Monthly roundup of industry news, trends and information that will have a direct impact on the business of health care.
ACOs were headline makers in May. And the message is clear: if you're not in one, you will be. If you are in one, you'll be working harder to reduce your operating costs if you want to experience the joys of ACO ownership. Leavitt Partners says , and it projects that number will reach 70 million by 2020.
Even doctors are warming to ACOs. Medscape recently surveyed nearly 20,000 physicians, and 30 percent said they participated in an ACO last year, and another .
Oliver Wyman, which also keeps books on ACOs, says the best ACOs can reduce the cost of care by up to 40 percent and still provide great clinical care and a great patient experience. This study of the performance of the 32 original Medicare Pioneer ACOs that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine shows how it's done. They reduced anticipated Medicare spending in by spending less on hospital care and post-acute care and by substituting lower-priced outpatient office visits for higher-priced hospital outpatient department visits. More fuel for the site-neutral crowd.
Speaking of lower-priced alternatives, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report on tapping the potential of retail clinics in delivering primary care. says the number of retail health clinics top 1,800 now, conducting more than 10 million visits with patients each year. But that's still just about 2 percent of the primary care visits annually in the U.S., the report notes. That's opportunity knocking.
Some doors, though, should stay closed. Like the electronic door that safeguards protected health information, or PHI. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association from 2010 through 2013. Breaches totaled 949, with 29.1 million patient records affected. Nearly a third involved portable electronic devices like smart phone, tablets and laptops. The study predicted an increase in the number and size of breaches, and providers and payers likely will need to invest more to protect their business currency – patient data.
HIMSS released the results of three surveys that collectively provide a business plan for those developing and selling health IT systems and providers buying and using health IT systems:
- The says nurse informaticists are invaluable in implementing and optimizing clinical information systems.
- The says most providers are using app-enabled portals to engage patients, but most aren't that effective in doing so.
- The says the top IT priority at provider organization over the next 12 months will be improving patient satisfaction.
CMS unveiled its five-star rating system for hospitals as part of its Hospital Compare program. The agency awards stars based on how well a hospital performs on . How well a hospital performs on the measures also counts toward 30 percent of its Medicare reimbursement under the program's .
Reputation and revenue are two strong motivators to improve the patient experience with health IT being a crucial component in that business imperative.
What health care news, trends and information over the past month do you think will have the biggest impact on how you run your health care business? Leave a comment below.