Making it local: Beacon Communities use health information technology to optimize care management.
Care management aims to provide cost-effective, coordinated, non-duplicative care to improve care quality, population health, and reduce costs. The 17 communities receiving funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology through the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program are leaders in building and strengthening their health information technology (health IT) infrastructure to provide more effective and efficient care management. This article profiles 6 Beacon Communities' health IT-enabled care management programs, highlighting the influence of local context on program strategy and design, and describing challenges, lessons learned, and policy implications for care delivery and payment reform. The unique needs (eg, disease burden, demographics), community partnerships, and existing resources and infrastructure all exerted significant influence on the overall priorities and design of each community's care management program. Though each Beacon Community needed to engage in a similar set of care management tasks--including patient identification, stratification, and prioritization; intervention; patient engagement; and evaluation--the contextual factors helped shape the specific strategies and tools used to carry out these tasks and achieve their objectives. Although providers across the country are striving to deliver standardized, high-quality care, the diverse contexts in which this care is delivered significantly influence the priorities, strategies, and design of community-based care management interventions. Gaps and challenges in implementing effective community-based care management programs include: optimizing allocation of care management services; lack of available technology tailored to care management needs; lack of standards and interoperability; integrating care management into care settings; evaluating impact; and funding and sustainability.
Allen, A; Des Jardins, TR; Heider, A; Kanger, CR; Lobach, DF; McWilliams, L; Polello, JM; Rein, AL; Schachter, AA; Singh, R; Sorondo, B; Tulikangas, MC; Turske, SA
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