A Nationwide Health Information Network

A Nationwide Health Information Network
You can give examples of what you are using in your own practice/setting.

A hospital and an independent physician association (IPA) comprising 600 physicians have elected to apply to participate in the accountable care organization (ACO) program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The hospital and IPA will agree to provide healthcare to a minimum of 5000 Medicare beneficiaries. Because the individual entities are required to report to Medicare as one entity on 33 quality metrics, including seven patient encounter caregiver experience elements, the ACO is interested in facilitating the widespread adoption of electronic medical records within the ACO. Accordingly, the hospital intends to provide assistance to the individual physicians to obtain electronic health records. In addition, the individual physicians will be required to achieve Meaningful Use and comply with policies and procedures of the ACO. Regardless of the electronic health record they would like to purchase, the individual physicians will be required to exchange health information electronically to improve effective communication between healthcare providers, reduce duplicate visits, and lower the overall cost of delivering care to the Medicare beneficiaries.

Discussion Questions

1. Explain how the arrangement should be established to permit the hospital to assist the healthcare providers in obtaining electronic health records.

2. Describe the timeline and the potential financial impact to the individual healthcare providers who are involved in Meaningful Use of the program.
3. Discuss the benefits of using health IT within the ACO program.
4. Discuss the implementation specifications that each individual healthcare provider as a member of the ACO must implement within his or her own facility and as part of a larger ACO to protect the security, confidentiality, privacy, and integrity of patient information.