A widespread lack of interoperable technology threatens the Accountable Care Organization model, according to recently released survey results.
All 62 ACOs surveyed said “access to data from external organizations” is “challenging.”And 88% said they face “significant obstacles” in integrating data from a variety of sources. This could be a severe impediment as ACOs further build their “expansive network of medical settings,” noted a press release from healthcare improvement company Premier Inc., which conducted the survey.
ACOs are based on the idea that healthcare providers from different parts of the continuum should be paid for coordinating patient care among themselves. Thus, the interoperability dilemma “could stymie the long-term vision for ACO cost and quality improvements if not addressed,” stated Keith J. Figlioli, Premier’s senior vice president of healthcare informatics and member of the Office of the National Coordinator’s Health IT Standards Committee.
About 90% of respondents cited cost the main obstacle to further health IT investments. Cost has been a major concern for long-term care providers, which have largely been shut out of the federal government’s incentive program for electronic health record adoption. And the inability to share electronic records with hospitals and other providers could hurt long-term care operators angling to be included in ACOs or aligned with them, experts have noted.
Click here for full survey results, released Wednesday. Along with Premier, the survey was undertaken by the eHealth Initiative, which describes itself as an independent nonprofit representing “all of the stakeholders in the healthcare industry.”