Accountable care organizations are gaining prominence as one of the nation’s leading approaches for making the shift to value-based care. Providers in these ACOs are facing a variety of business challenges, including gathering and using data to improve care.
In many cases, ACOs are finding they need to incorporate data from a variety of sources, placing new importance on activities such as master data management, analytics and population health management applications.
ACO data requirements are driving IT vendors to tweak offerings to make them appropriate for their needs.
“To be successful, ACOs need to bring data together from different systems—payers and providers,” says Pete Hess, vice president and chief data architect at Health Catalyst, a data warehousing, analytics and outcomes improvement company.
According to Hess, one of the keys for ACO success is the ability to gather the data and combine it into a data warehouse that can direct overall efforts. “Master data management (MDM) tools are critical to the success of these efforts.”
“Some MDM tool providers focus on patient identity resolution—the classic (enterprise master patient identifier) problem space—while others focus exclusively on reference data, which is the space of terminology management tools,” Hess says.
Hess sees MDM evolving to meet the evolving needs of value-based care. “Value-based care requires organizations to be more collaborative than ever before, which means data must be shared,” Hess says. “Shared data is always going to have discrepancies—MDM tools can help manage those discrepancies.”