Lessons abound in the experience of the University of Iowa Health Care’s journey into accountable care
Moving any health system forward on the path to accountable care organization (AO) development is inevitably a complex venture; but larger numbers of integrated health systems, including academic medical center-anchored ones, are plunging in these days, with meaningful results.
That is certainly the case at the University of Iowa Health Care (UIHC), according to Douglas J. Van Daele, M.D., vice dean for clinical affairs and an associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery. Dr. Van Daele spoke of the successes and challenges that his organization has faced over the past few years, at the Business of Healthcare Symposium on Feb. 29, at HIMSS16, at the Venetian-Palazzo-Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.
The University of Iowa Health Care, with 705 beds (soon to expand to 800), 300 clinics, 8,139 staff, 36,000 annual admissions, and 1.2 annual outpatient visits, has been involved both in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for ACOs (MSSP), and also in a private-sector ACO with insurer Wellmark; and in a state Medicaid contract known as the Iowa Wellness Plan.
Dr. Van Daele shared the successes and unresolved challenges to date with the Iowa Health System’s venture into accountable care on Monday, in a presentation entitled “The ROI of ACO,” and noted that data and IT have been core enablers and facilitators of transformation in the venture.
“We’ve been able to really increase the percentage of patients using that portal. When we started doing this, the administrators said to me, well, that’s all well and good, but Medicare beneficiaries aren’t going to use a patient portal—they don’t have smart phones and won’t log into the web. We have patients in their 90s who communicate with their providers via patient portal. They’re 40 percent of our web portal traffic.”
One very interesting aspect of this is the role that the OpenNotes movement has played in the evolution of accountable care at the University of Iowa Health System. Van Daele reported to his audience that now, all clinic notes, discharge summaries, and immunization records, are available to patients. Also available to patients in their OpenNotes records are core lab results. “Patients see their lab results when providers do, with the one exception of HIV tests, whose results are provided in four business days.”
Read Mark Hagland’s full article here.