Accountable Transitions for Accountable Care

As we venture further into 2014, we start to see healthcare delivery organizations investigate their care delivery capabilities and costs associated with delivering high quality care to their patient population, and they may do this at a cost that is higher than they have seen in the past. Now more than ever, healthcare organizations would have to understand and change the way in which they deliver care and improve their processes greatly in order to cut out redundant processes and improve their operational workflow.

Some of the innovations that may already be prevalent in many other industries, but may be appropriate to adopt within care delivery providers are solutions around the visibility to organizational projects through an executive dashboard that would give operational, clinical and information technology leadership opportunities to transparently collaborate on initiatives like the ICD-10 transition, EMR implementations and optimizations and of course Meaningful Use initiatives organization wide.

Politically and culturally within the industry, these kind of initiatives are not easy to implement as it would require a cultural shift in the way the organizational environment operates. Can you influence your clinical leadership to understand that a “red” status may not always be a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The ability to shift resources towards mission critical initiatives in an agile way will give a provider organization the nimbleness to move at the speed that the new paradigm requires of them.

The organization that can implement this in a well thought out way, will need to bear in mind the lessons of the past of things such as in-network and out of network costs to the member of a payer organization and keeping in mind what’s best for the patient might not always be what’s best for the care delivery provider organization.

Utilizing technology for such things are multidisciplinary clinic meetings to track progress through teleconferencing and be able to treat patients only with certain health concerns may be a first step in the process improvement arena before rolling out much more exhaustive improvement list.

The question to ask is where does the continuum of care end for an Accountable Care Organization? As we develop a models for payers and providers collaborating for both theirs and the patient’s benefit. An example of a great collaborative initiative is last week’s announcement in Healthcare IT News that Sutter Health joined Heritage Group and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors (both VC firms) to collaborate in a $23.6 million deal with the telehealth software company MDLIVE, which touts itself as a cloud based, HIPAA compliant platform. Such innovations and development of out of the box thinking is the future of healthcare and will help healthcare organizations contain costs and build the collaborative tools that healthcare in the United States can finally regain the leadership in the information technology arena that was needed for many years.

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