Value-Based Purchasing 2020: A 10-Year Progress Report

The year 2020 marks a decade since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and healthcare’s first transitional steps from volume to value. The 10-year progress report is mixed. On one hand, CMS’s emphasis on quality and cost is driving an upward trend for patients and providers, with substantial improvement in readmissions; on the other hand, organizations still need to simplify and consolidate value-based programs for more widespread positive impact. As the industry enters into another decade of value, it’s time for health systems to consider the impacts of these programs so far and make sure they have the processes and tools in place to succeed in an increasingly value-driven industry.

COVID-19 Healthcare Cybersecurity: Best Practices for a Remote Workforce

Social distancing, effective hand-washing techniques, sneezing into elbows, and the like are critical means of mitigating the spread and impact of COVID-19, but the pandemic has also prompted another area of concern: cybersecurity. A growing remote workforce, more collective time online, and increasingly frequent social engineering attacks that take advantage of public curiosity about and fear of the novel coronavirus are exposing system and network vulnerabilities. Remote workers can increase their online safety by refreshing and ramping up cyber-hygiene best practices, including learning to recognize and report suspicious emails and protecting home internet connections.

A Roadmap for Optimizing Clinical Decision Support

Compared to industries such as aerospace and automotive, healthcare lags behind in decision support innovation. Following the aerospace and automotive arenas, healthcare can learn critical lessons about improving its clinical decision support capabilities to help clinicians make more efficient, data-informed decisions: Achieve widespread digitization: Healthcare must digitize its assets and operations (patient registration, scheduling, encounters, diagnosis, orders, billings, and claims) for effective CDS similarly to how aerospace digitized the aircraft, air traffic control, baggage handling, ticketing, maintenance, and manufacturing. Build data volume and scope: Healthcare must collect socioeconomic, genomic, patient-reported outcomes, claims data, and more to truly understand the patient at the center of the human health data ecosystem.

Weekly News Roundup: March 13, 2020

As health systems across the country scramble to respond to COVID-19, we've pulled together news and resources to help organizations and professionals prepare. In this week's news roundup: steps healthcare facilities can take now to prepare for COVID-19, guidance from the CDC on preparing for community transmission, COVID-19 maps and visuals from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and much more.

A Healthcare Digitization Framework: 5 Strategies

While most consumer-oriented industries have turned to mobile-first, cloud-based platforms for consumer interaction, healthcare lags behind in digitization, particularly when it comes to self-service consumer engagement. As digital consumer interaction increasingly drives enterprise success, healthcare must join the modern digital playing field. To get there, organizations need to establish digital investment and enablement frameworks and can then follow five strategies for stable, scalable transformation: Formally define “digital” for the organization. Follow 10 guiding principles to support digital. Divide technology into appropriate portfolios. Develop an analogy to explain the integrated portfolio approach. Strategically select vendor partners.

Four Keys to Increase Healthcare Market Share

With leadership alignment, easy access to data, and a roadmap to reach their objectives, health systems can drastically increase revenue and grow market share by applying four principles: Key 1. Alignment. Key 2. Vehicles. Key 3: Five tools: access to data, data acumen; finance, vision to execution, and prioritizing outcomes. Key 4: Education. Access to the right data can drive changes that generate $48M in revenue, surpassing the year three market share goals in year two.

Three Keys to Improving Hospital Patient Flow with Machine Learning

Health systems alike struggle to effectively manage hospital patient flow. With machine learning and predictive models, health systems can improve patient flow for different departments throughout the system like the emergency department. Health systems should focus on three key areas to foster successful data science that will lead to improved hospital patient flow: Key 1. Build a data science team. Key 2. Create a ML pipeline to aggregate all data sources. Key 3. Form a comprehensive leadership team to govern data. Improving hospital patient flow through predictive models results in reduced patient wait times, reduced staff overtime, improved patient outcomes, and improved patient and clinician satisfaction.

How to Design an Effective Clinical Measurement System (And Avoid Common Pitfalls)

As healthcare organizations strive to provide better care for patients, they must have an effective clinical measurement system to monitor their progress. First, there are only two potential aims when designing a clinical measurement system: measurement for selection or measurement for improvement. Understanding the difference between these two aims, as well as the connection between clinical measurement and improvement, is crucial to designing an effective system. This article walks through the distinct difference between these two aims as well as how to avoid the common pitfalls that come with clinical measurement. It also discusses how to identify and track the right data elements using a seven-step process.

