The xG toolkit was described at the launch as consisting of five pieces: consulting services; population health data analytics, interpretation, and reporting; patient-and population-focused care management; health information technology optimization; and third-party administration services.
But Steinberg focuses on two of these pieces as the absolutely key capabilities. The first is data analytics for the patient population. "By data analytics, I mean data acquisition, integration, cleaning, analytics, interpretation, and reporting—both clinical and actuarial. First and foremost, if you don't have that piece, you're flailing," he says.
Steinberg is in a better position than most to understand the importance of a data analytic underpinning. He was a co-founder of Resolution Health, a patient data company that was purchased by health payer WellPoint, Inc., where Steinberg worked as senior vice president for clinical strategy, quality, and outcomes before joining Geisinger in June 2011.
Many provider organizations have data but no analytics, or IT but no data, he says. For example, "a sophisticated EMR may have never done analytics." Without the analytics in place, health systems cannot gain a deep understanding of their patients, much less accomplish population health management.