Impact Insights

Week in Review 4/10/15

Some interesting data on population health management from a recent PerfectServe survey of hospital and physician office medical professionals conducted by Harris Poll.  Just over half of respondents (51%) said that population health management at their organization is a “funded top 5 initiative” in 2015 and 2016.  A majority of respondents indicated that their organization is “actively” making partnerships (or acquisitions) to improve population health management though.  When asked about technologies to “optimize population health management,” almost three quarters of respondents indicated their organization has a patient portal in place, but less than one third (32%) said their organization currently uses remote monitoring.  Overall, 40% of respondents said that the EHR alone is “not sufficient for care coordination and collaboration across the continuum.”

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  Having the right technology is one component to effective population health management – but there are also significant process and cultural changes that need to happen.  Given the silos that still exist in healthcare, smaller stand alone hospitals and physician groups in particular may have to invest significant effort in establishing (or enhancing) partnerships in their community in order to be successful. There is quite a bit of data this survey, so it is definitely worth a read.

According to the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), last year’s ICD-10 delay has “negatively impacted some readiness activities – especially external testing.”  WEDI’s conclusion is based on the results of their most recent ICD-10 readiness survey of providers, health plans, and vendors.  More than half of health plans responding to the February 2015 survey indicated they had begun external testing, a slight increase from WEDI’s August 2014 survey.  However, only 25% of providers in the February 2015 survey said external testing was underway, down from roughly 35% of providers in August 2014.  “Compliance date uncertainty” was the most common ICD-10 implementation challenge, cited by more than half of all providers, vendors, and health plans in the February 2015 survey.  The current deadline to transition to ICD-10 code sets is October 1, 2015.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  Moving a federal deadline can certainly be beneficial in many cases.  Moving a federal deadline for something as big as ICD-10 – and essentially doing it at the last minute, as Congress did a year ago – doesn’t really help anyone.  The federal government loses needed credibility with providers and vendors, while those providers and vendors are faced with making important business decisions without really knowing for sure if they can count on the deadlines that are established.