Majority of docs in emerging care models

Majority of physicians in emerging care models

More than half of physicians and other industry professionals are participating in nontraditional care delivery models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient centered medical homes (PCMHs), according to new survey findings released June 17.

The survey, conducted by health IT company eClinicalWorks, includes insight from more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals regarding their participation in and perception of various payment and care delivery models.

Among the 47 percent of respondents who aren't yet participating in ACOs or PCMHs, approximately one-third anticipate their organization joining an ACO, PCMH or shared-savings plan in the next three years.

Healthcare professionals cited improving patient outcomes and better resource utilization among the biggest motivations for participating in one of these models.

When asked what features or capabilities of healthcare information technology systems might be valued by an ACO or PCMH, nearly all organizations participating in or considering an ACO or PCMH believe that EHR integration is important (95 percent) to create quality outcomes for patients. Survey findings also highlighted the following features valued for creating quality outcomes:

  • 93 percent rated physician alerts for high-risk patients within the EHR as important;
  • 93 percent rated care-planning and coordination tools as important;
  • 89 percent rated risk-assessment tools/predictive analytics as important; and
  • 86 percent rated patient engagement tools such as online portals, smartphone applications, notifications to patients and patient satisfaction surveys as important.

“It is obvious that the ACO and PCMH models are gaining traction,” said Girish Kumar Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks, in a press statement. “While there are some concerns, the majority of healthcare organizations either currently participate in or plan to become involved in these programs. They are also very clear on what tools will enhance their jobs. Our responsibility in this industry is to make sure these groups have the resources and technologies required to pursue better delivery of patient care.”

In meeting the criteria of an ACO/PCMH, physicians and healthcare professionals said certain tools are most valuable. The most significant features to survey participants include:

  • Standard reporting formats for quality measures that are designed for submittal as an ACO or PCMH (95 percent).
  • Case management to coordinate care across multiple segments (94 percent).
  • Ability to report on different quality measures for different payers (93 percent).
  • Cost and utilization analytics (92 percent).

Among the top challenges for these models cited by survey participants:

  • Effectively tracking and monitoring quality outcomes (76 percent).
  • Care coordination for patients across multiple points of care (72 percent).
  • The data extraction process for submitting required patient treatment and quality outcome data (more than 60 percent).
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of current and prospective ACOs/PCMHs extract data by manual chart audits (28 percent) or have not even been able to extract data (18 percent).