ST. LOUIS — May 24, 2011 — Essence Group Holdings Corporation (EGHC) today announced the appointment of W. Michael Long as its president and chief executive officer. Long continues in his role as chairman of the board. He succeeds Frank Ingari, who will become vice chairman of the company’s board and president of its 4+ star Medicare Advantage insurance business.
The $2.6 trillion U.S. health care industry is remaking itself in response to unprecedented new demands for greater collaboration, coordination and overall accountability. Long will address this industry challenge by bringing together EGHC and its subsidiaries, Lumeris and Essence Healthcare, to become the nation’s first full-service enabler of next-generation accountable health care delivery systems such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), star-rated Medicare Advantage plans, virtually integrated delivery networks (IDNs) and bundled payment programs.
“Exploding health care costs now challenge the economic viability of the United States, but America’s best ingenuity and innovation can solve this problem,” Long said. “We can deliver the world’s best health care at an affordable price, honor our commitment to our seniors and provide a bright, healthy future to our children. The answer is shared accountability with greater coordination and collaboration.”
“The convergence of exciting new information technologies, breakthroughs in medical science and powerful market incentives make solving this challenge possible now,” he added. The team at EGHC, under Frank’s leadership, has invested considerable time, capital and technology resources to become proficient in running successful accountable health care delivery systems. My vision is to apply that expertise on a much broader basis to change how health care is delivered in America.”
Offered through the company’s Lumeris division, EGHC’s comprehensive accountable care solution includes market-leading technology and specialized services proven through experience to lower the cost and improve the quality of health care.
“EGHC, through Lumeris, has used its experience in running accountable delivery systems to build an unmatched set of capabilities supporting shared responsibility on the part of payers, providers and patients for both quality and cost,” Ingari said. “One of the most exciting aspects of Lumeris’ offering is its demonstrated ability to influence and manage clinical and financial outcomes at the ‘point of thought.’ Now is the right time to share these capabilities with others seeking to deliver value-oriented medicine, and Mike is the right person to lead that important effort.”
Long most recently served as chairman of EGHC, assisting Lumeris as it identified and addressed the 22 competencies necessary to deliver accountable health care. Lumeris makes possible this end-to-end management of accountability using an integrated suite of networked software and clinical information delivered through an intuitive user interface that engages physicians, patients, payers and providers in one collaborative, informed “conversation” to achieve the best possible clinical and financial outcomes.
Offered as a secure and reliable service through the Internet, Lumeris provides a full complement of support embedded within a single platform that includes a host of application services in the areas of provider engagement and management, quality and disease management, cost and utilization management, and revenue management.
The Lumeris solution is tested and proven daily within EGHC’s own 4+ star Medicare Advantage plan, Essence Healthcare, which coordinates care for more than 40,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Essence applies a unique model in which independent primary care groups take responsibility for the entire care of a member, with constant technical and process assistance from Lumeris. Lumeris enables these 18 health care groups to effectively function as accountable care organizations, prompting industry consultants to acknowledge that no one in the country runs more ACOs than Lumeris.
“Improving the cost and coordination of health care is a large, urgent, unmet market need of national importance,” said John Doerr, an investor in the company and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “EGHC’s Lumeris has the experience and tools to achieve these ambitious goals. Mike’s expertise in fundamentally transforming markets will be key to making Lumeris a leader in enabling accountable health care.”
Long is an accomplished entrepreneur most known for building and leading several of health care’s most prominent businesses. He was the chief executive officer and later chairman of Healtheon/WebMD, taking the now-iconic business from startup to market leader and overseeing its successful initial public offering. The market-leading clearinghouse vendor Emdeon and the world’s largest consumer health information company WebMD were born out of that market leadership.
Earlier in his career, Long led Continuum, a producer of software and computer services for the insurance industry, growing it into a multibillion-dollar global enterprise and later overseeing its acquisition by Computer Sciences Corporation.
“Accountable delivery systems, including but not limited to ACOs, have broad and bipartisan political support, but making these systems work isn’t easy,” said Denis Cortese, M.D., foundation professor and director of the Health Care Delivery and Policy Program at Arizona State University, emeritus president and chief executive officer of the Mayo Clinic and EGHC board member. “Lumeris has built valuable tools and technology and tested them in the real world. Under Mike’s leadership, I believe they’ll create additional technology-enabled health care learning organizations that drive safer, higher-quality, patient-centered care,” he added.
Essence Group Holdings Corporation, though its subsidiaries Lumeris and Essence Healthcare, serves the people who consume care, the professionals who provide care and the organizations that manage care. By innovating at the leading edge of collaboration, reimbursement, clinical informatics and information technology, EGHC helps its clients thrive in a new era of value-driven health care.
Lumeris is an accountable care delivery innovation company offering health systems, payers and providers operations, technology and consulting services. Our transformational solutions help health care organizations design, build, operate, measure and optimize any accountable care model to accomplish the Triple Aim Plus One: improved quality, cost, and patient and physician satisfaction. The depth and breadth of Lumeris’ solutions — combined with its extensive experience in accountable care — make the company an ideal partner for any health care organization seeking the benefits of a better connected, aligned and informed accountable delivery system. For more information, call 1.888.586.3747 or go to Lumeris.com.