ACOs Increasingly Relying on Health IT

Electronic health record (EHR) interoperability—and the nationwide lack of it—could be holding back accountable care organization (ACO) adoption. Some ACOs have providers using dozens of different EHRs that don’t communicate and note that it can take up to three years to develop a cohesive EHR system, according to a Modern Healthcare report.

David Muhlestein, senior director of research and development at Leavitt Partners told the publication that health IT interconnectedness is a significant problem. Additionally, he says an ACO’s health IT platform should be equipped with functionalities for population health management, as well as staff trained on using such tools, including nurses and HIM.

Dr. Bob Williams, national medical leader for Deloitte’s life sciences and healthcare consulting practice, told Modern Healthcare that ACO leaders should be paying attention to emerging trends and looking for ways to engage patients, via better patient portal management and secure text messaging platforms, among other tools.

A Modern Healthcare analysis of ACO adoption and penetration into the healthcare sector found that the number of Americans covered by ACOs jumped over 30 percent between 2014 and 2015 while the number of new ACOs created increased from 726 to 738, according to the publication’s analysis.

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