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Payment reform drives mobile data capture apps for managed care

As new payment programs go into effect, providers will need more data capture functionality from their EHRs, especially for managed care populations.

The Florida Medicaid program, Statewide Medicaid Managed Care, will take effect next year, impacting how beneficiaries will become part of managed care. The state program is yet another important sign of how the fee-for-service model is changing all around us, and demonstrates the need for mobile data capture. As a result of these increasing changes, more providers will likely seek far more functionality out of their EHR systems than what's available to them today. 

With many similar new payment models developing out of accountable care organizations and federal, state and private programs, the drive toward outcome-based incentives and payments is beginning to push EHR vendors to change. The payment shift is toward more measurement and management of disease with a focus on outcomes, which would also mean electronic data applications have to become more connected and engaged with patients. 

We can study type 2 diabetes as an example of disease management. It is commonly known that simply tracking system blood glucose is not enough to help improve a patient's condition. Providers are looking to leverage tools to help track and monitor patient activities once they leave the office. Weight maintenance, exercise and other vitals are some of the examples that more providers are seeking to capture and track with their EHR systems. 

Clinicians can use products that are integrated and supported natively with mobile applications that directly capture and present data. Or, EHR vendors can begin partnering with other mHealth app vendors to allow providers to receive and process relevant information via cloud services.

Vendors developing EHR systems will need to take into consideration the managed care scenario and create more tools that can effectively quantify and measure the reduction of adverse events associated with common chronic diseases. Having the ability to monitor, educate and manage patient disease through the use of new devices and communication will significantly help improve the population's health.

Reda Chouffani is vice president of development with Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.

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