It’s becoming increasingly clear that absent analytics, the movement toward value-based care is a nonstarter.
Without data analytics to identify gaps in care, improve efficiencies and tailor treatment plans, healthcare organizations are blind. “We wouldn’t know where to begin without data analytics,” said Bob Sehring, chief ministry services officer at OSF Healthcare in Peoria, Ill. “You can’t begin to build programs without it.”
Large organizations committed to accountable care all have their own approach to health analytics. Some are building internal tools to analyze data within their extensive network and others are outsourcing their analytics operations to vendors or health information exchanges.
As the federal government ramps up its movement toward pay-for-performance, lessons from these approaches are becoming increasingly valuable.
Allina Health, a Minnesota health system that encompasses 12 hospitals and about 100 outpatient clinics, is investing big bucks in analytics. But instead of developing tools in-house, the health system announced in early 2015 that it is outsourcing its whole analytics operation—including its data warehousing, analytics and performance improvement technology and content—to the vendor Health Catalyst in a 10-year, $108 million deal.
The move comes as the health system, which covers about 13,000 of its population under its Pioneer accountable care organization (ACO), is trying to drive the market away from fee-for-service to value-based care, says CEO Penny Wheeler.