Health Reform: Priorities and Challenges for Hospital Executives
The health care system is changing — and those changes are coming rapidly and from multiple directions. In October of 2010, hospitals can begin to qualify for incentive payments for “Meaningful Use” of electronic health records (EHRs). The incentives are substantial: a typical community hospital can receive over $6 million, so achieving meaningful use is a goal for most organizations. Hospitals can choose to create accountable care organizations and share savings with Medicare and Medicaid starting in 2012. By 2013, hospitals must convert to the ICD-10 coding system; which will affect reporting, billing, quality reporting and many other aspects of record keeping. The incentives and penalties under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services value-based purchasing program also begin to affect Medicare reimbursement starting in 2013 and more than 30 million newly insured individuals will start to enter the health system in 2014. All these changes raise some obvious questions: how are hospitals setting priorities to meet these new requirements, where are they in their journey and what challenges do they see? To answer these questions, we conducted a survey of 60 executives at health delivery organizations during June and early July of 2010.
The Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices is the applied research arm of CSC’s Healthcare Group.
The survey revealed some clear priorities: the focus now is on achieving meaningful use, but many hospitals are attracted to the concept of accountable care and making decisions now on how to take advantage of this opportunity. IT executives were very focused on meeting meaningful use – 84 percent said it was their top priority. Among operational executives, 48 percent cited meaningful use as their number one priority; for 31 percent the number one priority was preparing for new models of accountable care. Fifty-one percent of the hospitals are planning to qualify for meaningful use in 2011, and another 34 percent in 2012. They believe the biggest challenges in meeting meaningful use incentives will be physician documentation, reporting of quality metrics and implementing health information exchanges. Twenty-five percent of our sample plan to participate in pilots of bundled payments or accountable care organizations and only 10 percent have already made a decision, leaving most of the market undecided.
For more information, please contact us.