Ingenix CEO Andy Slavitt quietly dropped this bombshell into his keynote address at the company's annual conference a few weeks ago, but it was only noticed recently by former Medsphere CEO Scott Shreeve.
Mamma Mea, he wrote. Here's the money quote from Slavitt:
we think the industry's leading methodologies for measuring cost, severity, and quality of care should be open source in the public domain. This means our grouper technology, procedure risk adjusters, and evidence based medicine standards from Ingenix.
Ingenix has made its mark helping insurers cut costs, mainly for parent company United Health Group. Shreeve notes few following that part of the industry have much open source knowledge, which may be why Slavitt's statement was ignored.
Another reason for the press silence, Shreeve writes, might be that Slavitt's open source promise is limited. It might be mere rhetoric, or an attempt to make a limited open source offer to hook rivals into a proprietary toolset.
At minimum, the comments show how deeply popular open source has become, as a concept, within the corporate community.
If Ingenix' tools really are given to the community, however, they could provoke a revolution. A common, working framework for measuring care could lead to apples-to-apples comparisons, and serious improvements in the whole system.