Chief Medical Information Officer Michael Hunt, DO, from St. Vincent’s Health Partners and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Joanne Sunquist from HealthEast Care System shared how their organizations approach ACOs in light of the continued push toward more patient-centric care.

Vying for Value at St. Vincent’s

“St. Vincent’s Health Partners is a member of an accountable care organization. An ACO requires you to be responsible for 32 metrics if you take care of a Medicare patient. We’re trying to create a much more advanced network that allows us to manage the total cost of care for each patient. We believe our clinical integration model is an ACO on steroids.

“The drive toward more accountable, patient-centric care really is a paradigm shift for healthcare entities. To keep pace, we’ve redefined the roles of care coordinators and case managers. In our operational process, case management occurs at the facility directly with the patient, and care coordination occurs at the enterprise level. So we use our care coordinators to monitor the population continuously, and we empower the case managers to interact as much as they can to overcome barriers directly with the patient.

“We also require our primary care providers to be certified as a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) within two years. We’ve embedded the PCMH standards into the culture of our organization and intend to create a patient-centered neighborhood throughout the whole network.”

Heightening IT Importance at HealthEast

“As an ACO member, we recognize that technology is essential to an accountable care strategy. A single, integrated electronic health record is the IT foundation. You then need to work with your ACO business partners, whether they’re payers or other providers, to aggregate and integrate data into a data warehouse or repository.

“You need the capability to pull patient data from these disparate EHRs and correctly match that data with the patient so you can really understand what’s going on with the patient across the care continuum. That’s probably the most complex challenge and leads to a much broader set of requirements around analytics. There’s also functionality required for care management above and beyond what the EHR contains, such as registries or telemonitoring capabilities, which help you identify and manage high-risk populations.”

Access their full interview in the latest issue of Health Tech Report.

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