The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, continuing the momentum created by the 21st Century Cures Act and reflecting the federal government’s commitment to making patients’ electronic health information accessible on their smartphones. The new plan aims to accomplish four initiatives by using healthIT over the course of the five-year period.
The 2020-2025 plan focuses on improving the overall access, exchange, and use of electronic health information, while promoting the leading edge that is healthIT. The four initiatives envisioned within the plan are:
- Promote Health and Wellness
- By increasing communication between providers and patients, this allows for an open system of knowledge available to patients.
- Enhance the Delivery and Experience of Care
- With a focus on efficiency, the new plan allows improvement in what would typically be long wait times and low quality of care. Patients are able to be educated on the care they are receiving, making it a more trustworthy environment.
- Build a Secure, Data-Driven Ecosystem to Accelerate Research and Innovation
- The system will serve as a tool that providers can utilize to improve the quality of care they are giving to patients, while becoming more innovative.
- Connect Health Care with Health Data
- A system such as this one bridges health care to health data, serving many purposes while ensuring that quality care is provided.
In addition to patient empowerment, the U.S. health care system is continuing progress toward value-based care, in which payment is linked to measures of provider performance and patient outcomes and is based on evidence-based practices and guidelines. In 2018, approximately 61% of public and private health care spending was part of a value-based payment or pay-for- performance model, up from 23% three years earlier. This movement is likely to continue and perhaps accelerate due to projected increases in health care spending.
The shift to value-based care has created new incentives for providers in a variety of settings to improve quality and patient outcomes. These incentives place greater importance on addressing SDOH and patient health behaviors and engaging in preventive care, population health management, and disease management.
Success in value-based payment models is contingent in part on health care provider and payer access to, and exchange of, robust population-level data that allows them to better understand the needs of their patients, stratify patients by risk, engage in patient outreach, and track outcomes over time. Health IT — such as registries and other data systems — plays a fundamental role in the collection, reporting, and analysis of data needed to support value-based care.
To highlight the innovative changes that will be made with this new plan, it’s important to note the increase in efficiency brought by the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan. The utilization of HIE to support value based care, as well as healthIT as a whole, allows the opportunity to reduce costs while simultaneously improving the outcome for patients.
This implementation of a modernized health care system brings up the question of the role providers will play in this plan. With the goal in mind to prioritize patient care, this opens the door for increased communication between providers and their patients. This change will vastly increase efficiency for both parties while ensuring that all patients are valued. Centralis Health is able to provide these solutions thanks to our specialization in this field and our many years of expertise developed while studying innovative applications of technology to health care, combined with the deployment of business intelligence and advanced analytics in the health care space.