Special Opportunities for Healthcare IT in Physician Organizations
MANASQUAN, NJ -- Written off for dead just a few years ago, independent physician practice associations and physician hospital organizations are not only 'bulking up' and growing stronger, several physician organizations have taken the lead position in new healthcare IT projects in their regions.
In several cases, these initiatives go well beyond technology solutions limited just to IPA or PHO members and involve numbers of providers in their state or region, according to information published by The Executive Report on Physician Organizations.
There are opportunities in the physician organization market for technology companies that have developed a range of tools and solutions needed by administrators of these organizations.
The physician organizations need tools for communicating electronically between physicians and health plans, for physician-patient communications, for electronic prescribing, and for the implementation and adoption of electronic patient records.
Driven by the national healthcare IT initiatives, physician organizations are moving forward with technology projects that will connect their physician members, e-prescribing projects, electronic medical record projects, and investments in technology needed for the physician organizations to participate in the emerging trend of pay-for-performance.
Representative projects include a 2,300 physician-member IPA that is applying information technology in eight counties in New York State. The IPA received, for example, $1.5 million in grant funding that will help develop a secure Internet portal, through which local physicians will be able to access electronic medical information, treatment protocols and current clinical research.
Another example is the more than 2,600-member IPA in California that is involving several vendors in a multi-year project to implement an integrated electronic medical records and practice management system. The online system is designed to reduce the burden and inefficiencies of paper records, enabling physicians and office staff to improve patient care. The project will be phased among the IPA's providers over the next three to five years.
Because millions of dollars have already been awarded for early-adopter pay-for-performance programs, experts agree that the majority of IPAs and PHOs will be moving rapidly to participate in the so-called P4P programs in the next two-three years. Here are some representative P4P awards to the early "players:" $24.1 million for incentives awarded to California physician organizations; and $18 million in a separate round of P4P. The reward programs are also underway in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.
More than 2,200 physician organizations, ranging from independent practice associations, physician-hospital organizations, practice management companies and management service organizations are profiled in the newest release of the National Directory of Physician Organizations Database, produced by The Managed Care Information Center.
Under development since 1997, the database profiles include contact information on more than 5,500 physician organization decision-makers.
Sales and marketing executive's technology, systems and software, insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical supply companies can use the file to get the most current key contact information on this rapidly changing practice market.
The database features profile information, including key personnel, demographic and market area analysis, number of primary care and specialist physicians represented by the organization, and hospital affiliation.
For more information contact: The Managed Care Information Center, 1913 Atlantic Avenue, Ste F5, Manasquan, NJ 08736; toll-free telephone: (800) 516-4343, fax: (888) 329-6242.
For full details on the National Directory of Physician Organizations Database, go to: http://www.healthresourcesonline.com/managed_care/23poe.htm
Source: Managed Care Information Center, 1-732-292-1100 Ext 55