What's the financial case for investing in tech to enable accountable care?

By Gienna Shaw 

FierceHealthIT: The technology necessary to build, run and maintain an Accountable Care Organization is extensive. How do you make the financial case for investing in, for example, advanced data analytics, a robust patient portal and a suite of software and apps? What do you say to the CFO? 

Ed Marx: My approach is that I never talk about anything from a technology point of view. I talk in terms of strategy.

If you asked me your top three IT initiatives of 2014, I'd say we don't have any. Everything we do is tied to the organizational strategy.

But the top three aspirations all have extensive IT requirements. So if we're looking to have a successful ACO--which the CFO is all about--I would argue that what we need for a successful ACO--electronic health records, health information exchange, data analytics--the missing piece is patient engagement. I don't think many people can argue that's not the missing piece.

And then you can say "I have a solution. Here's how we can do it." And we all know what happens when we get the patient engaged. It increases quality of care and decreases our costs. So you can put more money back into the health system and more money into the pockets of physicians and everyone wins.

What's the financial case for investing in tech to enable accountable care?
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