Care Transformation Center Blog

The insights, tools, and resources you need to take on population health management

The future of health care is here. But the 'clinician of the future' needs your help.

by Rob Barras and John Kontor, MD April 21, 2017

Over just the past four years, hospitals and health systems have started to take on challenges that they could have only dreamed of addressing a decade before.

Consider that at the start of 2013, only 9% of hospitals had implemented full clinical decision support via variance and compliance alerts, according to HIMSS Analytics. By the end of 2016, more than 35% had reached this significant milestone.

Four years ago, just over a third of hospitals had implemented computerized physician order entry. Today, more than 80% have.

Hospitals and health systems have become wired and, after decades of limited clinical benefits from EHRs, have the foundation for data-driven strategies to better serve their missions. They're achieving efficiencies in clinical quality, patient experience, and the revenue cycle that previously seemed out of reach.

We've helped lead that transformation alongside our members, and we're honored that others have taken note—Washingtonian magazine recently named The Advisory Board Company and our Chairman and CEO Robert Musslewhite as Tech Titans for the third biennial cycle in a row.

But while technology has helped transform our industry, there are still so many cases in which it can be used more effectively and efficiently. Here are two best practices we've learned from working with our members:

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How technology supports accurate risk adjusting for Medicare ACOs

by John Kontor, MD, Executive Vice President, Advisory Board April 20, 2017

Over the past several years, I've helped dozens of health systems optimize their EHRs to be able to better manage clinical and financial risk in their ACOs. In the process, I've observed that many system executives don't fully understand the risk-adjustment concepts that determine value-based payment under MSSP (or other Medicare programs). Often, their ACO strategies suffer—or completely stall—as a result.

If your organization is struggling with some of the mechanics, here is a primer to help get you up to speed.

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When too many meds are the problem: The benefits of deprescribing

by Rebecca Tyrrell and Molly Stein April 13, 2017

We don't often think of pharmacists taking medication away from patients, but that's exactly what deprescribing protocols are designed to do.

Deprescribing is defined as the planned process of reducing or stopping medications that may no longer be of benefit or may be causing harm. These practices are especially relevant for aging patients with chronic diseases who are often prescribed duplicative or unnecessary medications that can end up doing more harm than good. In fact, 44% of frail, elderly patients were given at least one unnecessary drug at discharge, according to a study of Veteran's Affairs hospitals.

Instituting pharmacist-led deprescribing protocols as part of medication reconciliation can lead to major benefits for both patients and health systems.

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Prove it to your C-suite: 3 tips for measuring progress on community health

Rebecca Tyrrell April 5, 2017

Health systems play a pivotal role in supporting their communities. However, these community health efforts are often seen as separate from larger strategic aims. As the industry shifts toward value-based care and holistically addressing consumers' needs, leaders should integrate community partnerships to achieve quality, cost, and experience imperatives.

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How to use the waiting room to fight food insecurity

by Tomi Ogundimu and Darby Sullivan March 30, 2017

Food insecurity directly costs the U.S. health system $155 billion annually, as it exacerbates nutrition-related disorders such as obesity and diabetes and contributes to mental health issues. Attacking this problem can seem daunting for provider organizations, but following a few best practices can help you achieve success with improved health outcomes and reduced downstream costs.

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3 pitfalls to avoid in pursuing pharmacy systemness

Regina Lohr March 23, 2017

Pharmacy systemness is such a hot topic these days, and that makes working in this space especially fulfilling. It's a unique privilege to walk alongside pharmacy executives from around the country on their journeys toward systemness—to hear their stories of reducing costs, improving care reliability, and growing revenue streams by streamlining and better coordinating medication management across the enterprise. 

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Managing risk can be straightforward with these three steps

John Kontor, MD March 20, 2017

Providers are under significant pressure to prepare for and participate in risk-based payment models. More and more patients will be covered by Medicare Advantage and cared for by providers participating in Medicare ACOs. 

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4 ways hospitals can provide transportation assistance to drive access improvements

by Tomi Ogundimu and Darby Sullivan March 13, 2017

For population health services to be effective, patients must be able to access the care offered—which can be a particular challenge for low-income or rural patients.

Innovative organizations recognize this significant roadblock to care and have started developing low-cost, accessible transportation services for patients.

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