Will Health IT Failings Foil Accountable Care?

Gienna Shaw | FierceHealthIT | July 8, 2013

Although healthcare is awash in data, getting it into the hands of clinicians so they can provide coordinated, quality care at the bedside remains a huge challenge. Just ask the 32 Pioneer accountable care organizations--including the nine Pioneer ACOs that may opt out of the program altogether.

The Pioneers, who say the success of accountable care organizations hinges on data and technology, were already raising red flags about interoperability and the difficulties of implementing new health IT systems. Then, earlier this year, they threatened to drop out of the program unless the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation revised the quality benchmarks they must meet to qualify for Medicare bonuses. In a letter to CMS, the Pioneer and Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs complained that 19 of 31 quality measures were set without anchoring methodology, reflecting a lack of data.

Even as the healthcare industry becomes more connected and accountable, the technology needed to integrate clinical, financial and operational data across individual hospitals, health systems or the continuum of care continues to lag, [...]