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Health analytics provide the critical foundation for Catholic Health Initiatives to improve care for at-risk populations.
Catholic Health Initiatives worked with Accenture on strategy and implementation of population health analytics. Analytics-powered capabilities offer insights that enable organizational leaders to see risks more clearly, control costs and enhance the quality of care—particularly among at-risk populations such as the elderly, the poor and people with chronic conditions.
Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) is a national nonprofit system founded in 1995 and headquartered in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system includes more than 2,000 employed physicians; 86 hospitals; two academic medical centers; 40 facilities for long-term care, assisted and residential living; community health-services organizations; home health agencies; and two accredited nursing colleges. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With more than 80,000 employees, CHI ranks as the third-largest faith-based health system in the United States.
US healthcare continues to move from fee-for-service reimbursement to business models based on clinical outcomes, efficiency, patient satisfaction and quality. The impetus for action has accelerated as major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, are being implemented. “Over the past 12 months,” according to John Froehlich, strategy leader for Accenture Health Analytics in North America, “a number of our large, integrated delivery network clients have been wrestling with strategies to respond to changing delivery and reimbursement models.”
CHI recognized the importance of developing an enterprise-wide population health strategy. This effort built on the organization’s existing information management (IM) strategy. This next-generation strategy will use CHI’s enterprise information to build enterprise-wide analytics—including modeling, optimization and predictive analysis—which are essential for improving efficiency, managing risk, controlling costs and improving care management. The decision to partner with Accenture was based on the company’s deep experience in analytics and the healthcare industry, and its reputation for delivering workable end-to-end solutions. In previous projects for CHI, Accenture provided a population health strategy, information management and population segmentation models.
In 2012, CHI asked Accenture to assess implementing the population health strategy at local levels as well across the organization. “CHI had already embraced a strategy where managing information as an asset is critical to success,” said Scott Alister, Accenture strategy executive for Health Analytics in North America.
Accenture has designed the architecture and infrastructure to support a comprehensive population health initiative. Working in multiple areas simultaneously over nine months,
Accenture has helped CHI:
Advance the information management governance for the overall program by expanding information management to integrate components such as data, analytics, reporting and data-integration architecture.
Establish the concept of an Analytics Center of Excellence, which will efficiently serve enterprise and local market needs for leaders across the nonprofit organization.
Coordinate current analytics vendor solutions into an analytics portfolio, which guides the rollout of vendors’ solutions and aligns the use of tools in local markets with system-wide management.
Build out common data areas for the population health initiative in the enterprise data warehouse that incorporate external data across the continuum of care. To accomplish this, Accenture leveraged proprietary frameworks and assets across Accenture Analytics, Digital Data & Analytics and the company’s Healthcare Practice. Some of these assets include an operating model, analytics-use cases, governance structures, data models, vendor assessment tools and implementation tools pertaining to population health.
After working with CHI leaders to evolve their enterprise analytics strategy, Accenture enhanced the existing architecture and infrastructure to support a comprehensive population health initiative. This next-generation approach will provide a unified way to monitor costs and the quality of care.
As US healthcare organizations make significant changes in operations to address impending federal mandates, CHI will be well-positioned to manage risks related to efforts to control costs and focus on the delivery of affordable, high-quality care. “By identifying at-risk population groups, such as the uninsured and Medicare recipients, we can provide precise interventions to improve overall patient care and quality of life,” said Evon Holladay, CHI’s vice president for enterprise intelligence.
Outcomes can be improved by closely monitoring data related to the health of population segments with similar characteristics and tracking which treatments work effectively. Watchful care management, based on leading practices as well as research and innovation, can help ward off avoidable infections and ailments related to aging and chronic medical conditions. Insights from population health analytics will help CHI leaders make decisions that are well aligned with high-performance healthcare.
The ability to manage cost and quality is critically important for a nonprofit organization such as CHI, which provides hundreds of millions of dollars in charity services each year. Prudent expenditure of charitable contributions allows for additional care to be delivered to the indigent, along with more resources for clinics, education and research.
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