In 2015, the Obama administration announced an aggressive goal to process half of all Medicare payments by the end of 2018 through alternative payment models as opposed to traditional fee-for-service (FFS). FFS incentivizes physicians to provide more treatments because payment is dependent on the quantity of care, rather than quality of care. But today, the healthcare world is moving to a value-driven payment model that extends beyond discrete patient visits to encompass teams – doctors, nurses, social workers, health coaches, physical therapists, and others – as patients move across the healthcare continuum.
Many organizations; healthcare providers, hospital systems, clinics, health plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and anyone else interested in pay for value, need assistance in shifting toward a value-driven payment model to improve the care patients receive and lower costs. MedLink Advantage believes that one of the simplest and least disruptive ways for most physicians to make this transition is to join an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), such as a Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization.
ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. They offer enormous opportunity for patients and providers to work together to increase quality of care, lower costs, and improve the health of the community. In supporting ACOs, MedLink’s two biggest challenges are delivering a high degree of interoperability between all the ACO members and providing it within a highly secure, HIPAA compliant cloud infrastructure.
“A major concern for us was the interoperability of all the members of our ACOs, as well as the security of the patient and other confidential data we host for ACO providers,” says Don Klitgaard, chief executive officer and chief medical officer of MedLink Advantage. “We needed a cloud infrastructure vendor that we were confident would have the systems in place to protect our data. We also needed the data to be interoperable and accessible whenever we needed it and the ability to scale to store large amounts of data.”
MedLink Advantage also offers a full host of ACO Management Services for its partners and participating providers. This includes a team of professional experts specializing in Medicare Advantage, Medicare, Medicaid, alternative quality contracts, risk adjustment, contracting, quality, care coordination, and compliance.
After a significant amount of research, MedLink Advantage landed on ClearDATA as the ideal partner in hosting its MedLink Advantage solution for ACO providers. MedLink chose ClearDATA based on its security, scalability, ease of use, service, reliability, and pricing.
ClearDATA provided a secure, HIPAA-compliant managed cloud platform exclusively for healthcare and powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). ClearDATA’s healthcare managed cloud platform aligned MedLink’s growing list of technology needs with modern, secure cloud services that would scale to help MedLink achieve its goal of improving healthcare outcomes on a large scale.
As a startup, MedLink wanted to focus on its core competency: helping healthcare organizations move to an ACO model. The company had little time, nor did it have IT resources to maintain its own infrastructure. ClearDATA based on AWS was a natural choice.
“ClearDATA offers unparalleled security,” says Jean Brodowski, president and chief operating officer of MedLink Advantage. “They also offer cost-effective pricing, have been very supportive, and were able to get our site and services set up quickly and securely. They have a great staff that offers exceptional service, as well as ongoing maintenance.”
Because MedLink’s sites are powered by AWS, the company will be able to scale to improve healthcare outcomes by supporting coordinated care, analytics, and IT transformation for the company, and its clients.
“With ClearDATA and AWS, we’re able to provide secure data to our ACOs,” says Klitgaard. “We can meet our clients’ needs while focusing on our core business aim – moving healthcare practices to the ACO model.”