Microsoft, AT&T, Premier launch new ACO consortium

By Diana Manos
09:06 PM

Microsoft, AT&T and Premier are among a group of healthcare IT leaders that have launched a new consortium designed to help providers participate in accountable care organizations.

The consortium is called the Accountable Care Community of Practice, and according to its leaders, the group "is committed to collaborating on issues of mutual concern for the benefit of providers that are developing or planning to develop an ACO or accountable care strategy."

Founders of the organization include Intel, Greenway, Dell, GE Healthcare, the eHealth Initiative, Microsoft, HP, Siemens, HIMSS, AT&T, Cisco, Ingenix, Manatt, Premier and PWC.

[See also: Microsoft enters healthcare IT market.]

Founders of the Accountable Care Community of Practice (CoP) joined other stakeholders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill Sept. 13 to raise awareness for healthcare IT as part of National Health IT Week.

Justin Barnes, co-chair of Accountable Care CoP asked attendees "to foresee and support a healthcare solution, not a healthcare system, that integrates all providers into a community of coordinated care."

"In this solution, providers are not just referring patients, but sharing data and care plans, lab results, testing options, diagnoses, medication history - and equally important - patient adherence history," Barnes said.

Reps. Phil Gingrey, MD, (R-GA) said he was “especially pleased” to advocate on behalf of healthcare IT. “I look forward to the positive impact that HIT will have on healthcare delivery in the United States,” he said. "A positive economic impact is that new health IT jobs are added to develop and implement more and improved HIT solutions to advance care delivery."

[See also: Premier develops industry IT standards for ACOs.]

According to Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), the adoption of electronic medical records and cutting-edge information technology by the healthcare industry is a win for patients, providers and the American economy.  "Health IT is already paying off in Florida, from the adoption of electronic health records in South Florida's hospitals to the Florida Department of Health's innovative use of technology to better track pandemics and other threats to public health," Deutch said.

Charlene S. Underwood, HIMSS board chair, and senior director of government and industry affairs at Siemens Medical Solutions, said HIT can help providers deliver higher quality and consistent care, while healthcare organizations can increase efficiency and reduce costs. 

Follow Diana Manos on Twitter @DManos_IT_News.

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