Orem, Utah - September 15, 2011- Like meaningful use (MU) and other critical U.S. healthcare initiatives, the accountable care organization (ACO) model is generating a lot of buzz. In the new KLAS report, Accountable Care: Providers Forge the ACO Trail, KLAS interviewed 197 providers at 187 organizations to get an early picture of how providers and vendors are piecing together accountable care and what creating an ACO will really mean for healthcare IT.
ACO is a care delivery model where groups of health care providers take collective responsibility for managing patients' long-term continuum of care. ACOs that cut care costs without missing quality targets receive a portion of the savings. While only a third of surveyed providers plan to pursue a formal Medicare ACO designation, the majority agree that accountable care is the way of the future.
"Accountable care will touch every aspect of an organization," said Jason Hess, author of the report. "Its changes have the potential of turning the healthcare world upside down-from patient care to administration to revenue cycle management to IT infrastructure. The internal challenges appear endless. Unfortunately, planning an ACO is further complicated by the fact that the final government rules have not yet been published."
There are no one-stop shops for providers' ACO IT needs, especially since each ACO will be different. Many providers are looking to leverage a combination of technology solutions to fill in the gaps and meet ACO requirements. That said, providers see some vendors are more prepared than others-with the most integrated rising to the top.
Top-tier healthcare vendors Cerner and Epic currently lead the way in provider confidence as being most ACO-ready. Despite a few integration and offering gaps, Cerner has already integrated many of the IT pieces needed to complete an ACO puzzle and is taking a proactive approach to working with individual needs of interested providers.
Epic is also perceived as being close to ACO-ready--with gaps found primarily in their analytic capabilities and their ability to share data with non-Epic systems. This report also examines provider perceptions of ACO readiness for Allscripts (Eclipsys), CPSI, GE Healthcare, McKesson, MEDITECH, QuadraMed, and Siemens.
"Providers describe a variety of planned HIT purchases for their ACO projects-including data warehousing and analytics, HIE, and patient portals," added Hess. "Vendors whose offerings integrate best with providers' in-house systems will top the selection lists going forward."
Who Is Leading the Charge to Accountable Care?
Approach to ACO Participation -- by Acute Care EMR Vendor
To learn more about the ACO market, including the strengths and weaknesses of vendor ACO solutions, the report Accountable Care: Providers Forge the ACO Trail is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase, healthcare providers and vendors can visit www.KLASresearch.com/reports.
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting on the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS' mission is to improve delivery by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from more than 4500 hospitals and more than 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics that provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, medical equipment, and infrastructure vendors. For more information, go to www.KLASresearch.com, email [email protected], or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/KLASresearch.