Healthcare organizations across the U.S. are investing significant resources in re-architecting their care delivery infrastructures to enable them to adapt successfully to new, value-based Accountable Care Organization (ACO) payment and delivery models. As these entities prepare to go “at risk” and take outcomes-based capitated or bundled payments, they face a broad set of challenges. These challenges range from acquiring or partnering for resources that will enable them to deliver and control the full continuum of care, to understanding their new cost structures and determining if they can survive and thrive financially in an ACO world.
One of the most complex and critical aspects of building the foundation for a successful ACO is developing an IT infrastructure that will enable clinicians and administrators to access and share the clinical and financial information they need, and allow them to streamline and automate their processes to ensure the most efficient clinical and administrative workflows. As organizations seek to integrate data and workflows across community practices, acute care, long-term, behavioral health and rehab facilities, the technical and organizational challenges can become daunting. Fortunately, today we can draw on the experience of a number of entities that have adopted health information exchange (HIE) and population health management technologies for guidance on the road to becoming a successful ACO.
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