The EMV Update

At the beginning of 2017 we offered a blog titled Implementing EMV. This global standard for credit card payments based on chip card technology takes its name from its developers—Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. Finally, the sweeping move to EMV credit card technology has begun in the United States. The number of Visa chip cards in the U.S. has increased by 182% since October 2015.

To summarize this technology, the chip in the card encrypts information by offering something called a data dynamic. Think of this dynamic as a one-time use password that is created to protect each transaction at the terminal. The ability of this smart card to generate each particular password per transaction is a key factor in EMV’s security, decreasing credit card fraud on card-present transactions. For merchants who have completed the chip upgrade, counterfeit fraud dollars dropped 58% in March 2017 compared to a year earlier.

As the chip card makes great strides to replace magnetic strips, we bare witness to the great conversion from old technology to new. Behavior patterns historically reveal that there tends to be a lag and a pinch of apprehension whenever the collective population is pressed to make a change. We have stretched across that hurdle and are headed into a breath of compliance. As with all things, though, regardless of their nature, there are two sides.

The upside of using EMV

  • Highly secure in protecting consumer data versus the magnetic strip due to encrypted microprocessor chip.
  • True. Chip cards are encrypted to offer a greater level of protection than ever before. What about privacy though? An older technology, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), emits a radio frequency, continuously broadcasting your card’s location, whether in MacDonald’s or Wal-Mart, to your bank or other issuing organization.
  • Good news…the computer chip in an EMV card does not use this technology at all. Invasion of privacy is no longer an issue with EMV technology. Bottom line, your EMV card’s computer chip does not transmit an RFID signal. Rest assured.
  • New revenue outlets can be created through chip cards and smartphone payments via marketing strategies and loyalty programs that can be transmitted directly from the merchant to the card or device.
  • 50% of U.S. storefronts now accept chip cards.
  • Consumers are becoming familiar and more comfortable using this new technology of paying for goods and services.
  • 62% of Visa credit and debit cards are chip cards.

Financial institutions, consumers, and merchants want their financial data secure and uncompromised, first and foremost. Feeling Read full article >



Longitudinal Data & Individualized Healthcare

When summary statistics aren’t enough.

by Anurati Mathur, Co-founder & CEO at Sempre Health

Population-level healthcare statistics have long been used in the realm of public health as barometers of health system effectiveness. In the last decade, these metrics have grown to become management tools within value-based healthcare delivery as well. From HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) to MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment System), measures like ‘Percent of diabetics with A1C > 9’ are the widespread basis of clinical and payment decisions alike.

But, they remain imperfect.

Not only do statistical measures typically represent a single point in time, they ignore the heterogeneity of the target population. And, while only an estimated 26% of diabetes patients have an A1C > 9, for a patient who falls in that 1 of 4, living with uncontrolled diabetes is the only experience. In a world that is increasingly personalized and consumer-centric, it isn’t enough to know you fall in the bottom quartile relative to others. The individualization of healthcare is long overdue.

As US healthcare data volumes approach 2,000 Exabytes in 2017, it is increasingly easier to construct longitudinal profiles for individuals in a way that hasn’t been feasible. Traditionally captured data (prescriptions, medical claims, EMR notes, etc.), when further explored on the axes (like time), reveal trends and anomalies at the individual level, which can then inform interventions in a newly nuanced way.

There are two immediate benefits of the longitudinal approach:

1. Population-level Read full article >



Brick-and-Mortars vs Online Pharmacies

We are sure you have seen the news and read the articles regarding Amazon’s intent on breaking into the pharmacy business. This announcement has many vested in community pharmacies, small and large, asking if they can compete with this giant and other growing mail order and online style pharmacies in general. A recent J.D. Power survey¹ (2016) on pharmacy customer satisfaction found that both mail order and brick-and-mortar pharmacies are equally filling needs. Customers are turning to mail order for the convenience, and the study also showed they are turning multiple errands into one at local pharmacies – picking up groceries and getting their flu shots all while retrieving their meds. For now the answer is yes, local brick-and-mortar pharmacies can still compete on service and patient touch, but for how long?

Amazon Box

Amazon has talked about moving into pharmacy for a while now, started with online sales of OTC and it appears to be inching closer to putting online Prescription drugs plan into place. It recently hired a general manager to formulate a strategy for breaking into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market. There is speculation surrounding the 450 Whole Foods grocery stores the company recently acquired; those locations could easily be outfitted with pharmacies. However, 450 stores is a trivial number compared to the existing 23,000 independent retail pharmacies and over 40,000 locations of the chain store segment, including Walgreens and CVS. The real opportunity Read full article >