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Redefining healthcare through innovation


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NOVEMEBER 2019


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Redefining healthcare through innovation w w w.pa r t ne rsb h m . org


PA R T N E R S B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H M A N A G E M E N T

Partners Behavioral Health Management is changing the way that healthcare is delivered, as Jamie Gianna explains

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ransformation. It is a word that’s rapidly becoming synonymous with any multitude of industry sectors worldwide. And while

any transformation represents a game-changing journey for a business and its employees, few have the potential to be as significant as that which 04

Partners Behavioral Health Management is undergoing. The North Carolina-based managed care organisation (MCO), established around seven years ago, is currently in the midst of a digital transformation journey that has the potential to change how healthcare in the United States is defined and paid for. It is, confesses Chief Information Officer Jamie Gianna, both an “exciting and scary time” for the organisation and the state of North Carolina. North Carolina pioneered a public Medicaid managed care system for behavioral health and intellectual/ developmental disabilities in 2011. Next year, the state will move to an integrated healthcare approach for all individuals who rely on the public system for care. “We are right in the middle of developing and introducing many things that no one else has previously done before or even considered in terms of NOVEMBER 2019


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PA R T N E R S B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H M A N A G E M E N T

“We are leveraging the very latest and most innovative technologies that will position us as a true leader in managed healthcare”

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— Jamie Gianna, Chief Information Officer, Partners Behavioral Health Management

the way in which managed healthcare services are provided. In doing so, we are leveraging the very latest and most innovative technologies that will position us as a true leader in managed healthcare, both in North Carolina and beyond.” Gianna is responsible for leading Partners’ digital transformation. He sits as a member of the Partners Operational Leadership Team, and rather succinctly describes his work as “trying to understand the organisation’s strategic targets based on the information and direction we get from the North Carolina General Assembly and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services; while finding the right tools to fit and to meet those requirements.” In reality, Gianna is charged with strategic planning, leading mission-critical business initiatives and organisational objectives, and driving change that will result in improved customer service and go a long way towards achieving better healthcare provision for the population of North Carolina. Partners is a public, regional managed care organisation, overseeing

NOVEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘PARTNERS | SUCCESS STORY: ILIANA’ 07 mental health, substance use disorder

of the whole person, which is a big

and intellectual and developmental dis-

driver behind our transformation.”

ability (I/DD) services available through

The purpose of Partners’ digital trans-

Medicaid, state and county funding.

formation, explains Gianna, is a focus

The organisation, Gianna explains, con-

on understanding the overall health and

tracts with care providers to ensure

healthcare needs of specific popula-

that treatment options are available

tions through leveraging technologies

for eligible residents across the state.

such as procurement platforms, predic-

“North Carolina is a large state,” he

tive analytics tools, and the integration

says. “The population is close to 11

of the organisation’s services network

million, and one in every 10 is eligible

so that it can manage the right services

for publicly-funded behavioral and I/DD

at the right time for its health plan

managed care. However, the system

members. “First and foremost, we

currently in place focuses on a portion

recognise that we need to be very agile

of a person’s wellbeing, instead

and mobile,” he notes. “The first target w w w.pa r t ne rsb h m . org


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was driven from a population health and

Office 365 – so that, at any place and

predictive analytics perspective, which

at any time, anyone within Partners’

focused on understanding what our

executive team could access all the

total cost of care looks like, what do the

data and information. The transforma-

state’s population and demographics

tion journey is still ongoing, with Gianna

look like, and how that fits into the wider

outlining steps two and three, as well

financial and health strategies that we

as a longer-term vision. These steps

have. Having the ability to really get our

include “sourcing a trifecta of procure-

arms around that data and turn it into

ment management tools, including tools

something useful, meaningful and with

for population health and predictive

real purpose had to be the first step.”

analytics that can create health risk

To do this, two years ago, the organisation moved to the cloud – specifically,

scores, as well as portals for users and a platform that allows integration across 09

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Jamie Gianna Gianna is known for a tireless work ethic, energetic presentation, and hands-on approach to consultative solutions. Gianna has blazed a trail of achievement across industry sectors including healthcare, insurance, finance, legal, professional services, and professional sports. While he is an accomplished C-Suite executive, he is best known as a proven player with a history of reliable, dependable performance, innovative and future looking solutions — leveraging leadership and technical expertise. He has an MBA from the University of Maryland and engaged in his doctorate in Organizational Management. Currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

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PA R T N E R S B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H M A N A G E M E N T

“First and foremost, we recognised that we needed to be very agile and mobile” — Jamie Gianna, Chief Information Officer, Partners Behavioral Health Management

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NOVEMBER 2019


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PA R T N E R S B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H M A N A G E M E N T

2013

Year founded

$326mn Approximate revenue

460

Approximate number of employees North Carolina’s ‘healthcare universe’. We have been able to find and apply all the tools we need,” he states. “We are in the process of implementing them – the first ‘finishing line’ is imminent.” The scale of change within the state has placed North Carolina at the forefront of healthcare reform which, according to Gianna, “is what everyone is trying to achieve. The whole purpose – initially – is to collect and analyse as much data as possible, to really be able to understand exactly what the costs involved are and to ensure that every member can be cared for to the very best standard. That target


is phenomenal, and if we pull it off it will be huge.” Somewhat understandably, such change has required a significant realignment of structure and resources internally. This, says Gianna, hasn’t been easy and has proved a challenge at times. “We’re an organisation that, for some years, has had a lot of processes. We haven’t used specific tools and systems and have required people to really get on board with the new tools and understand the scope of the change. It’s all about introducing a new perspective. It is, after all, a fundamental aspect of being human: you either change and progress, or you don’t. Of course, it helps to know that the endgoal of our transformation is to achieve something truly good for many people. Working in healthcare and understanding the impact on the families we serve definitely changes the way in which you approach your work. Everyone on my team could go and work in other places and quite easily be very comfortable, but we’d never have the same sense of satisfaction that we get from helping people’s lives. That’s what matters the most.” w w w.pa r t ne rsb h m . org

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PA R T N E R S B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H M A N A G E M E N T

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“I would love to be able to collaborate with other organisations and to share the lessons learned across the state so we can deliver the very best standards of care” — Jamie Gianna, Chief Information Officer, Partners Behavioral Health Management NOVEMBER 2019


As with any transformation journey, there is still a lengthy road to travel for Partners. The organisation is on the cusp of achieving significant change yet, for Gianna, other technologies could also come into play in the future. “I’m already considering how we could use AI and machine learning for managing and analysing our data, for example. As we move through our journey, we will collect so much data. We are already focused on how we really leverage the technologies available to provide the best possible answers for that data. There is still a great deal to do but, looking further ahead, I would love to be able to collaborate with other organisations and to share the lessons learned so we can deliver the very best standards of care.�

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901 S New Hope Rd Gastonia NC 28054 T 1 877 864 1454 www.partnersbhm.org

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Partners Behavioral Health Management Nov 2019  

Partners Behavioral Health Management Nov 2019