Creating an Interoperability Strategy that Delivers Results: How to Prioritize Integrations within Care Management and Across the Healthcare Ecosystem
To achieve seamless care coordination, reduce costs, and increase efficiencies, care management platforms must integrate effectively within care management functions as well as across the entire healthcare ecosystem. However, identifying and prioritizing the right integrations can prove challenging for health plans. To get the most out of an interoperability strategy, health plans should understand market drivers and establish goals for what should be accomplished through enhanced integration.
After working with many health plans on developing and executing their interoperability strategies, we have a thorough understanding of how the most successful plans view interoperability.
With the right integrations in place, health plans can break down siloes, support new regulations and payment models, and improve the member experience.
The Race is On: Market Dynamics and Priorities Driving Urgency for Interoperable Care Management Systems
New regulations, evolving payment models, and shifting member expectations are driving urgency for health plans to advance interoperability across multiple systems. For example, the recently proposed CMS rule, “Advancing Interoperability and Improving Prior Authorization Processes,” will prompt health plans to address integration gaps in their prior authorization and utilization management processes. In addition, the transition to value-based care demands more advanced interoperability to allow for better collaboration and outcomes.
Meanwhile, payers are also investing in strategies that improve health outcomes and member experience to advance ratings in the CMS Star Ratings program. Star Ratings can have a significant financial impact for health plans, as moving up from a 3.5- to 4-star rating is worth an additional $400 per member per year on average for Medicare Advantage plans. With member satisfaction and care outcomes being key drivers of the health plan rating, many are finding interoperability to be a critical investment for advancement in these core areas.
Finally, innovation in digital experiences and rising consumerism in the industry continue to shift to member expectations of access to health data and information from across the broader healthcare ecosystem. Members are seeking ease of access to their health and claims data, making efficient exchange of information a top priority.
Integrating the Care Management Function
When building a successful integration strategy to address these needs, health plans should first consider several key integrations within the care management function. These integrations facilitate better care coordination, improve communication, and ultimately optimize health outcomes. To begin, payers should consider how their core care management platform will integrate with solutions housing these types of data:
Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): According to the National Academy of Medicine, new payment models are prompting health plans to prioritize strategies to improve the social wellbeing of their members. SDOH account for approximately 80-90% of a member’s overall health, with medical care accounting for only 10-20%. As a result, many health plans are elevating the importance of investing in ways to enable members to manage aspects of their environment that contribute to overall health.
By systematically integrating care management with SDOH data, care coordinators can deliver more whole-person care and services by supporting social and economic needs that contribute to a member’s health status. By quickly and easily connecting members with social services, enabling seamless data exchange, and tracking and measuring progress, care coordinators can support overall health needs of their members.
Clinical Criteria: Integrating care management with clinical criteria platforms enables health plans to streamline utilization management (UM) workflows, while informing care strategies that improve outcomes for members and reduce costs for health plans. The integration has become more critical for health plans as costs continue to rise and health plans seek new strategies for improving efficiencies.
Lettering & Correspondence: Timely, clear, and effective communication can advance member engagement, a key factor when it comes to improving overall health outcomes. Integrating care management with lettering and correspondence solutions allows efficient creation of personalized member mailings. Streamlining the process of delivering real-time correspondence for denials, appeals and grievances, and other member communications strengthens member engagement and saves time for health plan administrators.
Business Rules: When business rules are seamlessly integrated with a care management platform, health plans can more effectively manage complex care, automate best practices, and streamline the prior authorization process. Improving efficiencies through this level of integration enables health plans to make strides in preparation for new CMS guidelines to improve processes and efficiencies related to prior authorizations.
Business Intelligence: Health plans are managing more data than ever before. To unlock insights and intelligence behind the data, health plans require use of advanced tools. Integrating reporting and business intelligence allows health plans and care managers to easily access and use the real-time data to improve care management strategy and workflows.
Prioritizing Integrations Across Healthcare Ecosystem
In addition to interoperability within the function, care management solutions should integrate with platforms across the healthcare ecosystem to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. As health plans build their interoperability strategies, health plans should prioritize integrations with other functional systems, including:
Core administrative processing system (CAPS): Integrating claims data into care management workflows allows care managers to incorporate indicators such as repeat provider visits, lack of medication adherence, and missed encounters to create the most effective care plans. With access to the complete view of member history and claims data, care managers can make more informed decisions. Efficient exchange of this type of information is integral to the success of value-based care.
Payment integrity platforms: Interoperability between care management and payment integrity platforms ensures payment teams can access real-time clinical data. As a result, they can improve the accuracy of the claim, configure more effective benefit packages, and reduce provider and member abrasion. The integration also improves efficiencies and reduces costs by eliminating manual data entry.
Digital health management tools: The availability of digital tools and remote monitoring devices for connectivity to patients continues to grow exponentially. With better access to patient data from multiple sources, care managers can more effectively care for members and improve outcomes. According to HIT Consultant, “Creating and utilizing clinical-grade digital health innovations increases adherence and provides members with more accessibility. By utilizing things consumers already have – such as smartphones and videoconferencing platforms – these innovations can create new pathways to care.” Integrating care management platforms with innovative digital health tools not only improves member satisfaction, but also promotes better health outcomes and care quality. By delivering results in these areas, health plans can support value-based care and boost Star Ratings.
Delivering Interoperability Strategy with GuidingCare®
GuidingCare takes a multi-faceted approach to interoperability that includes both integrations within the care management function, as well as those across the entire healthcare ecosystem. With more than 75 unique vendor integrations and 12 productized integrations, and 75 API endpoints to integrate content into native workflows, GuidingCare provides the tools and resources health plans need to successfully execute their care management interoperability strategies.
To learn more about how about how GuidingCare’s highly interoperable platform can accelerate your organization’s care management strategies, visit the GuidingCare page on the HealthEdge website.