How to Stop Drown­ing in Data and Start Ac­quir­ing Knowl­edge

Modern Healthcare - - PERSPECTIVES -

“Big data alone doesn’t guar­an­tee ac­tion­able knowl­edge.”

Two events pro­vide con­vinc­ing ev­i­dence that the move­ment to value-based pay­ment is ac­cel­er­at­ing.

On Jan­uary 26, 2015, Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Bur­well an­nounced mea­sur­able goals and a timeline to move the Medi­care pro­gram, and the health­care sys­tem at large, to­ward pay­ing providers based on the qual­ity, rather than the quan­tity, of care they give pa­tients.

On April 16, 2015, Pres­i­dent Obama signed into law H.R. 2, the “Medi­care Ac­cess and CHIP Reau­tho­riza­tion Act of 2015” (MACRA), which re­forms Medi­care pay­ment pol­icy for physi­cian ser­vices and adopts a se­ries of changes af­fect­ing a wide range of providers and sup­pli­ers. MACRA in­cludes clear fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for health­care pro­fes­sion­als to par­tic­i­pate in al­ter­na­tive pay­ment mod­els over fee-for-ser­vice re­im­burse­ment.

The white pa­per, “Drown­ing in Data but Starved for Knowl­edge,” ad­dresses three chal­lenges that health­care providers face when uti­liz­ing data, and of­fers strate­gies to help adapt to this new re­al­ity:

• First, they must man­age the del­uge of data needed to sup­port in­formed de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

• Sec­ond, they must lever­age an­a­lyt­ics that look be­yond the sim­ple an­swers that point to a short term shift in site-of-ser­vice to true care re­design that is in­formed by pop­u­la­tion in­sights.

• Fi­nally, they must man­age the ten­sion be­tween ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient care as they im­ple­ment change. The or­ga­ni­za­tions that will thrive will be those that ask the right ques­tions at the out­set.

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