Premier Healthcare Alliance CEO on ‘ Fragmented Healthcare Delivery System’

ATLANTA – The biggest challenge in healthcare delivery is the fragmentation of the system and the clinical information gaps that result, according to Susan DeVore, president and CEO of the Premier healthcare alliance.

DeVore spoke at a “Views from the Top” session on Tuesday at the 2010 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition. Premier is one of the leading healthcare group purchasing organizations.

“We’re in a decade of healthcare transformation,” said DeVore. “Our current models of care lead to waste and overuse. This is the year we have to make a difference, but my biggest fear is that we’re going to spend millions of dollars on IT and end up with a great big data dump.”

The goals of healthcare delivery system reform should be improved quality, increased access to care and reduced costs, DeVore said. She expressed particular concern about the access problem, noting that the United States compares poorly to European nations in regard to both healthcare access and quality outcomes.

“We have to implement population-based cost management and figure out how to better coordinate care in delivery systems,” DeVore said. “That’s a huge leap from a technology and business intelligence perspective.”

Significant possibilities for savings exist, DeVore said. Addressing unexplained variation in the intensity of medical and surgical services could potentially net $600 billion in savings, while preventing adverse affects from the misuse of drugs and treatments could save $52.5 billion, she said

“No matter what happens with healthcare reform legislation, we know that certain reforms will eventually be adopted,” DeVore said. “We’re going to see value-based purchasing, bundled payments, accountable care organizations, transparency initiatives and non-payment for preventable readmissions. But if these are only implemented as one-off solutions, we will never transform the healthcare system.”