Data analytics drives ACO success


A successful accountable care organization rests on the data analytics put in place for the program. Real-time, perspective analytics direct providers to the right type of cares, identify where care improvement opportunities and track outcomes, reported Healthcare Informatics.

"The whole point of an ACO is to improve outcomes and improve the overall health of the patient population," Todd Saunders, a healthcare IT consultant with CBIG Consulting, told the magazine. "Given that, you need to be able to track outcomes--and track them in such a way where you can effectively prove benefit. You need the right benchmarks and you have to be able to track them in real time."

That's why some insurers are looking for technology that can measure value to prevent providers from falling back to fee-based care, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

The challenge, however, is finding and implementing the right technology for each ACO, Healthcare Informatics noted. "Once you've seen one ACO, you've seen one ACO," says Mark Caron, senior vice president and CIO of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Capital Blue Cross. "Every organization is different. Every patient is different." 

He adds that clinical data is just one piece of the puzzle. Analytics also must include patient accountability so individuals are held more responsible in the accountable care structure. Fortunately, there are many types of technology that can help insurers enable members participating in ACOs to focus on their health and well-being by, for example, reminding them of doctor appointments and helping them track their diet and fitness.

Despite the value technology can provide ACOs, Caron cautioned against considering data analytics as the only key driver of success. "It's more than just a technology problem," he said.  "The focus [should also be] on an assessment of the practices, the clinical delivery and an organization's ability to make a drive towards various quality standards."

To learn more:
- read the Healthcare Informatics article

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