How do EHRs, ACOs & medical homes affect physician processes? 5 key points

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A new study published in The American Journal of Managed Care shows physicians participating in new payment and care delivery models are more likely to use electronic medical records.

The researchers examined cross-sectional data on office-based physicians in the United States from the 2012 Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Physician Workflow Survey. They examined 14 specific care processes related to population management, quality measurement, patient communication and care coordination.

The key independent measures were EHRs, accountable care organizations or participation in patient-centered medical homes. The researchers found:

1. Most of the physicians — 89 percent — routinely conducted at least one care process related to care coordination; 69 percent conducted at least one care process related to patient communication and 67 percent said the same about population management.

2. Fewer than half — 44 percent — of the physicians reported performing at least one quality measure process routinely.

3. Physicians who used EHR or participated in ACOs or PCMH were more likely to perform care processes.

4. EHR use was associated with ACO and PCMH participation and were the most likely to routinely perform the care processes.

5. The physicians using EHR and participating in ACO or PCMH were 5 percentage points to 22 percentage points more likely to perform the care processes than those who just used EHRs.

"In 2012, physicians using EHRs and participating in ACO or PCMH initiatives were more likely than other physicians to be routinely engaging in care processes expected to improve healthcare outcomes," concluded the study authors. "Yet, many U.S. physicians were not performing these processes routinely."

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