated ability to build peak-performing teams and achieve cross-functional business objectives that effectively integrate within the clinical setting. As a valued member of senior management teams, he’s contributed a seasoned, broad-based perspective with the maturity to lead IT transformation efforts in all areas of the healthcare business. His business philosophy is to create pragmatic IT strategies and implementation plans designed for maximum return. Christopher serves as instructor-at-large for Emory University Healthcare IT Certification Program and is industry advisor to Minority Business Development Agency Business Center-Atlanta & Georgia Institute Of Technologies - HIT Cluster Program, ITT Technical Institute, Georgia State University and DeVry University – Atlanta. He also serves on the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce HIT Public Policy and Bioscience Taskforce and Health IT Leadership Council. Christopher was also selected as a reviewer for 2014 CMS Innovation Awards and served as an advisor Georgia Hospital Association ICD-10 Transition Forum and is currently advisor, industry thought leader for the Georgia Hospital Association Healthcare IT Executive Leader Forum, Village Capital Health Technology and “The Combine” Technology Business Accelerators. He is also a member of Governor Deal’s High Demand Career Initiative - IT Task Force. Some of his current leadership roles include, FY14 President of the Healthcare Information Systems Society (HIMSS)- Georgia Chapter, FY14-15 HIMSS Southern Chapter Advocacy Roundtable, Chairman - FY16-17 HIMSS Chapter Leaders Taskforce, Board of Trustees, CaringMeds Foundation, Past Board Chairman of Ivy Preparatory Academy of Schools, past chair of Dr. Ben Carson Foundation Atlanta Chapter and board emeritus for the Men’s Health and Wellness Center. Other previous professional organizational memberships include: Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives (GAHE), Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Healthcare Service Executives (NASHE) and National Black MBA Association. Christopher is a graduate of Fort Valley State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Mathematics and Executive Master of Science in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to his formal education, he’s received various certifications in the areas of healthcare information technology (CPHIT), customer relationship management (CRM), technical management, total quality control, project management, and other various I.T. related fields of study. Christopher is a recipient of the Seaborn Lee Middle School Trailblazer Award; 2006 Minority Scholarship Award from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Along with this award he also was selected to participate in the CHIME’s CIO Boot Camp for high achieving business leaders. Christopher was also selected to deliver the commencement address for the 2007 & 2009 graduating class at ITT Institute in Atlanta, GA. He has appeared as a subject matter expert at various healthcare IT industry conferences and events. Christopher has appeared in various publications including The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Modern Healthcare, 2006 thru 2012 editions of Who’s Who in Business and Industry, Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and was featured in a spring 2006 article on “Minorities in Healthcare” published by the Atlanta Hospital News. He’s also been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine’s executives “On The Move” section. He’s co-author various articles, whitepapers and presented nationally on topics surrounding the impact of health information technology on the clinical ecosystem. Christopher is an avid blogger and shares his perspective through various social media outlets including, Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. Visit Infinite Options Technology Consulting's website at www.iotechconsulting.com.


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