An educational session at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's upcoming Annual National Institute will walk attendees through a readiness assessment for provisions of the health care reform law.

Susan Davis, a director in the health care practice of consultancy KPMG; and Jerry Wollman, senior vice president of corporate operations at the University of Maryland Medical System, will cover the major provisions of reform, how organizations are preparing, and best practices to prepare for the future.

Davis will present findings of the Healthcare Transformation Readiness Assessment survey, a Web-based questionnaire of about 200 questions that KPMG's clients go through. She'll also talk about the need for vast amounts of data to meet quality and cost indicators mandated in the reform law. "But I think we all recognize there's a long way to go before being able collect and use data for operational and reporting purposes," she notes.

One big challenge, from the HITECH Act and reform law, will be to enhance clinical data collection so the focus is not just on process indicators--such as medication being promptly administered when a person presents with stroke symptoms--but on outcomes data as well. Electronic health records certainly will aid in collecting and reporting data, but organizations have many other disparate information systems that need to contribute data--and most organizations don't have a central data repository, she adds.

Davis and Wollman will emphasize the need to be prepared for reform and, in particular, changes in payment methodologies. Wollman will discuss his organization's experience with the readiness assessment survey.

Providers, Davis says, really must understand how big reform is, and the need to prioritize resources even as an organization grapples with other high-priority initiatives.

The educational session, "Readiness Assessment for Reform," is scheduled for June 23. More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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