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Leader's Edge Magazine: Seeds of Opportunity

July 1, 2020  – In a new Leader's Edge Magazine column, Cheryl Matochik discusses areas where brokers and consultants can facilitate unprecedented changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “The die has been cast in how we reimburse and allow for various medical care as a means of responding to current conditions,” Cheryl said. “In the immediate future, this leaves a remarkable opportunity to push certain critical innovations and opportunities further and faster as a means of proactively managing against the downstream economic stress that will be placed on the country’s healthcare system.” Read the article to learn more about the four specific opportunities – decompartmentalizing mental health, creating employee safety through value-based care, direct primary care, and advancing consumer-directed health care data exchange.



Leader's Edge Q&A: An Epidemic of Changes

June 16, 2020  – A Leader’s Edge Q&A with David Smith and Cheryl Matochik explores some of the biggest shifts in health care spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Q&A, entitled “An Epidemic of Changes,” features David’s and Cheryl’s insights on an array of issues, including access to care, the pace of value-based care adoption, and broker competition.

“COVID-19 has upended health care services consumption and put significant strain on health care resources across the U.S.,” Smith said. “As a direct result, providers in value-based arrangements can be expected to face increased financial risk.” According to Matochik, moving forward brokers will become more competitive by acting faster, addressing the “here and now,” and creating new opportunities for clients through thought leadership. She offered five ingredients to focus on heading into 2021 and beyond: 1) figure out how to make the switch from a shareholder-focused organization to a stakeholder-focused one, 2) prioritize emotional leadership with managers across the company, 3) challenge existing revenue models to identify opportunities for increased efficiency and profitable growth, 4) be data driven, and 5) reexamine the company’s talent strategy in a world much more comfortable with remote work.



David Smith: An Open Letter to My Health Care Colleagues

If you're not a health care worker or manufacturer of essential medical equipment or technology, sit down

March 22, 2020 – Your neighborhood’s only grocery store has a five-alarm fire. First responders are feverishly rescuing people and attempting to extinguish the flames with a powerful hose. Seeing the distress and chaos you assume that surely there is something you can do to help. After all, you’re a highly-educated engineer (or whatever) who is quite capable of doing lots of things. You tap a firefighter holding a spraying hose on the shoulder, asking where you can help. As he turns to tell you to back off, the water stream shifts away from the flames. You tap another firefighter running into the building to make the same inquiry, costing her precious seconds for re-entry, as she provides the same retort. All professionals on the scene don’t want or need your help unless you have a hose or fire-retardant gear. Nothing else at that moment matters but saving lives. You return home frustrated that despite your intellect and capability, the situation simply has no need for your skills.

In this time of national emergency, those of us that have dedicated our lives and careers to the betterment of our country’s health system feel a similar frustration as we watch the world around us burn. In truth, unless you have medical training, or are capable of producing gloves, masks, or ventilators, there is little value to add in the current moment. Anything else you attempt to do only serves to create noise. Webinars about value-based systems or thought leadership papers about how your solution could (or could have) address the solution are inconsequential unless they can be deployed now. Today. Immediately.


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The Health Care Council of Chicago releases “2018-2019 State of Chicago Health Care” report

February 25, 2020 – The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3), a member-led organization creating uncommon alignment to improve the health and vitality of Chicago, has released the third edition of its annual “State of Chicago Health Care” report exclusively focused on the vibrant health care ecosystem in Chicago and outlying areas.

The report highlights three important advances HC3 made in 2019 – most notably, taking the step to become its own legal entity to further achieve its mission and aspirations to build a safety-net incubator with partners in the city. It also outlines key health-related events that transpired at the national, state, and city level in 2019 and offers expert insight into three main areas: economic development, system transformation, and health and social disparities.


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Cheryl Matochik, Commercial Insurance Industry Expert, Joins Third Horizon Strategies as Managing Director

January 9, 2020Third Horizon Strategies (THS) is pleased to announce that Cheryl Matochik, former senior vice president of strategic resources & initiatives at The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB), has joined the firm as a managing director and partner.

At THS, Cheryl will create a new line of business providing corporate strategy, technology, and innovation solutions to insurance distribution and carrier executives in the property & casualty and employee benefits business.


