A forum attended by members of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), as well as representatives from federal agencies and the healthcare industry, concluded that long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers must adopt more information technology (IT).
Sponsored by the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics, the educational session focused on issues involving health IT and payment mechanisms now being faced by the LTPAC industry.
"Continuity among providers and payers in the delivery of care is the key to quality and efficiency," said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, in a press release. "Health information technology platforms that allow providers and payers to communicate and share data are essential to ensuring continuity of care and facilitating close relationships between healthcare delivery partners."
The importance of health IT, especially the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), was stressed by Gary Kelso, president and CEO of Mission Health Services in Ogden, Utah. "Without health IT, such as an interoperable electronic medical record system, you can’t even get invited to the table with hospitals, [accountable care organizations] or health plans," he explained. "Having an EMR capability is consistently at the top of the list of requirements to be included in provider networks."