Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) may be struggling to form due to systems interoperability, according to a report from Premier, a healthcare performance improvement alliance and ehealth Initiative, a membership organization that provides services and activities to educate on the current environment, policies, trends and best practices in health IT.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that those involved in database systems created the report, and the survey was sent to members of eHealth Initiative, members of the Premier Population Health Management Collaborative. However, it was also sent to public contacts at Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs. Administered in August 2015, 68 accountable care organizations responded to the survey, so responses may be noteworthy. Seventy-nine percent of ACOs were Medicare-certified.
Eighty-four percent of ACOs used analytics software, 74% used an electronic health record, and 61% used care management software. The list of 15 different technologies gradually declines. At the bottom most-used were telemedicine (26%), referral management software (23%), and remote monitoring (16%).
Of course, with an emphasis on the continuum of care, ACOs are likely to benefit from an integrated data system. However, 39% of ACOs integrate data from 1–10 health information systems; 44% do so from 11–50 systems, and 11% from more than 50 systems. Eleven percent of ACOs have spent at least $500,000 to achieve systems interoperability, and 26% have spent more than $1 million.