ACO Data Sharing Will Depend on Technology, a Little Faith

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , April 5, 2011

One business Michigan Health Connect won’t get into: selling EMRs. “There are so many options for a doctor to get an electronic medical record,” Dietzman says. “Our commitment is whatever system you choose, we'll meet you at the door and make sure you're connected.”

ACOs are going to require healthcare organizations to share information—a sticking point when it comes to competitors. But the Michigan program proves that it is possible to build that trust, Dietzman says.

“Trust is important,” he says. “In Michigan one of the things that has facilitated the growth is that folks have been in Michigan a long time and there was an element of trust already established. So I know you, you know me, and we know we can do the right thing here. We're going to have to do it anyway and so we can either do it the expensive way and compete or we can agree that in this area we're going to try and do whatever is most efficient—the right thing for the providers … So at the end of the day how do you do that if you don't get the data where it needs to go?”

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