The playbook from the 3 organizations highlights 5 best practices for data sharing from organizations with real-world experience in value-based care arrangements.
Value-based care models have been around for nearly 2 decades, but they continue to face persistent challenges, many of which were underscored during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new playbook released by the American Medical Association (AMA), AHIP, and the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS) highlights best practices around data sharing for organizations participating in value-based care models.
On Tuesday, the 3 organizations held a webinar to announce the playbook and go over the best practices included in it. During the webinar, the playbook was presented by:
“We've really tried to work to identify and assess which industry-leading best practices show the most promise and spark meaningful advances,” explained Vargo during the introduction. The best practices identified are not only informed by real-world experiences, but they are applicable to a broad audience with a wide range of experience with value-based contracts, she added.
During the pandemic, more providers were moving toward capitated arrangements, which has created a need to highlight best practices and create more standardization, Pittman said. In order for more physician practices to participate in value-based arrangements, according to Vargo, they need the infrastructure to participate, which includes accessing data analytics; they need stable and transparent payment; and they need a reduction in administrative burden to practice and participate in these arrangements.
Lloyd explained that in identifying best practices, there were 6 common themes: data privacy, lack of data standardization, varying data infrastructure, potential value-based care participant readiness, federal health information technology requirements, and financial investment.
“These issues and these themes can influence the willingness of participants to share data,” she said. “And it can also influence the readiness of these organizations to…act on the data to improve quality, equity, and affordability [of health care].”
As more data are shared, organizations will have to be vigilant about the impacts on security and patient privacy, she noted. In addition, when it comes to value-based care, there has to be a recognition that upfront investment is key to scaling these models.
Overall, the organizations identified 5 voluntary best practices for data sharing.
1. Create an interoperable data ecosystem. The systems have to speak the same language and be able to interface in order to be successful in value-based care models, Lloyd explained. In addition, there need to be content standards, which ensure everyone is using standardized data elements and data sets, as well as exchange standards to get the information from one place to another.
2. Share more complete data. Complete, accurate, and consistent data help to paint a comprehensive picture in order to coordinate and improve care and provide more equitable care. Participants in these arrangements need to share more than just claims data. “We really all saw during the pandemic that the lack of integration between public health data, clinical data, and administrative data was really something that got in the way of our collective work,” Lloyd said.
3. Improve data collection and use it to advance health equity. Just collecting the data isn’t enough—participants need to be able to act on it, in order to reduce health disparities and social determinants of health, she explained. That means going beyond the clinical setting, which brings a host of issues, potentially. The data need to be used appropriately and kept confidential. There will be challenges, Lloyd added, as health care connects to new organizations that don't use the same standards and definitions.
4. Share timely and actionable data. “This really gets to the point that we have to present information in a way that can be leveraged to help make decisions,” said Pittman. “One of the best practices is to be nimble and meet the varying needs of participants.” For example, some organizations may want raw data because they have the capabilities to analyze it, while others might want dashboards available because they don’t want to process data.
5. Share methodologies, calculations, and context. Successful partnerships in value-based care arrangements are based on trust, which require transparency. Part of this includes having benchmarks that are established ahead of the performance period, performance data that are shared regularly, and feedback loops to address issues, Pittman explained.
The current playbook is just the first phase, Pittman added. It includes industry challenges and considerations, as well as examples of data sharing in action.
“I do think the best practices and learning from their peers is crucial and paramount to those in the field,” Vargo said. “So, I think the highlight of the best practices that are done by actual players on the ground in this playbook are what's really the gold as far as I'm concerned.”
The next phase is a playbook on payment methodologies.