Weekly News Roundup: February 28, 2020

As the transition of healthcare payment models from volume to value takes longer than expected, healthcare organizations are balancing fee for service (FFS) with value-based care (VBC). In this week's news roundup: the role of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in VBC; ten strategies for navigating the shift from volume to value; and where providers and payers stand on consumerism, value-based care, and healthcare transformation.

A Healthcare Mergers Framework: How to Accelerate the Benefits

Health system mergers can promise significant savings for participating organizations. Research, however, indicates as much as a tenfold gap between expectation and reality, with systems looking for a savings of 15 percent but more likely to realize savings around 1.5 percent. Driving the merger expectation-reality disparity is a complex process that, without diligent preparation and strategy, makes it difficult for organizations to fully leverage cost synergies. With the right framework, however, health systems can achieve the process management, data sharing, and governance structure to align leadership, clinicians, and all stakeholders around merger goals.

Three Must-Haves for a Successful Healthcare Data Strategy

Healthcare is confronting rising costs, aging and growing populations, an increasing focus on population health, alternative payment models, and other challenges as the industry shifts from volume to value. These obstacles drive a growing need for more digitization, accompanied by a data-centric improvement strategy. To establish and maintain data as a primary strategy that guides clinical, financial, and operational transformation, organizations must have three systems in place: Best practices to identify target behaviors and practices. Analytics to accelerate improvement and identify gaps between best practices and analytic results. Adoption processes to outline the path to transformation.  

Weekly News Roundup: February 21

The journey for healthcare organizations to become data driven is complex but absolutely critical for success in today's increasingly digitized environment. In this week's news roundup: how data literacy plays a key role in becoming a data-driven healthcare organization; how the lack of data literacy costs employers five days of productivity per year; why data storytellers will define the next decade of data; and more.

From Volume to Value: 10 Essential Strategies for Navigating the Healthcare Shift

As the transition of healthcare payment models from volume to value takes longer than expected, healthcare organizations must balance fee for service (FFS) with value-based care (VBC). The transition to VBC will accelerate, but as FFS persists and still generates adequate margins, organizations must also continue to be successful under volume-based reimbursement. Ten tools can help health systems balance VBC with FFS: A member perspective. Cautious investment in hard delivery assets. Accelerated investment in digital infrastructure. Innovative digital engagement solutions. Pricing concessions. Aligned incentives. Network management. Payer-provider trust and collaboration. Clinician and administrative alignment. Physician leadership and accountability.

The Top Three 2020 Healthcare Trends and How to Prepare

After a tumultuous 2019, healthcare organizations are pivoting to make sense of the latest changes and prepare to face the top 2020 healthcare trends: Consumerism—Can health systems respond to the consumer demands of better access and price transparency? Financial Performance—With mergers, acquisitions, and private sector companies entering the healthcare arena, how will traditional hospitals and clinics compete? Social Issues—How will health organizations respond to the opioid crisis and consider social determinants of health as part of the care process to provide comprehensive treatment? As health systems struggle to survive amidst constant change, they must look forward and proactively prepare for what’s to come in 2020.

Using Improvement Science in Healthcare to Create True Change

With improvement science combined with analytics, health systems can better understand how, as they implement new process changes, to use theory to guide their practice, and which improvement strategy will help increase the likelihood of success. The 8-Step Improvement Model is a framework that health systems can follow to effectively apply improvement science: Analyze the opportunity for improvement and define the problem. Scope the opportunity and set SMART goals. Explore root causes and set SMART process aims. Design interventions and plan initial implementation. Implement interventions and measure results. Monitor, adjust, and continually learn. Diffuse and sustain. Communicate Quantitative and Qualitative Results. With the right approach, an improvement team can measure the results and know if the changes they made will…

Putting Patients Back at the Center of Healthcare: How CMS Measures Prioritize Patient-Centered Outcomes

Today’s healthcare encounters are too often marked by more clinician screen time than patient-clinician engagement. Increasing regulatory reporting burdens are diverting clinician attention from their true priority—the patient. To put patients back at the center of care, CMS introduced its Meaningful Measures framework in 2017. The initiative identifies the highest priorities for quality measurement and improvement, with the goal of aligning measures with CMS strategic goals, including the following: Empowering patients and clinicians to make decisions about their healthcare. Supporting innovative approaches to improve quality, safety, accessibility, and affordability.

