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Healthcare lawyers share four predictions for value-based healthcare

Healthcare has had its sights set on transitioning over to value-based healthcare for a while now. But moving beyond the current fee-for-service care delivery model has proven challenging. Despite these challenges, some experts believe that value-based healthcare’s reliance on data and data analytics has exciting implications for health IT. Two lawyers share their four predications for value-based healthcare and digital health technology in a Law 360 article.

1) Raw data gains value from value-based healthcare tech

What with EHRs, HIEs, clinical decision-making tools and more, healthcare is generating a massive amount of data, the article said. In order to effectively use and take advantage of these tools, raw data needs to be collected from multiple sources and analyzed in one place.

2) Focus will turn to data sharing

Data sharing will become essential to value-based healthcare, the article said. This, in turn, will motivate those who collect, de-identify, aggregate and analyze clinical data, and the providers who generate the data to further share information. The article warns healthcare vendors and providers that, although data sharing is a positive force when it comes to value-based healthcare, these stakeholders should first consider whether patient authorization is necessary (in some cases it is and in other cases, legally, it is not), whether a provider is required to modify and redistribute its notice of privacy practices, and whether business associates should be handling PHI.

3) The market will be driven by evidence-based and HIPAA compliant tech

Currently, many developers focus on creating healthcare technologies that are patient-facing and wellness-oriented, the article said. This means that the companies creating these tools can avoid regulatory scrutiny, the article explained. However, value-based healthcare may change all that, especially since population health and patient engagement are key factors to successfully achieving value-based healthcare. As providers begin to use these tools, such as an app for their patient to use to document clinical information, the vendors creating these apps and healthcare technologies will then have to ensure their product is HIPAA compliant.

4) Employers take center stage

Employers are the primary purchasers of healthcare and will continue to be, according to the article. This means that employers will also likely greatly influence the use of health IT. Employers have said they want to make telehealth services available to employees, the article said. Furthermore, employers view these wellness programs as cost saving measures and the article said that health IT will facilitate this growth.