This is the top tech for quality improvement under MACRA, KLAS says

Conduent, Vizient, Premier, Nuance, others are ranked well for performance management and patient safety, relaying critical data for provider benchmarking, predictive analytics and more.
By Mike Miliard
03:53 PM

The new MACRA rule may promise more flexibility with regard to EHR use and measure reporting, but the program still puts a premium on quality of care and improved patient outcomes. A timely new report from KLAS spotlights some tools that can help.

In its new study on quality, patient safety and risk management, KLAS gives high marks to a handful of technologies it says providers can put to work harnessing information for better quality, lower costs and all-around practice improvement.

"In order to adapt their delivery of care and drive outcomes, providers need actionable data, timely benchmarking, and effective predictive analytics," said KLAS. "Value-based care has necessitated deeper use of quality management and expanded regulatory requirements, including MACRA."

[Also: MACRA rule adds EHR flexibility, pushes back mandate for 2015 editions]

The report took a look at full-suite vendors, which have usage rates of at least 30 percent in each of three quality management areas it tracks: performance management, patient safety and risk management.

It also examined vendors specialize on performance management (they boast validated customer usage rates of at least 60 percent in that area) and those helping with patient safety and risk management (their products don't offer regulatory reporting capabilities, but do have validated usage rates of 60 percent or more for managing safety and risk).

Full-suite platforms

Among the full-suite vendors assessed by the study: Conduent (known once as Xerox Healthcare Services) was ranked tops with a score 86. KLAS said its customers – it has the largest client base and most widespread adoption in all three quality areas – "are satisfied with the platform's data repository" but "coping with an outdated UI, pending the availability of the newest platform, Juvo."

Quantros, on the other hand had the "least satisfied customers" but still scored a 79.9. Its "older platform is cumbersome, and data is difficult to access," said KLAS, but "clients on the latest version report improved navigation."

Performance management and regulatory compliance

As for performance management, the ratings company saw many products that had various strengths in helping practices meet regulatory requirements. Vizient, which evolved from the VHA-UHC supply chain alliance, and Premier both have large customer bases that need broad support for an array of different regulatory needs. "Both vendors have a high percentage of clients using them to support MACRA," said KLAS. Both companies offer frequent training on regulatory changes, but some clients "feel the vendors are slow in updating their platforms to match CMS regulations."

When it comes to electronic clinical quality measures, "Medisolv was the first vendor to support eCQM and is the most experienced in it," according to the report. "Medisolv’s executives routinely meet with CMS to understand regulations, and Medisolv clients have the highest satisfaction with proactive regulatory support."

Quality, safety and patient outcomes

While its market share is comparably smaller, Nuance's customers "can access actionable data to improve patient care outcomes better than customers of any other vendor," said KLAS, which gave the Burlington, Massachusetts-based company highest marks for both actionable insights and improved outcomes. "Data is easy to manipulate for ad hoc reporting and offers detailed information on clinician metrics and noncompliant patients."

On the other hand, Verge was slightly below average in outcomes improvement and ranked last for the information it's able to provide. Its clients "don’t receive sufficient actionable data, leading to burdensome manual work that requires technical knowledge," said KLAS. "Verge customers who have the latest upgrade report some improvements."

Analytics and benchmarking

When it comes to providers using analytics to gauge how they stack up to other practices, too few of them use benchmarking software, "since the data is often retrospective and thus less actionable," according to the report.

That said, Vizient boasts a "comprehensive database and transparent data," and all the clients interviewed by KLAS use its benchmarking tools. Benchmarking was also near-ubiquitous for Truven Health and Premier customers.

As for predictive analytics, "few providers use these tools since they are still maturing and since few offer functionality beyond trending data," said KLAS. That said, once again Vizient was singled out for having the highest percentage of customers making use of the analytics, with many touting greater transparency for assessing financial risk.

Quantros also earned good marks for its quality management suite, according to the report, but not many customers availed themselves of its benchmarking or predictive analytics capabilities.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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