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ACOs Report Need for Better Value-Based Financial Software

July 25, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Value-based financial software remains a priority for operational accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to a recent survey.
For the survey, conducted by the New York City-based Black Book Research, researchers asked more than 600 ACO leaders on how they're dealing with infrastructure. Ninety-seven percent confirm that financial software is a priority and 93 percent are struggling to determine how much risk they have assumed without this infrastructure in place. 
Furthermore, 78 percent of CFOs at hospitals and healthcare organizations running ACOs say they are caught between two worlds. There is revenue management services and the inflow of cash to sustain present fee-for-service reimbursement and selecting ACO strategic software to assemble the groundwork to succeed with imminent risk-bearing payment models.
“Large ACO’s have the capital and provider base to strategically select vendors who can deliver end-to-end financial services and software now, ahead of tackling population health, clinical integration and business intelligence tools into the technology amalgam,” Doug Brown, President of Black Book, said in a statement. 
For the survey, Black Book surveyed an array of Medicare ACOs as well as private organizations. They say electronic health record (EHR) vendors are not currently meeting the financial and risk management needs of most (91 percent) ACOs. Ninety-two percent of respondents said their EHR system did not offer the functionality for ACO start up. 
The ramp up might not be happening as soon as the ACO leaders would like. Sixty-seven percent say they don't have the financial capital to invest in better financial operations and technology to become competitive in value-based care in 2015. Up to 90 percent say that without better financial software they may have to opt out of risk-based contracts.
The survey results paint a grim reality for ACOs. All but five percent of respondents say that claims data, unstructured governance models, physician recruitment and EHR replacements are stopping motions towards taking on higher-risk contracts.


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