Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Delivering health care: challenges remain for Integrated Delivery Systems

Integrated health care delivery systems (IDSs), in which medical care is coordinated and compensated within the system, have been shown (when compared to traditional health delivery systems) to make patient care more efficient, while at the same time improving both access to and the quality of the care received.

That said, challenges remain, especially among IDSs designed to care for underserved populations, such as Medicaid enrollees and rural populations. That's the conclusion of "Features of Integrated Systems Support Patient Care Strategies and Access to Care, but Systems Face Challenges," a recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO-11-49). For its study, the GAO analyzed a sample of 15 private and public IDSs that are clinically integrated across primary, specialty and acute care disciplines.

Challenges faced by the IDSs include the following:
  • Lack of compensation from health insurance companies for the care coordination services provided to patients by the IDS;
  • Securing access to specialty care, including mental health care, for underserved patients; and
  • Resistance to organizational change from various stakeholders, including physicians.
The GAO report is here. For more answers about health care delivery systems, go here.


Post a Comment