ACOs lag in health IT, interoperability advancements

August 21, 2014

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have made few strides in health information technology (IT) since early 2013, according to a recent survey from eHealth Initiative.

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have made few strides in health information technology (IT) since early 2013, according to a recent survey from eHealth initiative.

Most ACOs have yet to incorporate data beyond immediate clinical or claims-based records, and few are offering more advanced capabilities such as population health, revenue, or customer relationship management systems, according to the survey.

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ACO patients can generally use basic Internet-based tools, but mobile and consumer trends are not yet widespread, the survey found.

And although 100% of respondents said access to data from external organizations is a significant challenge, just 24% participate in health information exchanges (HIEs) at an enterprise, community, or state level.

The survey found that larger and more mature organizations pull data from more platforms and participate more actively in HIEs.

Provider satisfaction is falling, and cost and return-on-investment are crippling concerns, from 14% in 2013 to more than 90%, the survey found.

Interoperability and workflow integration have also grown as a significant challenge, from 50% in 2013 to more than 90% in 2014.

The survey notes that the limited improvements associated with health IT likely are  due to reimbursement structure.

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