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Hospital Executives Want Customized Integrated Health Systems

More than one-third of hospital system executives surveyed by Black Book said they want customized integrated health systems.

interoperability

Source: Thinkstock

By Fred Donovan

- In response to an increase in hospitals’ acquisition of medical practices, more than one-third of hospital system executives said they want customized integrated health systems including practice management (PM), revenue cycle management (RCM), and electronic health records (EHR).

By the fourth quarter of 2020, 40 percent of large hospital systems plan to replace multiple medical practice systems with integrated ambulatory technologies that interoperate with the EHR and RCM systems, according to Black Book’s annual practice management satisfaction survey.  

For the survey, Black Book polled more than 3,000 hospital-owned or employed physician practices.

“In a healthcare system dominated by large, integrated health care delivery organizations, centralized administrations are moving to achieve harmonized electronic health records, reimbursement systems and quality measures,” said Black Book Managing Partner Doug Brown.

“With over 50 percent of US doctors receiving their pay directly or indirectly from a hospital system organization, CFOs and CIOs are seeing the value-based care model potential, reimbursement improvements and resources expenditure savings to be gained by implementing a fully integrated healthcare information technology system,” said Brown.

Close to 90 percent of hospital executive said that nonintegrated EHR and current practice management systems do not allow them to design alternative reimbursement and payment methods designed to improve physician engagement and patient care.

Around 85 percent of integrated delivery network executives believe that the alignment of hospital and physician IT meets the challenges of accountable care and value-based payment models.

The survey found that hospital-owned and employed physician practices using an integrated EHR, PM, RCM platform collect, on average, 29 percent more on billed charges than do independent practice physicians with nonintegrated or unconnected EHR RCM platforms.

In addition, 90 percent of hospital networks achieved greater scheduling satisfaction within two months of implementing an integrated PM.

More than three-quarters of hospital systems’ clinical administrators want standardized treatment plans, assessments, and progress notes to monitor system-wide by the end of 2020.

A full 92 percent of respondents want integrated EHR solutions to allow IDN administrators and clinical team leaders to monitor and analyze provider performance across the system.

And 94 percent of physician practice managers said that interoperability and coordinated information flows between physician practices and hospital departments reduce the time and resources they spend, compared to providers with unconnected and disparate practice software.

“The trend to seek consolidated clinical and financial platforms across inpatient departments and ambulatory practices is being led by large, integrated delivery networks and hospital systems because insurance-mandated and government-mandated payment policies favor large health systems,” said Brown.

“Physician practices IT costs continue to rise as operating expenses practices increases at nearly the same pace as revenues. Hospital IDNs can quickly determine processes to cut workflow delays and resource costs, maximize scheduling and utilization, and maintain clinical quality through enhanced capabilities of integrated EHR, practice management and RCM,” he added.

Three Basic EHR Tools

Ninety-three percent of medical and surgical practices with an installed, functional system are using frequently or always the three basic EHR tools: data repository, order entry, and results review.

Around one-quarter of hospital-acquired small practices are failing to optimize and reap any integrated platform benefits from features, such as electronic messaging, clinical decision support, interoperability, data sharing, and patient engagement.

Based on the results of the Black Book survey of nearly 3,000 platform users, Allscripts was the most highly recommended integrated hospital/ambulatory/physician EHR, PM, and RCM solution for integrated health systems and networks, scoring highest in 11 of 18 key performance indicators.

Also scoring better than over 149 EHR systems with PM or RCM functionalities were GE Healthcare, Cerner, athenahealth, and CPSI.  Underperforming in the same survey set with decreasing scores year-to-year were Greenway, MEDHOST, eClinicalWorks and NextGen.

“The most compelling reason for a hospital system to select a fully integrated practice management solution rests in the paybacks from not having to juggle multiple software platforms across dozens or even hundreds of physicians,” Brown concluded.

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