On January 10, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the formation of 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bringing the grand total to more than 250 ACOs. Comprised of physicians, hospitals and health systems, each of these ACOs must be able to exchange data on the designated population of Medicare patients included in the CMS program. What’s more, they need to be able to analyze the data to determine if they are meeting 33 distinct quality measures concerning care coordination, patient safety, preventive health services, at-risk populations, and patient/caregiver experience of care.
However, if the stakeholders in these ACOs aren’t all sharing and analyzing data that uses the same data terminologies, their success could be impacted. This is where data “normalization” comes in. It can greatly improve operational efficiencies and patient outcomes not just for ACOs, but for all healthcare providers and payers nationwide.