The Three Key Takeaways You Need to Know From WEDI National 2018

This October 15th through 17th, Health IT professionals from across the country gathered in Arlington, Virginia for the 2018 WEDI National Conference. Over the course of three days, attendees heard from numerous industry professionals including Dr. Donald Rucker, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Seema Verma, CMS administrator; Dr. Andrew Gettinger, ONC Chief Clinical Officer; and Steve Posnack, ONC executive director. Much was discussed during the conference including the current state of value-based care, deployment of artificial intelligence, data interoperability challenges, patient matching and strategies for affective healthcare data exchange. Here are PNT’s three key takeaways from WEDI National 2018:

We Need to Stop Information Blocking

Discussed during Dr. Donald Rucker’s opening keynote, information blocking is an issue that continues to plague the healthcare industry. Not only does information blocking prohibit providers from giving the best care possible to their patients, but also causes an unnecessary amount of repeated work and additional administrative burden.

In an effort to eliminate information blocking, the ONC has proposed implementing two provisions to the 21st Century Cures Act: (1) a ban on information blocking and (2) a trusted exchange framework that will ensure common agreement on how data will be shared. To learn more about the ONC’s proposed rule on information blocking, check out this article.

There is Still a lot of Work to be Done to Achieve Value-Based Care

Several value-based care programs have surfaced during recent years, however there is still much work to be done prior to healthcare becoming a value-based industry. One of the most challenging obstacles for payers trying to switch to value-based care programs is overcoming culture compatibility with value. In other words, payers are struggling with finding ways to incentivize providers to join a value-based care program. Why? In the words of Dr. Muhlestein, “change is hard, change when times are good is nearly impossible.” Fee-for-service has been a working business model for most providers for many years. Shifting to a value-based care model poses significant revenue risk to providers, making it difficult for many providers to justify the switch in business models.

Payers, Providers and Patients Need Better Access to Data

Data access has been a hot topic in the healthcare industry for well over a year and for good reason: every healthcare initiative starts with data. Seema Verma keyed in on this topic during her keynote at WEDI National 2018, explaining that we must unleash data to trigger innovation.

There are many initiatives working towards making health data more accessible to data users, including development of new data standards such as FHIR and open source APIs. But data standards and technology alone will not solve the healthcare interoperability problem. Obstacles to interoperability such as information blocking and use of antiquated systems are not technical, but cultural. To successfully unleash data to trigger innovation, healthcare professionals and consumers must be willing to work together, establish trust and take risks, which includes eliminating information blocking and joining value-based care programs.

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Thank you for taking a look at PNT’s three key takeaways from WEDI National 2018. As Specialists in EDI and Clinical Data Exchange we strive to help the industry achieve interoperability and ensure that the right healthcare data is available when, where and how it’s needed. We are honored to have attended WEDI National 2018 and look forward

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