Accountable Care Organizations Are Ready To Know More But Can They Afford It?
This past week at the NAACOS Fall 2016 Conference in Washington D.C. we debuted our first Population Health Management infrastructure to very positive reviews. During the many demonstrations we ran of our instant, affordable, subscription-based PHM solution VBPMaster™ we constantly heard how the existing systems which are rich in analytic engineering aren’t easy to use, are very expensive and once installed often are found to be overwhelming for the user. Exactly the characteristics we are trying to disrupt and change all while supporting a real need for even better more insightful predictive capabilities.
In our previous blog we talked about what we hoped to get from the NAACOS Fall Conference. We wanted to
- learn how data analytics companies were supporting ACO’s and what else could be done to standout in the wild west of accountable care; and
- understand what’s new on the horizon and what would really be cutting edge going forward.
So here’s what we found. Existing systems are great at analyzing big data but
- they’re not affordable to many ACOs and certainly not to private practices,
- they’re complicated to run,
- they’re overwhelming to the people tasked with using them, and
- they’re not flexible enough to integrate less traditional data to help identify population risk.
So let’s look and some of these in a little more detail. What do we mean by affordable? The word affordable certainly catches your eye particularly when you’re a health professional or ACO administrator faced with having to spend huge amounts of money in anticipation of possible rewards downstream. In our demos when the word affordable was linked with a question like “are you interested in this”, it resulted in an almost instant, visceral, positive connection between the viewer’s pain and our solution.
Along with lower costs ACOs also want easy, low-risk acquisition. By being subscription-based, acquisition is easier when costs are a fraction of acquiring the more traditional big system offerings. To an ACO, particularly one that is struggling and looking for a better solution to try, pay as you go for exactly what works for you and not for all the other cool stuff you don’t want or can’t use makes real sense.
What about the cutting edge stuff? Now that you know you can afford it what does that actually get you? Current solutions are digesting and interpreting big data like never before. But it continues to be much of the same data just analyzed differently and over again. Claims data, clinical data, MSDRGs, DRGs, etc all are being exploited by some really amazing technology. But what isn’t being considered is how to identify and collect social determinant data to take existing analysis to the next level. Including as part of the solution geographers, demographers, socio-economic experts and data collectors that know where to find data, how to exploit it and that don’t have to be hired on as employees is an alternative growing in popularity. Knowing about the population, who has what conditions, what is a their proximity to medical and community resources and what do chronic condition clusters look like on the ground integrated with social determinant data sets will provide insights like never before.
If you’re getting in the ACO game, or already there, or not performing at the level you need to, or are a private practice dealing with MACRA and MIPS or you just need more insight into your population … as the song says “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, it really is possible.
© Gregory T. Reinecke, President