Four ways demand for healthcare data will grow in 2017

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The New Year presents challenges on many fronts, including questions surrounding how President-elect Donald Trump will change healthcare policy. Yet, “repeal and replace” or “replace and improve” activities on The Hill, though not “business as usual,” won’t necessarily slow down data-driven focus areas in healthcare that will continue in 2017.

Here are four key ways demand for data will grow in the year ahead:

1. Increased demand for insight into discharge gaps, risks and exposures.

As delivery and payment models continue placing risk within the care setting, increased insight into the member’s (the patient’s) likelihood of adherence or compliance is critical in evaluating expected outcomes and coordination of care post-discharge. Socioeconomic data surrounding the patient and their caregiver can complete the picture of their expected behavior.

2. Maximizing identity management capabilities.

Identity insight and management solutions will be critical to ensure the right approach for the right member but, more importantly, to securely house and validate identity data. While a national patient identifier may become closer to reality at some point, for now, identity management techniques can be critical to ensuring all operational processes and players within the care payment and delivery setting can link the right information for each individual.

3. Integration of health-tracking wearables into care analytics.

The market for wearable fitness and health devices has grown exponentially. Integration of health tracking wearables into the care analytic systems creates opportunities for using wearable metrics as a basis for member rewards but also in risk scoring for compliance augmentation for new targets, for member engagement, and for prediction of medical complications or improvement.

4. Evaluation of provider performance.

While the release of MACRA benchmarks has gotten considerable attention the past month, it is really only a beginning. Commercial plans have attempted various P4P approaches over the years with one missing ingredient, now shared with MACRA: Insight into patient profiles and behaviors and their influence and impact on ultimate outcomes. Socioeconomic data augmenting existing measurement sources can serve a critical role in tiering performance measures with patient make-up to arrive at a more mutually accepted performance structure.

Healthcare organizations and payers should reach out to new data sources, augment their thinking with them, and redefine how their day is focused on insights into their most valuable player: the customer, the member and the patient.

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