EM’s top-of-mind issues include physician group consolidation and EHR’s inability to meet data analytics needs
The American College of Emergency Physicians held its 2017 Scientific Assembly (ACEP17) last month in Washington, D.C. Topics discussed included political advocacy, critical emergency department management, mental health, and the Affordable Care Act.
d2i was once again in attendance, reconnecting with clients and showing off the latest version and capabilities of our health care data analytics platform. It was also our fourth year sponsoring the Emergency Medicine Foundation VIP Reception.
One of the highlights of ACEP for us is our annual focus group meeting. This year 10 Emergency Medicine stakeholders spent 90 minutes sharing their insights on what they saw as EM’s top-of-mind issues, and their ideas for how data and analytics can be leveraged to make a difference.
The stakeholders were remarkable for their depth and breadth of expertise. Our focus group participants included:
- An ED Specialty Practice Executive Director
- An ED Specialty Practice President
- An Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine
- An Associate Chief of Emergency Medicine
- A Medical Director, Emergency Department
- A Vice Chair of Clinical Operations
- A Director of Emergency Services
Here are the top 5 takeaways from the focus group meeting.
1. Emergency Medicine is not prepared for the newest quality reporting requirements.
These requirements include the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), one of two payment tracks under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Focus group participants stressed that many practices don’t realize that claims-based reporting will not yield the higher incentives that clinical-based reporting will.
It should also be noted that the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has backed a proposition to scrap MIPS. With changes likely to come in some form or another, quality reporting will remain a challenge for EDs and other practices.
2. Consolidation of physician practices is continuing.
Smaller EM physician groups are being rolled into medium and large health care consortiums. The trend toward consolidation of physician practices is accelerating, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs. For example, from 1998 to 2015, there were 1,412 hospital mergers in the United States, with 40 percent of them after 2009.
A study published by the Health Care Financial Management Association also found that “small, independent physician practices are becoming less prevalent as health care’s transition from fee-for-service to value-based care gains steam.”
3. The need for data analytics is increasingly being recognized.
Analytics is being recognized more and more as a necessity in the EM area. Data can be mined to increase departmental efficiency, to compare staff performance, improve patient experience and safety, and assist in reporting. All of the focus group participants were involved in efforts to expand analytics capabilities within their practices.
4. EHRs can’t meet data analytics needs.
They expressed their frustration that electronic health records (EHRs) were falling short in this area, and not delivering on promised value, especially when it comes to integrating data from multiple sources. From limitations in reporting to user experience issues, none of the participants saw EHRs as adequate health care analytics solutions.
5. d2i can deliver what EHRs alone can’t.
All you have to do is walk the exhibit floor to find that no other exhibitor in the ACEP17 exhibit hall does what d2i does for EM. HCOs are investing millions into their EHRs, hoping to get everything they need in one place. Yet, all that data entered into multiple systems every day remains untapped for many HCOs, and EHR solutions are failing to get all that data back to them in an actionable format for EM decision makers.
So, what exactly makes d2i stand out in their minds? These experts said, quite simply, the fact that d2i is doing what EHRs aren’t by turning data into actionable information for so many EDs already.
Schedule a 30-minute demo and see for yourself.