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In this Issue: Accountable Care Organizations

The December 2012 issue of HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights focuses on Accountable Care Organizations and role of informatics. This issue also includes a new monthly feature — Trend Spotter — that offers expert insights around industry trends mined from the HIMSS Analytics database.

State of the Industry

Accountable Care Organizations and the Practical Impact of Informatics
By Michele Madison


The Medicare Shared Savings Program, commonly known as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), redesigns healthcare delivery by offering healthcare providers a share of the savings generated through an "integration" model. An ACO requires providers to join one legal organization and achieve high-quality outcomes that should reduce patient visits; thus, lowering costs to Medicare. Lowering costs and redesigning the Medicare reimbursement to be based upon quality outcomes instead of volume is an underlying tenet of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 ("Healthcare Reform").Read more

Strategies for Success

Preparing for Accountable Care Organizations
By James K. Lassetter, MD


Note: This article first appeared in the HIMSS Business Edge in November 2010.

With the federal government set to pilot a new care-delivery and reimbursement model focused on accountable care a year from now, hospitals, health systems, medical groups and payers may soon have to decide how to respond to an innovation that promises to drastically reshape the industry within the next five years. Read more

Resource in Practice

Why HIE is Indispensable to ACO Success
By Allen Briskin and Gerry Hinkley


The long-awaited proposed regulations for the Medicare Shared Savings Program have arrived. As many have predicted, the proposed regulations make it clear that participation in an HIE will be an essential component of an accountable care organization’s (ACO’s) achievement of its mandated functionality and performance. Even a cursory reading of the regulation table entitled, "Proposed Measures for Use in Establishing Quality Performance Standards that ACOs Must Meet for Shared Savings," makes it clear that it’s all about the data: First creating it. Then aggregating, analyzing and using it to better patient care. And, finally, communicating it to CMS to reap the rewards of the Shared Savings Program. Read more

New! Trend Spotter

Does the EMR have an Impact on Physician Satisfaction?
By Lorren Pettit, MS, MBA


Earlier this year, HIMSS Analytics completed a study looking at the impact a hospital’s electronic medical record (EMR) capabilities might have on physician satisfaction. The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Hospital EMRs: EMRs and Physician Satisfaction report yielded some very interesting findings surrounding physician satisfaction with "access to information on patients." In brief, HIMSS Analytics discovered the more advanced the hospital’s EMR capabilities (as defined by the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model) the more satisfied physicians were with the accessibility of patient information. Read more


Meaningful Use Stage 3 Request for Comments Released
The Health IT Policy Committee has issued its official Request for Comments (RFC) on its draft proposed Meaningful Use Stage 3 requirements. Comments are due to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) by Jan. 14, 2013. The 37-page document is divided into three sections: Meaningful Use Objectives and Measures, Quality Measures and Privacy and Security.

Follow the mHIMSS Roadmap to Navigate Mobile Health and Technology
As hospitals and health systems look for guidance on the present and future state of mobile healthcare technology, mHIMSS, the mobile initiative of HIMSS, introduces the mHIMSS Roadmap. The Roadmap provides insight and direction related to the many components of mobile health (mHealth). HIMSS members, and members of mHIMSS, have access to all sections of this interactive tool that includes information on new care models, technology, ROI and payment, policy, privacy and security, standards and interoperability. Created by industry subject-matter experts, a snapshot of this extensive document can be found by reading the Executive Summary.

HIMSS13 Early-bird Registration Rate Deadline Approaching
Early-bird registration rates for the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, March 3-7, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, are available through Dec. 17. HIMSS13 attendee registration includes entrance to all education sessions and the exhibit hall, the Welcome/Opening Reception on Sunday, March 3, and registration tote bag (while supplies last). The HIMSS13 website features details on all registration categories, registration for specialty conferences, registration for optional events such as workshops, symposia and the CPHIMS exams and review course, and discounted rates for a One-Day Pass and Wednesday Exhibit Hall Only Pass.

Tool Box Picks
Compiled by Cheryl D. Parker, RN, MSN, PhD, FHIMSS

[VIDEO] Fundamentals of Accountable Care
Produced by The Advisory Board, this 6-minute video shares the fundamentals of Accountable Care Organizations.


[VIDEO] The ABCs of ACOs
In this 13-minute video, Tom Szostak, Healthcare Economics Manager for Toshiba America Medical Systems, discusses Accountable Care Organizations — what they are, how they work and more.

[ARTICLES] ACO's and Informatics
This series of articles from Healthcare Informatics focuses on the role of informatics in ACOs.

[WHITEPAPER] The Role of Healthcare Informatics in Accountable Care
This free whitepaper from InterSystems (no login required) posits there are three core competencies for successful ACOs where health IT plays a crucial role: clinical integration, analytics and care coordination.

[REPORT] ACOs grow, covering 10% of U.S. patients
This report, published by Oliver Wyman in November 2012, shows that ACOs appear to be gaining traction in the healthcare system, covering up to 10% of patients, and some early adopters are successfully transforming themselves into more efficient health networks.

[WEBSITE] HIMSS Accountable Care Organizations Resource Library
This section of the HIMSS website features an overview of federal activities, resources, presentations and discussions around Accountable Care Organizations.

Cheryl D. Parker, RN, MSN, PhD, FHIMSS, is chief nursing informatics officer at Rubbermaid Medical Solutions.

NEW! #mHIMSSROADMAP - An mHealth resource for hospitals and health systems from mHIMSS experts. Visit mHIMSS today to secure your membership and get full access to the mHIMSSROADMAP!

Join the Discussion

How can care providers and healthcare organizations best prepare now for accountable care and/ or delivery reform?
There are several care coordination building blocks to assess, and it's important to note up front that private payers are mirroring the CMS Shared Savings blueprint, meaning there are options forming which practices and organizations can pursue and be included within. Providers must also assess health IT infrastructures. The ability to collect, share and analyze data via an EHR, support interoperability and health information exchange as well as the ability to share information with patients are emerging as prerequisites. Also, it is important to understand patient volumes, as most Shared Savings or ACO plans have a patient minimum around 5,000. And really the time is now to engage peers, payers, health and hospital systems and even employers within geographical areas to understand how accountable care or delivery reform programs will affect your community. They are all potential gateways to participation in single-entity or combined accountable care delivery programs built upon quality reporting incentives.

Connect with HIMSS
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Upcoming Events

Securing Protected Health Information Virtual Briefing
Dec. 11, 2012

Enhancing Care Delivery with Intelligent, Connected Mobile Devices Webinar
Dec. 12, 2012

Overcoming Barriers to Achieving Meaningful Use Virtual Briefing
Dec. 18, 2012

HIMSS Privacy & Security Forum
Dec. 12-13, 2012

2013 North America Connectathon
Jan. 28, 2013-Feb. 2, 2013

2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition
March 4-7, 2013
New Orleans

HIMSS Chapter Events

Webinars and Audio Conferences

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Clinical Informatics Insights is a monthly e-newsletter published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) that provides timely and comprehensive coverage on the effective integration of informatics across the continuum of care.

Editor's Note: The inclusion of an organization name, product, resource or service in this e-newsletter should not be construed as a HIMSS endorsement of such organization, product or service, nor is the failure to include an organization name, product or service to be construed as disapproval.
Copyright© 2012 by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission.
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Members of HIMSS Informatics Team
Joyce Sensmeier, RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FAAN, FHIMSS, Vice President, Informatics
Christel Anderson, Director, Clinical Informatics
Jennifer Roniger, Program Manager, Informatics

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