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Customer Experience and Design

Top Technology Trends in Healthcare – May 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

Patient Engagement and e-Patients

The term “patient engagement” is on the tip of the healthcare industry’s tongue these days. We can only end the long-running trend of low patient engagement, along with the dangerously high cost of care, by shifting to true patient engagement that holds the patient experience, and the power of the resulting data, at forefront of healthcare business strategy. The healthcare industry is shifting emphasis to the patient, caused not only by government mandates but also by a shift in consumer expectations inspired by other industries that have permeated healthcare.

Healthcare Payment Reform

It is a common opinion that our healthcare system does not provide good value for the care received. Incentives for hospitals are not properly matched with delivering the best possible care at an affordable rate. In response, healthcare payment reform models have been created. Bundled payments reimburse healthcare providers based on the expected cost of a group of services delivered, instead of payment for each treatment provided. Hospital value based purchasing tie reimbursement to the quality of care delivered based on clinical results and patient satisfaction.

Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was introduced in 2010 as a national healthcare plan to reform the American healthcare system. Starting in October 2013, over 48 million uninsured Americans will be eligible for enrollment in subsidized plans through state-run health insurance exchanges, with annually increasing fines for those who go uncovered. Adding millions of consumers to the health care system will increase consumption dramatically and put a strain on providers.

ACOs and Population Health Management

An ACO is a group of healthcare providers that partner under a payment and delivery reform model that become collectively accountable for the full continuum of care for a population of patients. This reform model ultimately ties reimbursement to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for the patient population. PHM aims to improve the overall health of high- and low risk patients by addressing personal health behaviors. PHM places an emphasis on primary care to provide preventative, acute and chronic illness care, which is coupled with efforts to educate patients and encourage behavior and lifestyle changes.

Big Data

The healthcare industry generates massive volumes of data, which often isn’t leveraged to its full potential. In an industry where competitive pressures and regulatory demands are intense, information is a critical business asset, and healthcare organizations can’t afford to stay behind. Analysis of Big Data can help proactively monitor the health of the community population and respond to conditions such as potential illness outbreaks.

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