How a big-data safety net is catching high-risk patients during pandemic’s rampage

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Data analytics are often cast in the cold light of financial forecasts and factory plans, but the COVID-19 pandemic has offered a look at how the same tools can be used to better the human condition.
At Commonwealth Care Alliance, a Massachusetts-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization, enterprise data warehousing and visualization are literally saving the lives of people who might otherwise fall through the cracks of an overloaded system.
CCA is an insurer and primary health care provider that serves nearly 40,000 of the highest-risk patients in the state: people who receive both Medicaid and Medicare benefits or elderly residents with limited healthcare coverage. Most are either elderly or disabled and all are low-income. More than 60% of CCA members have disabilities and two-thirds of members under age 65 experience severe mental illness. That puts them at the highest risk of dying from COVID-19.
As the pandemic was forcing shutdowns of critical support facilities that those people depend upon two months ago, CCA found itself in a race with time.
“We needed to identify every single one of our members, know where were and what services they needed,” said Valmeek Kudesia, a physician who is also CCA’s vice president of clinical informatics and …

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