Report from the field by Tony McCormick
The concept of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) reflects modern hopes to improve medicine and cut costs in the health system. Tony McCormick, a pioneer in the integration of health care systems, describes what is needed on the ground to get doctors working together.
Highlights from the full video interview include:
- What an Accountable Care Organization is. [Discussed at the 00:19 mark]
- Biggest challenge in forming an ACO. [Discussed at the 01:23 mark]
- The various types of providers who need to exchange data. [Discussed at the 03:08 mark]
- Data formats and gaps in the market. [Discussed at the 03:58 mark]
- Uses for data in ACOs. [Discussed at the 5:39 mark]
- Problems with current Medicare funding and solutions through ACOs. [Discussed at the 7:50 mark]
You can view the entire conversation in the following video:
Data as a platform, patient control, and partnerships are key
The quantum leap we need in patient care requires a complete overhaul of record-keeping and health IT. Leaders of the health care field know this and have been urging the changes on health care providers for years, but the providers are having trouble accepting the changes for several reasons.
What’s holding them back? Change certainly costs money, but the industry is already groaning its way through enormous paradigm shifts to meet current financial and regulatory climate, so the money might as well be directed to things that work. Training staff to handle patients differently is also difficult, but the staff on the floor of these institutions are experiencing burn-out and can be inspired by a new direction. The fundamental resistance seems to be expectations by health providers and their vendors about the control they need to conduct their business profitably.
Health care track draws a small and passionate core
There has been enormous talk over the past few years of open data and what it can do for society, but proponents have largely come to admit: data is not democratizing in itself. This topic is hotly debated, and a nice summary of the viewpoints is available in this PDF containing articles by noted experts. At the Open Source convention last week, I thought a lot about the democratizing potential of data and how it could be realized.
The letter conveys a rather sorrowful message about the state of health IT in the United States. One request–to put brakes on the requirement for hospitals to let patients see their own information electronically–has received particularly strong coverage and vigorous responses.
Realistic conclusions and opportunities in health care.
Despite the disappointments I've undergone in learning about health care, I expect the system to change for the better. Those who want a better system need to look at the areas where change is most likely to make a difference.
Recalcitrant instincts that depressed me and progressive suggestions that restored me. Details DICOM, Watson, and other interesting projects.
Two key pillars of the Stage 2 announcement are requirements to use the Direct for data exchange and HL7's consolidated CDA for the format.
HIMSS has promoted good causes, but only recently has it addressed cost, interoperability, and open source issues that can allow health IT to break out of the elite of institutions large or sophisticated enough to adopt the right practices.
The real reason hospitals haven't joined health information exchanges, and other reports from the Massachusetts Heath Data Consortium's annual conference.
The former National Coordinator spoke at a health care forum in Boston yesterday. The biggest plea from the audience was for more time with patients–a focus not on meaningful use but on meaningful contact.