In our recent blogs, we’ve highlighted how Business Intelligence (BI) can help providers more effectively tell their stories to stakeholders, investors, and referral sources. However, providers have another key audience to whom they could effectively present data-driven demonstrations of value and quality – ACOs. In an article published by Healthcare IT News, the author identifies, among other critical success factors, that ACOs need to align the payment model with value and to develop the data model, IT infrastructure, and tools to support reporting and analytics.
In a recent McKnight’s Senior Living article, the leaders of Argentum, NCAL, and LeadingAge responded to the question of their respective associations’ agendas for 2016. As I read their responses, I opportunely observed that Business Intelligence (BI) can help them effectively address these. For James Balda, President and CEO of Argentum (formerly the Assisted Living Facilities of America [ALFA]), the top issues are workforce development, quality care, operational excellence, and consumer choice. National Center for Assisted Living's (NCAL) Executive Director, Scott Tittle, reports that his organization’s top priorities involve state regulatory issues, workforce development, and, most significantly, “new tools that will help members accumulate data they can use to communicate the quality of care that they provide and to compare themselves with peer providers” with emphasis on quality outcomes. Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO of LeadingAge, emphasized payment model changes, “whether it's ACOs or bundled payments or creating a network to negotiate with health plans.” A further concern, according to Ms. Sloan, is the lack of unit inventory, creating long waiting lists, and workforce development needs as well.
Topics: business intelligence, ACOs, Key Performance Indicators, BI, KPIs, health plans, workforce development, data retrieval, aggregation, and dissemination, NCAL, operational excellence, LeadingAge, Argentum
Over the last several months, this blog has covered topics focusing on various aspects of IT and its impact on long term care. In our Thanksgiving Day blog, we observed how important IT has become to all of us – in how we work, how we communicate, how we entertain, how we educate, how we conduct business; IT is everywhere. Although slow in adopting technology, LTC providers have made significant progress in understanding, valuing, and embracing IT as a powerful tool to meet ever-changing challenges. For example, twice we demonstrated this fact as we momentarily digressed from IT-specific topics to alert readers about changes to billing therapy services to Medicare and avoiding workforce-related lawsuits.
I argue that Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) do not represent a health care delivery revolution, but an evolution. Based on my experience in LTC and what I’ve been reading on the Internet, ACOs appear to be an evolutionary variant of the species known as HMOs. Regardless, ACOs represent a significant change to health care delivery. The ACO model will have a sweeping impact on how health care is planned for, delivered, documented, reported, and paid for. It follows that for an ACO to work, information technology serves as the glue that holds it together; those providers who have successfully worked with HMOs can attest to the critical role IT plays. Participation as ACO members will require providers to carefully evaluate what such participation will have on their respective IT systems.