Health Catalyst hopes new cost management suite will shed light on true cost of care

CORUS platform comes out of UPMC partnership announced last year.
By Bernie Monegain
10:55 AM

Salt Lake City-based Health Catalyst, which provides hospitals with data analytics, decision support and outcomes improvement technology, today released its CORUS Suite to help facilities manage their costs.

CORUS stands for Clinical Operations Resource Utilization System, and Health Catalyst executives call it “a breakthrough in cost management technology.”

The new offering is a result, in part, of a partnership with UPMC. About a year and a half ago, Health Catalyst and UPMC agreed to take on the rising cost of healthcare by commercializing UPMC’s cost management technology.

[Also: Health Catalyst launches Bloomberg-like decision support system]

The technology is designed to help finance executives, physicians and service line leaders, and clinical and financial analysts understand the true cost of providing care – and to connect these costs to patient outcomes.

“Never in the history of U.S. healthcare has accurate cost accounting been more important than it is right now,” Dale Sanders, executive vice president of product development for Health Catalyst, said in a statement. “That importance will only grow in the coming months and years, as operating margins continue to be squeezed.”

As Sanders sees it, CORUS improves the situation by giving both the big picture and drilling down to the granular level.

CORUS can count how many minutes a nurse spent in the operating room during a surgery, for example, or the financial and clinical outcomes of one surgeon’s procedures compared against all others.

The technology integrates EHR data, including patient-level clinical and operational data, as well as departmental and equipment resource-utilization data. Also, it provides activity-based costing with cost validation algorithms and embedded costing knowledge, including best practices, rules, and algorithms.

The CORUS Suite incorporates costing best practices developed over years by leaders in healthcare cost management, such as UPMC, which is also an investor in Health Catalyst.

“The only way to be successful in the new world of value-based healthcare and population health is to understand your true costs and manage them,” Robert A. DeMichiei, executive vice president and chief financial officer at UPMC, said in a statement. “To get there, we need access to massive amounts of data from across the care continuum to identify all of the resources used in delivering patient care.”

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