HAS 2024

How to Align Your Organization’s Data with Evolving Reporting Standards: Planning for the Future

April 12, 2023

Article Summary


Investing in a data integration strategy now will better position healthcare organizations to leverage their high-value data assets with minimal investment in the future as reporting requirements continue to evolve.

woman looking at data forecast

Previously in this series, we covered the roles high-value data and a thoughtful data integration strategy play in establishing data management practices that align with evolving reporting guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

First, we identified that with high-value data as a foundation for data management, an organization can:

  • Produce faster analysis in downstream analytics.
  • Promote buy-in and trust across the organization.
  • Aggregate data across domains to generate health population benchmarking.
  • Combine data dimensions that yield exponential value.

A strong foundation includes the standardization of raw data and normalization of terminology across the organization to enable cross-domain searches of the existing data warehouse.

Second, we identified how an enterprise-wide healthcare data integration strategy combines and standardizes data across an entire health system.

By building an integrated data infrastructure, organizations will be equipped with reliable data necessary to operate from a patient-centric focus and utilize customized analytics to measure the performance of payer contracts and quality programs.

While unlocking high-value data and implementing a data integration strategy will help an organization meet today’s reporting guidelines, meeting CMS reporting and interoperability standards are the tip of the iceberg in how an integrated data strategy achieves optimal reimbursement.

Federal incentives will continue to persuade healthcare organizations to modernize their technologies, so now is the time to make fundamental data changes. Leveraging key analytics applications and tech services are fundamental changes that health systems can make to help meet federal requirements and incentives as they evolve.

How to Future-Proof a Data Integration Strategy

Future-proofing a data integration strategy for healthcare organizations involves anticipating and preparing for potential changes in the industry, technology, regulations, and organizational needs.

High-value data integrated across a health system’s entire data ecosystem establishes a stable foundation for the future by creating scalable, reusable data assets that can efficiently be accessed and applied to new programs and initiatives.

To prepare for the future, finding the right technology partner is crucial. The right partner will enable a successful data integration strategy at a more effective cost and reach economies of scale. Third-party experts in healthcare data integration can help with cost control and accelerate speed to market in response to mounting pressure to meet federal electronic reporting requirements. 

Some organizations that have seen success working with a technology partner to curate and optimize data integration include:

Acuitas Health

Acuitas Health partnered with Health Catalyst to develop a solution that would enable the organization to meet the electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) reporting requirements. Before the partnership, Acuitas Health had a client group merge with another physician group and sought to report its eCQMs in aggregate across the expanded organization.

Acuitas Health faced a barrier that impacted its ability to report the data in aggregate as the physician groups used disparate EMRs.

Using the Health Catalyst platform, Acuitas Health was able to gather and integrate data from multiple sources, including the EMRs used by the practices, claims data from payers, care management data sources, and data from the health information exchange.

After deploying this technology, Acuitas Health was able to expand eCQM and claims reporting across its client base. Now, the organization is folding in more small practices, integrating data for additional EMRs into DOS, enabling more independent providers to successfully transition to value-based care.

INTEGRIS Health

INTEGRIS Health implemented a data platform and a robust suite of analytics applications, including Health Catalyst Pop Insights™,  PowerCosting™, and Patient Safety Monitor™ to meet the organization’s evolving needs for high-quality data and analytics.

INTEGRIS Health’s use of a scalable data and analytics platform to deliver high-quality data and analytics helped leaders understand and continually improve organizational performance. Through the platform, leaders had the data and insight required to identify opportunities and make data-informed decisions. Now, team members trust the data and spend time discussing how to use it for decision-making and improving performance. The organization saw $3 million in annual indirect labor cost savings, realized through reducing a duplicative data ecosystem and the resources required to maintain a homegrown data and analytics platform.

After this implementation, INTEGRIS Health can expand the use of the data and analytics platform and, with its newfound capacity, focus more time on continuous improvement.

UC San Diego Health

UC San Diego Health transformed its organization, expanding beyond fee-for-service, transitioning to value-based care, and improving the health of its patient population—forming its Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACO. The organization leveraged an analytics platform to provide a better understanding of its organizational strengths, opportunities for improvement, and needed actionable, timely data that would enable it to improve outcomes, reduce waste, and succeed in value-based care.

The data platform and analytics accelerator gave the organization the information required to develop a strategic plan and actionable steps for improvement. With this foundation, UC San Diego Health can continue its data-driven transformational journey and will keep advancing its population health efforts, improving outcomes, and decreasing waste.

Prepare for the Future by Investing in a Data-Integration Strategy Now

By choosing the right technology partner and implementing a thoughtful data integration strategy, these three organizations were able to address immediate needs, such as meeting current requirements or transitioning to a value-based care program, but in doing so they also set a valuable foundation for continuous improvement.

Organizations that invest in updating their data management systems now will be better positioned to leverage their high-value data assets with minimal investment in the future as reporting requirements continue to evolve. These organizations will also be better positioned to take advantage of the latest trends and developments and deliver higher-quality patient care.

Additional Reading


How to Align Your Organization’s Data: Implementing a Healthcare Data Integration Strategy

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