Technology Is Proven as One of the Top Trends for Home Health

Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2016 3:30 PM

The home health care industry is constantly brainstorming new ideas to improve outcomes for their patients. Currently, technology has become one of the top trends for home health.

Currently, the method for technology integration is very segmented, and mostly pushed forward by new regulations demanding quality measures to get a read on how well providers are achieving goals, according to Jeffrey Springer, vice president of Healthcare Solutions at health tech consulting firm CitiusTech.

“Under current regulations, technology objectives become about shiny tools, and you end up with [so many] systems that become hard to manage,” Springer said during the HIMSS Pop Health Forum 2016 in Chicago this week. “Chasing shiny objects is very common. But how do we come up with a strategy for two to five years from now? Now one knows what it will look like.”

As the payment system shifts away from fee for service to a value based purchasing system, population health will likely see a boost, according to Springer. Behavior will only change as the payment system leads the way, Springer said.

“As we move toward payment reform, ROI has to come,” Springer said. “If you follow the money, you’ll figure out the behavior patterns. There was no population health because the payment model was fee for service. Different payments drive different behavior, different types of thinking.”

“It’s about being proactive and breaking down the four walls of the institutions,” Springer said.

This shift will allow home health agencies the opportunity to drive those efficiencies and better health outcomes from patients once they leave the acute care setting.

“CFOs will have to get involved,” Springer said. “Show me the ROI.”
“From a regulation perspective, there are probably 300 quality measures, and more are coming,” Springer said. “That’s impossible to manage by any one provider.”

“There’s nothing uglier than health care data,” he said. “All systems have different data, and you’ve got to make sense of it.”

“[A CMO] needs a way to engage with other providers, engage patients,” Springer said. “In a fee-for-service world, they don’t think about shared savings decisions. They need a data strategy and analytics strategy that supports that.”

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