On October 27, 2011, the Bipartisan Policy Center Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT released its initial findings in a report entitled Delivery System Reform and the Role of Health IT: An Interim Report.
Led by BPC Health Project co-leaders and former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, and comprised of nationally recognized health system leaders, the Task Force recognizes that delivery system reforms that promote coordinated, accountable, patient-centered care cannot be attained without the support of effective health IT.
Accordingly, the Task Force issued findings that reveal the “common attributes” of high performance and new models of care and identify the health IT capabilities and electronic data exchange needed to support them. These findings are based on Task Force deliberations, a literature review and in-depth interviews with leaders of nearly 40 high performing organizations and examples of new models of care.
The Task Force recognizes that the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentives Programs or “Meaningful Use” are an important foundation for new models of care delivery. Continued full funding for Meaningful Use is a significant and necessary commitment to a more highly functioning health care system that can improve quality, achieve better outcomes for the patient and reduce costs.
Looking ahead, the report emphasizes the need for additional health IT tools to create the “data-rich” environments necessary to fully support new models of care delivery, including data-sharing models, supported by analytic tools that effectively manage privacy and security.
Payment reforms that align financial incentives with effective models of delivery and performance, as well as policies that build trust in the use of electronic health information, will spur further innovation and development of health IT and data-sharing capabilities needed for improved health, improved care, and reduced costs.
In the report, the Task Force identifies the following gaps in health IT capabilities that are needed for new models of care, as well the barriers to their adoption:
- How to align incentives to support data-sharing across settings, which is necessary for the creation of the data-rich environments needed for new models of care;
- How to leverage health IT to engage patients with access to information, tools and more effective communication with their clinicians and care teams;
- How to increase public trust in the privacy and security of electronic health information; and
- How to support and expand EHR adoption and Meaningful Use among small physician practices and hospitals.
The Task Force aims to issue recommendations on how to address these gaps and barriers in its final report in early 2012.
- From Community Commons to the Federal Health Data Initiative, Power of Sharing on Display, November 10, 2011