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Health News Illinois: Third Horizon Strategies spearheads plan to buy MetroSouth Medical Center

December 13, 2019 – Chicago-based Third Horizon Strategies is spearheading a plan to purchase MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island and return some services to the now-shuttered facility. Third Horizon CEO David Smith said the entity is modeled so they “will not realize a financial gain” from the plan, emphasizing it is strictly to improve access to healthcare in an underserved community. Under Third Horizon’s plan, the facility would be owned by a new entity called South Side Health, which Smith said will be supported by private investors and other organizations. As it builds its primary care infrastructure, South Side Health could become an option for other hospitals on the south side who are looking to integrate.


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Chicago Sun Times: Group says it will buy MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island

December 13, 2019 – The founder of a Chicago-based health care consulting firm said Friday an investment group he leads will acquire the shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island and plans to reopen it with limited services. David Smith, CEO of Third Horizon Strategies, said he hopes to bring back urgent care and outpatient services in a few weeks. He also plans an emergency department, but that requires state approval and can take months. While MetroSouth would not again be a full-fledged hospital, Smith hopes to re-establish services that the south suburbs and the city’s South Side need the most, while working with other hospitals to coordinate care. “Mid- to long-term, I hope this is part of a much bigger transformation scheme. How do we rethink the rule of primary care hospitals in the community?” Smith said.



Chicago Tribune: Chicago firm says it is close to deal to buy shuttered MetroSouth hospital in Blue Island

December 13, 2019 – A Chicago health care consulting firm hopes to close by the end of the month on a deal to buy the shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, with plans to eventually reopen parts of the facility. David Smith, chief executive of Third Horizon Strategies, said he has been in talks with the hospital’s owner, Quorum Health, to acquire the hospital, which closed toward the end of September, for $1. Smith has formed a corporation, South Side Health Inc., to take MetroSouth and said he plans to partner with other health management organizations to restore some services. “The initial priority is an urgent care type of platform,” which could be established fairly quickly, he said.


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Crain’s Chicago Business: Big hospital combo in the works

December 12, 2019 – Third Horizon Strategies has agreed to buy MetroSouth in Blue Island from Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health for $1.Third Horizon CEO David Smith said he filed articles of incorporation Monday to create an entity called South Side Health, funded by private investors, and—he hopes—government dollars intended for hospital transformation. "As we build out South Side Health, if other hospitals are successful (in coming together), it will be important to integrate into one system," Smith said. "At the end of the day, there needs to be one integrated system on the South Side that acts as a financially self-sustaining utility whose sole function is to improve the health that community."


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The Health Care Council of Chicago forms partnership to address community violence as a public health focus

Chicago, IL, December 12, 2019 – The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3), a member-led organization creating uncommon alignment to improve the health and vitality of Chicago, has formed a partnership with Acclivus, Forward Health Group, and NowPow to enhance services for secondary violence prevention provided by Acclivus, a  Chicago-based organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence to enable pathways to safety, self-esteem, and systematic change.


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Value-Based Payment Opens Door for Better Opioid Use Disorder Care

November 22, 2019 – A RevCycleIntelligence feature, entitled “Value-Based Payment Opens Doors for Better Opioid Use Disorder Care,” highlights how the Alliance for Addiction Payment Reform (the Alliance) is forging a path for value-based payment models to drive better outcomes for opioid and substance use disorder (SUD) treatments. The article explores the Alliance’s Addiction Recovery Medical Home Alternative Payment Model (ARMH-APM) pilot program and discusses how the model allows for the flexibility needed to personalize treatment plans for long-term recovery. “Substance use disorder is a very variable spectrum condition. If you line up ten people, those ten people need ten different things. Providers in a fee-for-service world don't necessarily have the flexibility to meet the needs of those patients in different ways,” explained Greg Williams, manager of the Alliance from Third Horizon Strategies.


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2019 Alliance Press Release: Updated ARMH-APM

September 17, 2019 – The Alliance for Addiction Payment Reform announces innovative value-based payment efforts for addiction treatment and recovery in five states and Washington D.C. The Alliance for Addiction Payment Reform in collaboration with Remedy has officially launched a comprehensive episode of care definition for the implementation of the Addiction Recovery Medical Home - Alternative Payment Model (ARMH-APM).



Andy Slavitt ran Medicaid. He’s working with 28 health systems to fix it.

