Investment areas can be viewed as value-based, but they also benefit fee-for-service models.
The leading area of healthcare IT investment over the next three years is clinical analytics (65%), according to respondents in the 2018 HealthLeaders Media Annual Industry Outlook Survey. Clinical analytics is followed by a cluster of responses that includes EHR interoperability (49%); mobile health, mobile technology (44%); financial analytics (42%); and data-driven knowledge of patient health factors (40%).
In many ways, these investment areas can all be viewed through a value-based care lens, but they also benefit a fee-for-service model.
Christian Pass, senior vice president and chief financial officer at John Muir Health, an integrated nonprofit health system based in Walnut Creek, California, and lead advisor for this Intelligence Report survey, says John Muir Health’s IT investment has addressed both value-based and industry infrastructure needs.
"We've extended our Epic platform out to the independent physicians. We've invested heavily in analytics as well as infrastructure, talent, and learning capabilities so we can manage for value. We need to understand our business differently than we did before, but frankly, most of the technology investment to date is what I would call infrastructure-related. We're really looking at investing in technology that helps us work faster with less manual intervention, and also provides a better customer experience," Pass says.
Healthcare IT ROI
Survey results for healthcare IT return on investment are encouraging. For example, ranked by combined responses for strong and moderate return on investment, the top areas are: financial analytics (51%) and clinical IT (47%), with EHR interoperability (44%) and clinical analytics (44%) in a tie. Respondents clearly feel that they are seeing financial rewards for their investment.
"From an analytics perspective, we're definitely getting some payback, but we have not hit the potential of what we think we can get," says Pass about John Muir Health’s investments. "I would also say that in revenue cycle we've been using a lot of analytics to drive better performance and we see benefit in that."
Jonathan Bees is the senior research analyst at HealthLeaders Media.