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Survey: Healthcare Finance Execs say ACOs are Top Priority

July 30, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to a survey conducted by Firstsource Solutions USA (Louisville, Ky.), a revenue cycle solution provider, healthcare finance executives are placing a renewed focus on developing accountable care organization (ACO) partnerships after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The survey, of 100 professionals in the healthcare finance industry, found that close to half (49 percent) of respondents said developing accountable-care partnerships should be the top priority for providers.

This was the response despite the fact that only 56 percent agree that a strong accountable care organization network will trim spending, improving the bottom lines of clinics and hospitals.

"The priorities for the industry as a whole differ from the current priorities of individual organizations right now," Mitzi Winters, President and CEO of Global Healthcare Solutions, Firstsource, said in a statement. "This, coupled with financial system overhauls, is creating an extremely complex environment for healthcare finance executives to navigate. Healthcare reform changes have taken precedence and ICD-10 conversions have been put on the back burner for the time being."

Twenty-seven percent of executives surveyed said that technological solutions that simplify financial and administrative processes should be the top priority under healthcare reform, while 24 percent said working on their information technology infrastructure, readying themselves to participate in health information exchanges should be. Only 22 percent said healthcare reform was the top priority for their organization at the current time. Twenty-eight percent of respondents indicated that meaningful use mandates were the top priority for their organization, followed by clinical and financial system conversions (27 percent). Only three percent of respondents said conversion to ICD-10 was their top priority.  

While many said developing an ACO should be the top priority, only nine percent are currently focused on it.More than half, (53 percent) said that their organization was undergoing a technology overhaul of their financial system due to electronic health record system adoption.

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