May 6, 2019 – The Medicaid Transformation Project, an initiative led by former acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt and health care innovation network AVIA, has added 11 more health systems to its membership. While the participating 28 health systems are currently focused on improving behavioral health resources in underserved communities, David Smith, project executive at AVIA and THS Founder, noted that later this year health systems will begin work on the next two challenges areas: women and infant care and substance use disorder. Over the next three years, project leaders expect to see broad adoption and solution uptake, followed by scaling up those initiatives and measuring results and then sharing best practices.



Greg Williams, Addiction System and Policy Expert, and Award-Winning Storyteller, Joins David Smith at Third Horizon Strategies as Managing Director

April 10, 2019 – Chicago, IL, Third Horizon Strategies (THS) is proud to announce that Greg Williams, former Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Facing Addiction with NCADD, has joined the firm as a managing director.


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Modern Healthcare “Chicago hospitals team up to help entry-level workers advance careers”

December 12, 2018 – Chicago's healthcare ecosystem is uniquely positioned to "take people from the community and put them in entry-level jobs, take them from entry-level jobs and help facilitate clinical training, and then they can go from clinical training to other areas," said Third Horizon Strategies founder David Smith, who is not involved with the program. "An organized pipeline for professional development in underserved communities, done well and over an extended period of time, can have an important socioeconomic impact on the community."    READ MORE


Modern Healthcare “Here's what's wrong with Chicago's healthcare scene.”

October 9, 2018 – Chicago's "tale of two cities" narrative has changed little in the last year, despite a "groundswell of civic leaders and hospital leaders and others coming together to collaborate around solutions for underserved populations and vulnerable communities, said David Smith, co-founder of HC3 and founder of consultancy Third Horizon Strategies. "That surge of activity is a surprise and it's exciting."  READ MORE


Health care council “State of Chicago Health Care”

October 9, 2018 – Ahead of its two-year anniversary, the Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3), a collaborative of Chicago’s nationally-recognized health care industry players that drives solutions to the city’s most important health-related issues, has released its second annual report on the state of the Chicago health care industry. The report reaffirms that Chicago’s health care industry is robust and growing along with health care’s growth nationwide, with particular strength in the provider, digital health, and life sciences sectors. Propelling the growth is an aging population with more and increasingly complex chronic conditions...   READ MORE


Modern Healthcare “New Payment Model Targets Addiction Recovery.”

September 7, 2018 – The Addiction Recovery Medical Home model, meant to provide patients with an integrated substance use disorder treatment option. Behavioral health patients have been the focus of similar efforts in recent years, initially will target Medicaid managed-care and large employer health plans, according to David Smith, founder of healthcare consulting firm Third Horizon Strategies, which is a partner in the project. Six potential pilot markets involving commercial partners are on the table, Smith said.  READ MORE

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New Healthcare Alliance Launches Alternative Payment Model for Addiction Recovery

September 7, 2018 – WASHINGTON (BUSINESS WIRE) – A national multi-sector alliance of healthcare industry leaders, including Leavitt PartnersFacing Addiction with NCADD (The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) and Remedy Partners, along with other leading healthcare companies, today announced the Addiction Recovery Medical Home (ARMH) model, an Alternative Payment Model (APM) engineered to provide patients with a long-term, comprehensive and integrated pathway to treatment and recovery. The Alliance for Recovery-Centered Addiction Health Services (Alliance) released a year-long consensus report at today’s Summit for Addiction Recovery Payment Reform...   READ MORE


Medicaid Transformation project

CHICAGO and MINNEAPOLIS – Seventeen of the nation’s leading health systems, comprising 280 hospitals, are joining forces to identify, develop, and scale financially sustainable solutions that improve the health of underserved individuals and families in their communities. The Medicaid Transformation Project is a national effort to transform healthcare and related social needs for the nearly 75 million Americans who rely on Medicaid...   READ MORE
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DoctorNews. “Hospital Culture is Shifting Toward Teleheath.” American Telemedicine Association Conference in Chicago

May 4, 2018 – “For me I always made this distinction there are two types of personas that live in a person: a consumer persona, that is making decision about how they access care and they are thinking about health insurance, they are thinking about a primary care doctor and the way they want to receive care,” David Smith, founder of Third Horizon Strategies said.

“Then there is the patient who is in the thick of receiving care and they have to make more complex decisions with their physicians …What I think Walmart and CVS are doing is they are trying to create an aligned sense of how to control and have some impact over that access piece.”    READ MORE