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Healthcare Execs Define Population Health IT at KLAS Keystone Summit

October 6, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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At the KLAS Keystone Summit last month, healthcare IT vendor and provider executives agreed to a definition of core provider population health IT functionality.

This definition, agreed to by stakeholders at the Snowbird Resort in Utah, was designed to benefit healthcare provider organizations, who assume risk, by defining core functionality that most use to operate. KLAS Research will utilize this definition framework throughout 2017 to better define the competencies of industry-vended IT solutions and publish the results in a population health report, the Orem, Utah-based organization said in an announcement.

The Summit included executives from 16 healthcare IT vendor companies, three healthcare services firms, 31 provider organizations, and two payer organizations. According to a KLAS white paper on the Summit, “The core functionalities that risk-bearing organizations need in order to manage risk are broad and interconnected. Risk-bearing organizations will often need functionalities not listed below, but nearly all risk-bearing organizations will require those listed below. Six key layers of functionality stand out as somewhat independent.” These six layers, according to the white paper, are: aggregation; analyze; care coordination/health improvement; administrative/financial; patient engagement; and clinician engagement.

The provider population health IT framework was developed to differentiate current technologies, with an expectation that it will need to evolve in parallel with the evolution of the population health IT market. Stakeholders have agreed to a method for ongoing validation and reporting of which vendor solutions are “complete.” The validation includes:

  • Principle: A solution is deemed complete after five provider organizations report to KLAS that all specified required functionalities in a vertical are implemented and live within their organization.
  • Method: In order to ensure that these functionalities are implemented at scale, only provider organizations with more than 30,000 risk-based lives will be asked to report on their experiences. KLAS will continually ask organizations to report on these verticals until five fully adopted organizations can be identified.
  • Reporting: KLAS will validate market and vendor progress toward the framework twice during 2017 (once mid-year and once at year-end). All providers and any subscribing vendors will have access to this research.

Shawn Griffin, M.D. (Memorial Hermann Physician Network); Richard Vath, M.D. (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System); Keith Fernandez, M.D. (Privia Health); and Rick Schooler, CIO, Orlando Health, played lead roles in the creation of this definition framework. “I am proud of the collaborative work that attendees contributed and the time invested to produce this framework to educate providers and vendors of the tools and needs to take better care of our populations,” said Griffin. “We recognize that this framework is not perfect but is reflective of our shared experiences, and we look forward to improving this based on feedback.”

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