Another round of virtual conferences in the books! This week was especially tough in that there were actually three different population health-related conferences going on at exactly the same time. I, along with my team, had to split up a few responsibilities to make sure everything was covered. That being said, the Florida Association of ACOs (FLAACOs) has always been a favorite conference of mine. FLAACOs has gradually gone a little bit more national as of late, but given that I live in West Palm Beach, this conference usually gives me the opportunity to speak with experts in my industry right in my own back yard.
This year my colleague Maria Nikol and I, along with Kelly Conroy of Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting, teamed up to present “Managing Performance Across Payers on One Platform: Dream or Reality?” Given that Kelly has over 30 years of healthcare finance and management experience, including starting the first Medicare ACO in the United States, her perspective is always appreciated. She’s presented with other members of my team at other conferences, and we were glad to have her with us this week. Also, special thanks to Accountable Care Options ACO’s CEO Rich Lucibella for a great introduction.
We know and have experienced, the challenges that ACOs, especially in Florida, face in trying to manage all of their data. There are so many uses, such as trying to assess the quality of care you’re providing, interpreting your ER readmission rates, and ensuring you’re not losing beneficiaries to plurality. However, there are other important data uses that aren’t often spoken about. How about payer contract negotiation or providing insights to your Joint Operating Committees? Finally, there’s also planning for potential unforeseen circumstances- and we know this more than ever due to COVID. Data gives you the ins and outs, the trends, and the predictive capabilities so that you’re always in a position of strength when making important decisions. We covered that and more, and if you’d like to watch the replay of our presentation, simply click here. Keep in mind, you’ll probably have to register with FLAACOs before you can view the session.
Kelly actually participated in another excellent presentation titled “Good Trouble: ONC and CMS Introduced Interoperability Rules. Here’s What it Means for Your Practice.” It featured Care Journey’s President, Aneesh Chopra, and Aledade CEO Farzad Mostashari. It was arguably the most well-attended presentation this week. The focus was primarily about how interoperability is going to play a key role in value-based care going forward. It’s similar to what Maria spoke about with Travis Broome and Kent Locklear during the last NAACOS conference. Aneesh noted that the keyword in everything that the ONC has put together is Substitutable Medical ApplicaTions (SMART) on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). What SMART on FHIR does is, if you ask for it, give you that interoperability between EHRs and other applications. The problem is you have to actively ask for it i.e. it’s not “default” so to speak. It’s a step in the right direction, but I think everyone is a little frustrated with the fact that interoperability isn’t yet the default option.
I would be remiss not to mention that FLAACOS nearly didn’t happen. With the pandemic wreaking havoc on in-person events, some conferences didn’t have the experience to revamp their event into something virtual. FLAACOS managed to regroup and get everything together with the combined help of ACOExhibitHall and the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative. They did a solid job given the challenges. All the major topics were covered: direct contracting, behavioral health, interoperability, data analytics, policy changes, and COVID-19 challenges. At the end, the theme is that value-based care continues to evolve, and despite what 2020 has thrown at us, we expect to come back even stronger in the coming years. Hopefully, we’ll see everyone in person in Orlando in 2021.