This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced 2014 results for 333 Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). It’s pretty exciting news; 56% of ACOs reduced costs and improved quality measures and reporting, which is up from 40% in previous years. The downside of the report is that only 29% of ACOs participated in shared savings, which is simply not enough. The ACOs are saving money, but they’re not earning revenue at the same rate. It’s clear that we, as in industry, have to do more to facilitate success. Think like a payer To earn shared savings, ACOs need to think more like payers. Unlike traditional fee-for-service models, new value-based-care models require providers to balance risk scores and quality measures for better patient care. They have to manage patient coding to account for risk, which is what payers do […]

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Don’t settle for traditional outcomes

Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen upsurges in requirements for organizations to measure quality and continuous improvement. While these methods for sustaining continuous improvement are maturing, unfortunately many organizations remain satisfied with traditional outcomes. They settle and stop moving forward. Some lean on the proven traditional approaches to continuous improvement because they have to.  Their EHRs will not allow ad hoc accessibility to data, or development of locally interesting yet unique priorities and interests. Continuous improvement should be just that – continuous and focused on locally crucial improvement needs. When it is, everybody wins – organization, clinicians and patients. When it is neither continuous nor capable of local improvement, everyone loses (even though it may feel like winning). Leadership often encourages and celebrates better outcomes, when they should be aiming even higher. The quality of your outcomes depends on […]

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  Our annual user conference, the Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), drew about 3,000 clients to Chicago this week. My favorite part of the event is collaborating with clients and industry experts. In his executive session keynote address, best-selling author and surgeon Marty Makary, MDspoke about a topic that is a high priority for all healthcare organizations: patient safety. How many people is health care hurting? Makary observed that almost everyone goes into health care with the best intentions to help people. U.S. health care is an amazing, scientific system; but it’s not perfect. We have the unintended consequence of variation. Meaning, non-standardized care can cause deadly errors. A recent study in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year from preventable harm caused by hospitals. To put that number in perspective, Makary noted […]