Jeff Tucker is president and CEO of Integrity Health Network, LLC. Integrity Health Network (IHN) is a network of independent primary care and specialty clinics, community hospitals and related facilities. The company’s function is to aggregate independent entities into a viable competitive network for health plan contracting, group purchasing and data analysis and related activities.
Tucker’s role encompasses everything from lead negotiator with the health insurance payers to strategic planning. He even helps carry the garbage out on Thursday afternoons. He has worked in healthcare for 29 years in a myriad of roles.
(Photo courtesy of Jeff Tucker)
What has been the biggest challenge you have had in your business?
Developing resources such as data warehousing and analysis to allow us to compete with the ever increasing size of our big corporate health system peers on an extremely uneven playing field, one in which payer reimbursement favors the huge health systems. It’s also difficult to recruit and keep good employees given the disparity in reimbursements our providers receive versus the large systems, making it difficult to offer the same types of wages. And don’t get me started on how difficult it is to offer comparable benefits. We address this by offering what we feel is a higher quality of work-life balance.
What have you implemented to overcome that challenge?
We have moved forward with becoming a CMS-approved Accountable Care Organization. We have a plethora of data analysis tools cobbled together on a relatively small budget that allows us to get information into our provider’s hands on everything from utilization to cost to quality for the facilities we refer to. We also actively seek collaboration partners to work with us in pioneering ways, such as going at risk with us in health plan contracts so we all have a stake in the overall picture.
What are the results after you implemented your solution?
We are one of the most efficient health networks as measured by the state, as well as very aggressively positioned within the ACO peers at the federal level. Technology is a great equalizer on a number of the fronts we have to compete or operate in. Not bad for a staff of seven!
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse