Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Value Cases: AHIC's New Artifact

In January 2009, the AHIC Successor Organization (AHIC) will be relaunched with a new name and a new primary artifact: Value Cases. Value Cases will be used by AHIC 2.0 to "prioritize health IT initiatives and syndicate the cost of interoperability." Catch that? Syndication.

So what exactly is a Value Case? Laura Miller, interim Executive Director for AHIC, discussed Value Cases with the National Committee of Vital and Health Statistics on November 18.

A Value Case "describes an opportunity for information exchange within the context of an interoperability roadmap illustrating specific scenarios for interoperability (similar to a use case) and demonstrates a case for action based technical, business, and societal risk adjusted value. Specifically, a Value Case presents the costs, value, and risks of implementing the specific scenario and describes potential measures of actual impact on improving care. Once recognized, it commits the submitting organization to fund and execute actions necessary to implement the case."

AHIC prioritization will be based on an overall interoperability strategy maintained byAHIC. A call for Value Cases from the healthcare community will begin in January 2009. Decisions on national priorities for this first round will be made in September 2009 with recommendations from expert committees (committees such as "Genomics, Chronic Disease Management or Clinical Research").

HITSP and CCHIT will continue their roles in standards harmonization, standards development and certification, with HITSP transitioning to work on Value Cases in 2010.

News Analysis

This can't possibly work, can it? Pay for interoperability?

It willl work for the big players. The big Healthcare IT businesses will quickly grasp the opportunity to differentiate themselves through first-to-market leadership on carefully crafted Value Cases. Big payers will look for the opportunities to drive down cost related to the chronically ill and to the revenue cycle, among others. Innovation and cost reduction are important to healthcare nationally and will be well funded.

However, key national priorities related to population health management and needs of underserved populations don't necessarily have the financial backing to support syndication. AHIC recognizes that "Public Good Value Cases" may require "scholarship" funding. This is a crucial component to gain support across the broader healthcare community and may be the litmus test of the effectiveness of the new AHIC.

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