The highest hurdles ACOs face

With more and more medical groups forming or joining accountable care organizations, a clearer picture is emerging to illustrate ACOs top challenges.  

Almost 80 percent of ACOs surveyed, in fact, indicated that accessing data outside their own network is among the most significant problems, according to a survey by the eHealth Initiative.

The survey polled 69 ACOs about challenges in health IT infrastructure and interoperability, including data analytics and utilization, and insurance coverage.

eHealth Initiative found that the top challenges facing the participating ACOs are: accessing out-of-network data (78 percent); data integration (62 percent); change management (55 percent); new health IT costs (38 Percent); and obtaining provider participation (33 percent).

Medical practices not receiving meaningful use incentive payments, including behavioral health, long-term care and home health agencies, were among the least likely to be integrated with an ACO, according to the survey.

In addition, ACOs lack staff experienced in using and analyzing data, Bryan Bowles, vice president at Premier, an alliance of 3,400 hospitals, said in a Politico report. About a third of survey respondents said they use a health information exchange or data warehouse and about a quarter use telemedicine.

Does that jibe with your ACO experience?