Healthcare Data Literacy: A Must-Have for Becoming a Data-Driven Organization

The journey for healthcare organizations to become data driven is complex but absolutely critical for success in today’s increasingly digitized environment. Data literacy is an essential capability because it empowers team members at every level of the organization—from individual learners to executives—to aggregate, analyze, and utilize data to drive decision making. To optimize data usage and reach high levels of data literacy, health systems can create a data literacy program based on four foundational elements: Infrastructure Access Support Privacy and Security

AI in Healthcare: Finding the Right Answers Faster

Health systems rely on data to make informed decisions—but only if that data leads to the right conclusion. Health systems often use common analytic methods to draw the wrong conclusions that lead to wasted resources and worse outcomes for patients. It is crucial for data leaders to lay the right data foundation before applying AI, select the best data visualization tool, and prepare to overcome five common roadblocks with AI in healthcare: Predictive Analysis Before Diagnostic Analysis Leads to Correlation but Not Causation. Change Management Isn’t Considered Part of the Process. The Wrong Terms to Describe the Work. Trying to Compensate for Low Data Literacy Resulting in Unclear Conclusions. Lack of Agreement on Definitions Causes Confusion. As AI provides more…

News Roundup: January 31, 2020

As AI and ML are rapidly making their way to the forefront of the healthcare world, some leaders feel that advanced analytics isn't gaining traction too quickly, while others are embracing its capabilities. In this week's new roundup: how AI can help leaders drive systemwide outcomes improvement; four ways AI/ML will transform healthcare in 2020, health systems utilizing ML; the power of data and AI to improve the payer-provider relationship; and the benefits of AI in medical imaging.

AI-Assisted Decision Making: Healthcare’s Next Frontier

While many healthcare organizations have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools at the point of care, few have successfully applied them to high-level decision making. A new frontier is expanding AI from artificial intelligence to augmented intelligence; traditional AI focuses on improving analytics efficiency while augmented intelligence is about improving the decision-making ability of healthcare leaders. This article addresses the capabilities health systems should embrace and provides two examples of how AI can assist with leaders with their most important decisions. Healthcare leaders’ biggest needs of from AI are the ability to separate signal from noise and make decisions that impact the future.

Creating a Data-Driven Research Ecosystem with Patients at the Center

As patient data because one of the healthcare industry’s most valuable assets, organizations are establishing new practices around accessing and handling data. In question is the practice of de-identifying patient data for widespread cross-organizational data collaboration without compromising patient privacy. But because deeper and richer data drives better clinical understanding and, ultimately, better outcomes, does separating patients from their health data and how it’s used give researchers and developers the best insights? Or do data users risk losing critical connection with the patients and insights into therapies their lives, disease, treatments, and deaths that contribute to new therapeutic approaches? It’s time to consider a progressive approach to patient data that keeps the patients involved by informing them when and how…

Weekly News Roundup: January 24, 2020

Understanding the current healthcare climate and upcoming trends in 2020 can help healthcare organizations stay abreast of important changes and be prepared for the future. In this week's news roundup: the top trends that will disrupt healthcare in 2020, seven trends impacting the design of healthcare environments, the main trends driving mergers and acquisitions, and more.

Achieving Stakeholder Engagement: A Population Health Management Imperative

To succeed in population health management (PHM), organizations must overcome barriers including information silos and limited resources. Due to the systemwide nature of these challenges, widespread stakeholder engagement is an imperative in population-based improvement. An effective PHM stakeholder engagement strategy incorporates the following: Includes as many stakeholders as possible at the beginning of the journey. Meets the unique analytics and reporting needs of the organization. Enables users to measure, and therefore manage, PHM outcomes. Provides the real-time analytics value-based care requires.

The Medicare Shared Savings Program: Four Tools for Better Profit Margins and High-Quality Care

Medicare patients make up the majority of health systems’ revenue; yet, organizations earn only a one percent profit while caring for this population. Despite historically low profit margins, Medicare can be lucrative for health systems, and through the Medicare Shared Savings Program, healthcare organizations can increase revenue with four tools: The ability to aggregate and analyze data. The ability to align financial incentives between payers and providers. The ability to engage patients in behavior or lifestyle modifications. The ability to garner support from clinicians and encourage them to lead the shift to VBC. As the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care continues, health systems can leverage MSSP to deliver the highest level of care while also increasing profit margins.

Weekly News Roundup: January 17, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will play an even bigger role in healthcare in 2020. In this week's news roundup: AI and machine learning trends; why AI in healthcare is primarily a change management problem; how Christiana Care is personalizing the "black box" of machine learning; and much more.