John Squire, president and COO at ambulatory software vendor Amazing Charts, offers four health information technology predictions for 2016:
Problems will provide new answers for EHRs. With a few notable exceptions, EHRs are often blamed for physician burnout and dissatisfaction. Now EHR vendors are exploring the problem-oriented medical record, a more intuitive approach that works the same way a doctor thinks. It organizes clinical records and practice workflows around specific patient problems, making it faster and more satisfying for physicians to use. Look for new problem-based EHR systems to gain market share in 2016.
Chronic Care Management (CCM) will grow quickly. To promote effective care management of chronic illnesses, CMS introduced CPT code 99490 in 2015. This code reimburses providers for outreach between office visits, such as telephone conversations, medication reconciliation, and coordination among caregivers. New levels of technology integration will drive the ability of clinicians to complete CCM reporting of remote care from inside their EHR.
Also See: Data in 2016: 10 Surprising Takes
Healthcare costs will get more transparent. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) encouraged millions of people to sign up for high-deductible plans, which means routine healthcare is paid for out of pocket. Many of these patients are demanding more price transparency from their physicians and insurers. As a result, nontraditional value-based payment models-such as Medicare Advantage, Direct Primary Care (DPC) and on-jobsite/near-jobsite clinics-will continue to grow in popularity.
EHR interoperability will remain elusive. EHR interoperability exists within Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Health Information Exchange (HIE) networks. But, outside of these organizations the business case is weak and active participation in sharing data is relatively low. Until the industry as a whole embraces the need for true interoperability and places population health and seamless exchange of data ahead of corporate silos, the full potential of interoperability will not be realized.
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