Raising the Stakes in Patient Care

May 18, 2011  |  Category: Clinical Applications

What we all knew was coming is now here.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that WellPoint Inc. “will pay [reimbursement] increases only to hospitals that score high enough on a test based on 51 indicators of treatment quality… Facilities with poor scores won’t receive a payment boost.”

Welcome to the new world of “accountable care organizations”.

Certainly there are many factors that can and will figure into ACO measurement schemes. And it’s a safe bet that information technology will figure prominently in the equation.

For example, ACO metrics likely will include patient safety; the Meaningful Use objectives around CPOE systems were put in place to improve patient safety.

In the ACO world, expect information technology to provide the means to “account” for the effectiveness of patient care provided, and outcomes achieved; and to give physicians and other healthcare providers instant, easy access to patient information (and the ability to share it) that they’ll need to optimize care delivery, efficiency and effectiveness.

Payers will care mainly about the first; providers and patients will care deeply about the second.

This post was written by PatientKeeper's TransforMED blogging team.