ACO Survey – Interoperability and Cost of HIT are “Burdens”

This article (link below) reports findings from a survey of 62 accountable care organizations (ACOs) reported by the eHealth Initiative and Premier, Inc. 90% reported that the cost of HIT and its return on investment had become “crippling concerns.”  Areas that were seen as underutilized or underserved included:

  • Patient engagement tools
  • Referral management tools
  • Telemedicine
  • Remote monitoring
  • Personal health records
  • Smartphone applications
  • Data interoperability
  • Data quality
  • Health information exchange strategies
  • Analytics
  • Patient reported data mining
  • Unstructured data mining
  • Revenue cycle management
  • Master Patient Index (MPI)
  • Risk management

Improvements were seen in outcomes, cost, efficiencies, quality of care, reductions in hospital admissions/readmissions and ED visits, although they were modest.

Commentary:  This article provides very useful information and identifies the need to remove barriers to access to information.  The majority of ACOs reported they are  “facing significant obstacles in integrating and blending data from disparate sources.”  At this time a lack of implemented standards and success with removing business disincentives towards interoperability are threatening to compromise the success of accountable care initiatives.  Patients may be the only stakeholders with the legal and political clout to successfully promote cost-effective reform in this space; but as of yet they are relatively unengaged.

Article Link: The Landscape of Accountable Care and Connected Health: Results from the 2014 National Survey of Accountable Care Organizations.

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