This is a summary of the HIT Trends Report for October 2010. You can get the current issue or subscribe here.
The evolving health information exchange market. The HIE segment was center-stage this month with a game-changing announcement by Surescripts. It will combine its national physician directory and EMR connectivity with apps from its strategic investment in Kryptiq to offer physician-to-physician clinical messaging beginning in December, extending its dominant market position. As first to market with these functions, it will likely cement its standing as the country’s premiere neutral national network. It also enables a platform for additional web services from collaborating partners in the future. We are also reminded this month in Healthcare IT News of the relative dominance of Epic in the IDN and large practice market with the startling statistic that 75% of Wisconsin residents are in the databases of its state user group. Using Epic tools and with patient consent physicians in the state can see patient information across institutions. And there’s a story this month that Verizon is expanding its vision as an HIE by adding clinical lab and imaging results to its networking services with leading transcription companies. These three lenses: (1) Surescripts as the leading national network; (2) Epic as the leading national EMR; and (3) Verizon as the leading national telecom, exemplify the rapidly changing dynamics in this segment.
EHRs and HIT have become central to transformation of clinical practice. One large driver is the announcement by the insurance commission of the inclusion of HIT as well as wellness and care management as medical expenses for insurers under PPACA. In the past these areas were generally allocated to the administrative budget of health plans which limited participation. This will increase payer investment. A CMS exec, Anthony Rogers, reported to Healthcare IT News on early results of CMS accountable care organization (ACO) pilots. He noted that practices with EMRs were getting most of the $36M in incentives and said, “If that’s not a business case [for EHRs], I don’t know what is.” The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, the organization driving medical homes released two reports this month also highlighting HIT’s role in transformation. One report looks at best practices to engage patients in a medical home project using HIT. It’s a compendium of 15 essays by a diverse set of experts on different perspectives about using health IT to engage patients, plus snapshots of two dozen case examples. The other report focuses on five ways to implement HIT effectively to enable clinical decision support. And CSC released a roadmap for HIT in ACOs with an elegant six factor model: member engagement; medical management; clinical information exchange; quality reporting; business intelligence; and risk and revenue management.