| March 2, 2020

Chicago Startup Makes Quality Measures in Hospitals Easier to Implement

Anca Spanu

Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at... Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at various media outlets all over the world. At Healthcare Weekly, Anca writes about current events, innovations in the healthcare space and events/ conferences with a focus on investing & startups.

Chicago-based startup Apervita, the leading healthcare platform for value-based collaboration, announced on February 12th that it is the first company to certify electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) using a proprietary clinical quality language (CQL) ingestion engine.

Apervita is only one of the startup companies striving to use AI, data interpretation and technology to improve health outcomes for patients while saving time and money for medical staff and healthcare organizations. The company’s software helps healthcare organizations to identify data issues and improve quality.

KenSci is another healthtech company that provides automated insights to major hospitals and care facilities all over the US. The company helps hospitals predict the number of patients entering a hospital at any given point in time, the percentage of patients who will be committed and discharged and the percentage of patients who will return to a hospital within a given timeframe.

Measures in place in just 14 hours, using Apervita

Founded in 2012, Apervita provides collaborative analytics for payers, providers and other stakeholders who are pursuing value-based healthcare and offers a comprehensive set of solutions for quality measurement, provider engagement and the administration of value-based contracts.

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On average, healthcare enterprises using Apervita can build, test and execute measures in just 14 hours per measure examined. Typically, three to six months are required to code each measure in custom environments when using older languages and approaches SQL (Standard Query Language) and SAS (Statistical Analysis System). The reduced latency in building and running these measures empowers healthcare organizations to quickly identify data issues and proactively improve quality on a continuous basis.

The speed and efficiency of the Apervita quality measure engine, QMeasure™, comes in part from being specifically and natively built to leverage clinical quality language (CQL). CQL is a new Health Level 7 International logic standard that supports both eCQMs (electronic Clinical Quality Measures) and clinical decision support. It allows the portability and easy implementation of standard quality measures and decision support across disparate technology systems without requiring manual translation by a human developer.

The company is servicing more than 2,500 hospitals in the U.S. 

NCQA is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. NCQA’s eCQM Certification is precise, automated testing process that verifies compliance with eCQM specifications and the ability to report eCQMs using the Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) Categories I and III.

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“Apervita’s eCQM certification using a CQL engine is another huge step forward in healthcare quality innovation,” said Dr. Michael Barr, Executive Vice President of Quality Measurement and Research Group at NCQA.

Used by more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals, this certification for Apertiva advances it efforts at innovation in the digital quality space and builds on its inpatient quality measure execution capabilities.

Apervita is NCQA-certified for 12 measures for eCQMs for the 2019 performance/reporting period.  It is expected to gain certification for 25 ambulatory measures by the end of the first quarter, 2020. Applications for which hospitals will be able to use the newly certified Apervita QMeasure solution for the 2019 eCQM performance/reporting period for programs include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) programs.

QMeasure also supports custom programs for both payers and providers using additional measures that can be expressed in CQL.

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“The value our customers are realizing by executing measures with a CQL-based engine is unique and unprecedented,” said Apervita CEO Kevin Hutchinson. “Health enterprises can now execute eCQMs with speed and efficiency to proactively monitor and improve quality. Becoming the first to offer that engine with NCQA-certified measures is the next step in building on that value.”

A new President and Chief Operating Offices for rapid development 

After securing a $22 million investment in November 2019, Apervita, the leading platform for value-based collaboration in healthcare, announced on February 6th the addition of seasoned healthcare technology executive Kareem Saad as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Kareem holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in computer science from the University of British Columbia and an MBA with a concentration in economics and finance from the University of Chicago.

Throughout his more than 20-years long career, Kareem has leveraged his expertise in healthcare and life science businesses, helping scale both startups and larger organizations. Most recently he served as Chief Strategy Officer at Sema4, a Mount Sinai Health System venture that focused on developing and delivering patient-centered health intelligence solutions. There he helped lead corporate strategy and transformation since the company’s spinout from the health system. He also spearheaded the completion of the company’s first external round of financing and helped scale the organization as it tripled in revenue, reaching in excess of $200M of topline revenue over a three-year span.

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“We’re fortunate to have someone of Kareem’s caliber and diversified healthcare background to lead our operational initiatives,” said Kevin Hutchinson, Apervita CEO.  “As a leader in next-generation quality measurement and value-based collaboration, Kareem’s experience in forging new markets and launching new solutions for payers and providers will serve our clients well.  Kareem’s leadership capabilities and proven track record sets the company up for accelerated success as we prepare to further grow and scale our business in 2020.”

“Apervita is poised to transform the way payers and providers collaborate in the value-based healthcare system and I’m honored to join the team at such a pivotal time,” Saad said. “Along with Kevin Hutchinson and the rest of the executive team, I look forward to realizing our strategic vision and significantly accelerating our ability to bring innovative solutions to the market.”

About Apervita

Apervita is the trusted collaboration platform for value-based healthcare. We empower payers and providers and other stakeholders to more efficiently and effectively measure clinical and financial performance, improve clinical quality and administer value-based contracts. By providing an independent, secure, trusted platform to perform shared analyses, Apervita uniquely allows stakeholders to gain mutual, continuous clinical and financial insights and integrate those insights into various systems and workflows simultaneously and at scale. Serving more than one in three hospitals in the United States and several nationally recognized health plans, Apervita conducts more than 10 billion value-based computations and insights for our clients every year. The company maintains office locations in Chicago and Boston.

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About NCQA

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting on the quality of managed care plans, managed behavioral healthcare organizations, preferred provider organizations, new health plans, physician organizations, credentials verification organizations, disease management programs and other health-related programs.


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