A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
As a practicing physician, Dr. Peter Mills knows the trust people place in their doctors. As an entrepreneur, Mills sees that relationship as key to improving health outcomes.
Mills' hope for improving outcomes will happen through the technology platform by nGage Health, the Minneapolis patient-engagement solutions company he co-founded last year.
The platform, according to Mills, can help doctors engage with patients before, during and after office visits, to manage and monitor progress on medical and behavioral issues. Clients include Wellclicks, a company that offers patient engagement services to Allina Health and Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia. The platform also presents real-time data on larger patient groups, enabling health care providers to take steps proactively in an effort to improve outcomes.
"The practice of medicine is changing," Mills said. "As a health care provider, you're going to be judged and remunerated on outcomes and total population health management and cost containment. Doing things the old way is not going to get you there in this brave new world."
Mills, a London physician, first visited Minnesota in his 20s and has returned frequently on business. nGage Health, which has two employees here and three in England, was incorporated in Minnesota because of its status as a "health care hub," he said, including the presence of Allina Health and Fairview and other "accountable care organizations" managing the health and outcomes of Medicare patients under federal health care reform.
Mills' previous medical ventures include co-founding Vielife, a global health management consultancy that was sold to Cigna in 2006. He worked for Cigna for two years before joining RedBrick Health, the Minneapolis health care management company, from 2009 to 2011.
QWhat was the motivation behind founding nGage Health?
ALooking back just over a decade ago (when the Internet was new), I thought we'd have an opportunity to use technology to help our patients better manage their health. It struck me that we really haven't capitalized on that. We've ignored that and to a certain extent it's been us physicians who have been complicit in this.
QHow does your platform align with health care reform?
ARather than the episodic, transactional nature of fee-for-service that we've perpetuated for decades, we're going to where [providers] manage the health of the population and all of their health care needs within a certain budget while still driving good outcomes. With that comes the opportunity to create solutions to enable providers to better engage with their patients and to utilize technology to enhance that doctor-patient relationship.
QHow have you approached building the platform?
AMy approach with nGage Health is to build this organically. Let's find out in this new marketplace what health care providers really want.