June: A Big Month For ACO Watchers

As we trudge forward into various iterations of what and how ‘accountable care’ strategies can be sensibly configured and locally seeded for Medicare, Medicaid as well as commercial markets, attention is often focused on the ‘necessary’ but ‘not sufficient’ contribution(s) from health information technology (HIT). It is rare that a conversation centered on accountable care or ACOs in particular doesn’t shift to HIT, where EHRs, HIE’s (heath information exchanges) or other data banking or connectivity solutions aren’t a material part of the dialogue. Often posited as the central spine enabling the required coordination and integration essential to accountable care, the technology side of the challenge frequently preempts other issues including physician culture, clinical and financial risk management tolerance and sophistication, or the history of successful physician/hospital joint ventures, in the local market.

Yet in the paradigm shift from volume to value via accountability many are focused on the presumptive return expected from consumer empowerment and electronic health information connectivity. Whether couched as informed choice via up-leveled health literacy, e-patient activism, ‘data liquidity’ or the litany of supportive ‘apps’ including mhealth, wireless or other prevention and wellness oriented platforms, the consumer empowerment movement incentivized by HITECH and further challenged via the triple aim quest are energizing many entrepreneurs, healthcare providers and even regulators.

In June we’ll witness another round of broad based healthcare stakeholder engagement during Health Innovation Week in Washington, D.C. For context, check out Wil Yu’s post on THCB titled: Breaking Down the Process of Innovation: The Value of Community.’

Starting with the Health 2.0 sponsored code-a-thon and [coincidentally] ending with the 3rd Annual National ACO Summit, with HealthCamp DC, Regina Holliday’s ‘The Walking Gallery‘, and the jointly sponsored Institute of Medicine’s and Department of Health Services HDI Forum aka ‘the Health Data Palooza‘, the week will be full of learning, networking and collaboration opportunities.

I intend to be onsite and reporting from several of the venues. Where possible I’ll broadcast recaps, and even livestream all or portions of select events. Minimally you can expect a generous outbound tweetstream via @ACOwatch, ACOalliance or @2healthguru.

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