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Fragmented Data Represents Health Care Providers' Biggest Barrier to Determining Total Cost of Care

Highly fragmented data is health care providers' most frequently cited roadblock to determining their total cost of care, according to the results of a survey of 142 health care leaders that was sponsored by SCIO Health Analytics and HealthLeaders Media.

The survey found that 58% of respondents cited highly fragmented data as their biggest barrier to ascertaining the total cost of care, while 20% say their top issue is a lack of resources. Additionally, respondents say they lack access to several data types critical to understanding their organizations' total cost-of-care efforts, including socioeconomic (57%), post-acute care (44%), and behavioral (32%).

The survey results also illustrate that, as providers attempt to manage competing priorities and take on value-based care business models, they must also move to better manage costs across their populations and networks. Survey participants said developing care coordination efforts to close care gaps (37%) and identifying high-risk, high-cost patients (31%) have the greatest impact on patient and financial outcomes.

Without meaningful data, providers will face significant challenges in the near future as they move to value-based care and seek to improve care quality while lowering costs. As health care providers seek to go beyond simply understanding and predicting the clinical history of their patients, creating effective data layers is more critical than ever. In today's landscape, considering human behaviors and other motivating factors can be the difference that spurs a patient to take action.

By pairing the right data with advanced analytics, providers can gain valuable insight into population and network performance trends, allowing them to personalize care delivery while improving quality and financial outcomes. An advanced analytics program should have predictive information—which looks at risks—along with prescriptive data, which identifies gaps in care and pinpoints where to focus resources.

"Rising health care costs are no longer just a focus from the organizations that deliver and administer care," says Rose Higgins, president of SCIO Health Analytics. "Consumers are also taking a share in the need to better manage health care spending as their out-of-pocket costs continue to rise. The recent survey validates what SCIO has long known: One of the greatest challenges to reducing care costs is created by the inability to put meaningful, actionable information into the hands of those bearing the weight of making clinical, financial, and operational decisions."

Source: SCIO Health Analytics