- There is a wide disconnect between what payers and providers view as reality in terms of having the needed tools for providing higher quality care, according to a new Quest Diagnostics study released at America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute & Expo 2017. The disconnect, however, narrowed from last year.
- More than half (53%) of surveyed health plans said providers have the tools they need to support value-based care (VBC), but 43% of physicians said they are still lacking these tools.
- One reason for the discrepancy is the increased educational material providers have been receiving on VBC, Patrick James, chief clinical officer for health plans and policy at Quest Diagnostics, told Healthcare Dive.
This is the second year Quest has studied the issue. And although some progress has been made with payer and provider understanding of how prepared they are to succeed with VBC, critical gaps remain. The study "supports the widely accepted notion that data and technology are critical to the success of value-based care," James said. Yet it also "indicates that more needs to be done to make data actionable, accessible and patient-specific, particularly for physicians.”
One of the "most striking findings" is that doctors are questioning the value of EHRs, even though they would be "willing to spend more time with them if they could ultimately gain patient-specific insights in real-time,” James said. This is because it isn't about having access to health data, it's about having actionable insights at the point of care. Most (75%) of the 150 surveyed health plan executives believe EHRs have everything physicians need, but only 54% of the 302 physicians agreed.
Another notable finding was that investments are needed for aligning payers and providers, with 85% of health plan executives saying that co-investing in health IT would accelerate VBC adoption. While there is still a lot of progress to be made with technology's user friendliness and with barriers to interoperability, payers and providers can work together to help speed up that process. A separate report Accenture released at AHIP highlights five digital trends that the company expects will "reshape the healthcare experience" over the next three to five years, beginning with AI becoming the new user interface.