Tools still lacking to support value-based care: Fifty-three percent of health plan executives said physicians have the tools they need, but only 43 percent of physicians agreed.
EHRs are not giving physicians all they need: Seventy-five percent of health plan executives said electronic health records (EHRs) have everything physicians need, while only 54 percent of physicians agreed.
New investment needed to close gaps and align payers and providers: Eighty-five percent of health plan executives said co-investment in health information technology (HIT) by payers and providers would accelerate the adoption of value-based care.
A new study of physicians and health plan executives reveals some progress toward achieving value-based care, but indicates health information technology, such as electronic health records (EHRs) are still not bridging many critical gaps. The study points to opportunity for further alignment between health plans and providers to advance value-based care, including extending the capabilities of electronic health records (EHRs) and co-investment by providers and health plans in HIT. "Progress on the Path to Value-Based Care" is the second annual study from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) and Inovalon (NASDAQ: INOV) to gauge perceptions of physicians and health plan executives on the healthcare industry's journey from fee-for-service to value-based care, a healthcare system centered on the value patients receive, not on the quantity of services delivered.
The study analyzes results from a survey of 452 primary care physicians and health plan executives. It also examines changes in perceptions over the past year. Key findings from the analysis include:
Fee-for-service still dominates: While 82 percent of physicians and health plan executives agreed the transition to value-based care will continue regardless of legislative changes to healthcare in Washington, only 29 percent of physicians and health plan executives said they believe healthcare in the United States is value based, an increase of only four percentage points from the 2016 study.
More work to be done to align health plans and providers: Seventy percent of health plan executives said progress has been made to better align health plans and providers over the past year, but only 47 percent of physicians agreed.
Tools still lacking to advance value-based care, but there has been progress: Fifty-three percent of health plan executives said physicians have the tools they need to succeed under value-based care, but only 43 percent of physicians agreed. Gaps are closing, however. In the 2016 study, only 44 percent of health plan executives and 29 percent of physicians said physicians had the tools they need.
EHRs are not closing gaps, but extending their capabilities could unleash value: Seventy percent of physicians said they do not see a clear link between their EHRs and better patient outcomes. Additionally, while 75 percent of health plan executives said EHRs have everything physicians need, only 54 percent of physicians agreed. Seventy-one percent of physicians said they would be willing to spend more time with their EHR if the technology could yield insights unique to their patients. Sixty-five percent of physicians also indicated that if they could get one key insight at the point of care it would be information related to performance or quality measures that apply to their individual patients.
Co-investment in HIT may be key: Eighty-five percent of health plan executives said co-investment by health plans and providers in HIT would accelerate value-based care adoption. Health plan executives' interest in co-investment may be related to enhancing patient care—77 percent said investments made in technology for quality initiatives have improved the value of healthcare for patients.
"The goal of our annual study is to gauge whether physicians and health plan executives are aligned in their perceptions and efforts regarding the transition to value-based care," said David Freeman, general manager, Information Ventures, Quest Diagnostics. "We've documented progress over the past year, notably with tools available to aid the transition, but work clearly remains. Extending the capabilities of existing technologies, most notably EHRs, and shared HIT investments by health plans and providers may speed physician adoption of value-based care."
"Our study supports the widely-accepted notion that data and technology are critical to the success of value-based care. But is also indicates that more needs to be done to make data actionable, accessible and patient-specific, particularly for physicians," said L. Patrick James, M.D., chief clinical officer for health plans and policy, medical affairs, Quest Diagnostics. "One of the study's most striking findings is that physicians question the value of EHRs, but they'd be willing to spend more time with them if they could ultimately gain patient-specific insights in real-time."
The study, "Progress on the Path to Value-Based Care," can be downloaded here.
To download the 2016 study, "Finding a Faster Path to Value-Based Care, click here.
Methodology Regina Corso Consulting conducted an online survey on behalf of Quest Diagnostics and Inovalon from April 7-17, 2017. The survey was conducted among 452 respondents. Of these, 302 were primary care physicians employed in a private practice but who have an affiliation with a hospital and 150 were health plan executives (director-level and above). The margin of error for the full sample was +/- 5 percent.
About Inovalon Inovalon is a leading technology company providing cloud-based platforms empowering a data-driven transformation from volume-based to value-based models throughout the healthcare industry. Leveraging large-scale data interconnectivity capabilities, unparalleled proprietary data sets, advanced analytics, data-driven intervention systems, and industry-leading subject matter expertise, Inovalon enables the assessment and improvement of clinical and quality outcomes and financial performance across the healthcare ecosystem. From health plans and provider organizations, to pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, Inovalon's unique achievement of value is delivered through the effective progression of "Turning Data into Insight, and Insight into Action®." Providing technology that supports nearly 500 healthcare organizations, Inovalon's platforms are informed by data pertaining to more than 856,000 physicians, 375,000 clinical facilities, and more than 158 million Americans. Data Diagnostics® is a trademark of Inovalon, and the system and processes generally described herein are proprietary to Inovalon as the sole owner of the intellectual property. For more information, visit www.inovalon.com or www.datadiagnostics.com.
About Quest Diagnostics Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 43,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com
QuestQuanum: The company's Quanum™ data analytics and information technology solutions help providers and health plans connect across healthcare and analyze health data to improve quality, health and financial outcomes. For more information, visit DDx.QuestDiagnostics.com/Quanum.
50th Anniversary: In 2017, Quest Diagnostics celebrates 50 years of life-changing results. To learn about our legacy of accomplishments and quest to improve healthcare in the future, visit www.QuestDiagnostics.com/50Years.