Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Polaris Health Directions

Name of Innovative Program: 
Polestar™
Sponsoring Organization
Polaris Health Directions
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Mark Anthony, President
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead: 
m.anthony@polaris
Physical Address of Innovative Program: 
565 East Swedesford Rd, Suite 200, Wayne, PA 19087
Project Description: 

Polestar™ is the single, secure behavioral health outcomes management platform that captures and reports behavioral health insights flexibly in your environment, while fully integrating with existing systems and workflows. Singularly deployed, lightweight and easy-to-implement, Polestar is the first predictive analytics engine to dynamically generate behavioral health insights that are action-ready and relevant. Polestar is committed to making behavioral health outcomes management a routine part of the patient experience across specialties, including oncology, addiction, women’s health and primary care.

How does the innovative program work to improve behavioral health access?: 

Polestar collects, interprets, and transforms patient self-reported behavioral health data to deliver real-time actionable insights that drive better, evidence-based decisions for each stakeholder. Polestar alerts and targets for the physician patients with significant risk of having unresolved behavioral health issues likely to negatively impact on their medical care, outcomes and cost. Having access to this predictive model will help physicians identify patients in need of behavioral health intervention that otherwise, would likely go undetected, untreated  and unresolved. 

How does the innovative program work to improve behavioral health quality? : 

One of the historical issues preventing the ability of our health care system to assure patients are getting the right level of behavioral health care at the time needed has simple been the systems inability to accurately identify those in need. Patients are not always totally open with their physician and physicians don't always ask the right questions to draw out of their patients issues of concern. With the Polestar platform, physician are alerted even before the patient walks into the exam room if a particular patient is likely to need help. The physician is also prompted with specific questions to ask.  Through this unique platform, physicians will be able to more accurately identify patients in need allow for appropriate behavioral health treatment to be provided. Without Polestar, many patients will come and go from the physician's office in need of behavioral health support but undetected as such, without proper assessment protocols in place.

How does the innovative program work to address behavioral health costs? : 

Once identified, patients in need of behavioral health services who receive support and services, will indeed add cost to our health care system. At the same time however, identifying and addressing the behavioral health issue, savings on the medical side should be realized. By addressing the behavioral issues, medical treatments should be more effective, treatment times reduced and significant cost savings generated for the system. The net impact after adding the increased behavioral health costs and deducting the savings generated on the general medical side should indeed be a positive one for our health care system.

Creativity and Innovation: 

Polestar was developed utilizing the scientific findings of almost 17 years of in-depth, academic research through the National Institute of Health (NIH). Using the findings from those grant studies the team at Polaris Health Directions was able to develop a collaborative care platform.  By applying the findings of these various research inititatives, and developing an acurate predictive model, Polaris Health Directions has also partnered with Apple Watches to integrate behavioral health data into cancer care and other service lines. 

Leadership: 

Taking 17 years of academic research and developing that into a successful predictive model does not happen without the support and collaboration of other oreganizations. For example, Kaiser Permanente has been working with Polaris and helping to test and refine the platform to assure mazimum benefits. Polaris Health has been "beating the drums" for improved behavioral health services through the use of predictive models allowing providers to help identify, in advance, patients with significant risk of unresolved behavioral health needs.

Sustainability: 

This is a relatively inexpensive program that will benefit the patients of every hospital and physician practice that utilizes the Polestar Paltform.  By working with large, successful and well respectred organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente, the leadership of Polaris Health Directions hopes to gain wide spread acceptance across the health care industry. Polaris is also partenring with Apple though a unique program to integrate behavioral health data into cancer care through a comprehensive mobile application.  Polaris Health is also partnering with other integrators to analyze and package patient data and intereactions. 

Replicability: 

The Polestar Platform is ready, usable by any physician group or hospital and can be duplicated quickly and with little or no additional cost. The level of accuracy of the predictive model is very high and replicable from one user to the next.  Polaris Health builds commercial product that scales to any and all environments.  One of the feature sets of the Polestar Platform is the mobile component that allows assessments to be offered outside of the environment, for example; physicians networks or independent physicians who refer patients to local area hospitals.       

Results/Outcomes: 

The Polestar Platform currently has over 500,000 patients and 70M data touch points.  Polaris Health assessment instruments have a proprietary scroing index that is derived from the patient data and measured against standard ETR measures to identify patient risk, manage and load balance resources to the risk identified patients, step-down the patient through the care continuum and achieve significant cost savings.

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