Health Information Management

News: AHIMA releases ACO white paper

CDI Strategies, August 4, 2011

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Much discussion has been held of late regarding the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). Not to be left out of the discussion process, AHIMA’s Thought Leadership Forum recently released a white paper on the matter entitled, Accountable Care: Implications for Managing Health Information.

CMS established ACOs under a proposed rule earlier the year. The proposal aims to enforce mandates included in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which required the creation of a “shared savings program to promote accountability for patient care and coordinate services under the various government healthcare payment programs.
The AHIMA white paper includes a quote from CMS Administrator Donald Berwick from New England Journal of Medicine stating that “Information management—making sure patients and all health care providers have the right information at the point of care—will be a core competency of ACOs.”
AHIMA goes on to state that the “efficient, expedited exchange of business and clinical information among all stakeholders” … “is absolutely critical for the success of the accountable care model.”
In a scenario similar to that of the implementation of electronic medical records and the new ICD-10 code set, the required clarity of clinical information may required additional efforts from the CDI team.
As the AHIMA white paper states, “less apparent is the need for the information itself, which must be accurate, timely, protected, and accessible. High-quality information serves as the foundation for providing coordinated care for individuals and support for the financial viability of the ACO.”

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