Accountable care organization hospitals differ in health IT capabilities

Daniel M. Walker, Arthur M. Mora, Ann Scheck McAlearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate health information technology (IT) adoption in hospitals participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and compare this adoption to non-ACO hospitals. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional sample of US nonfederal, acute care hospitals with data from 3 matched sources: the 2013 American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey, the 2013 AHA Survey of Care Systems and Payments (CSP), and the 2014 AHA Information Technology Supplement. METHODS: To compare health IT adoption in ACO- and non-ACO hospitals, we created measures of Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 1 and Stage 2 core and menu criteria, patient engagement-oriented health IT, and health information exchange (HIE) participation. Adoption was compared using both naïve and multivariate logit models. RESULTS: Of the 393 ACO hospitals and 810 non-ACO hospitals, a greater percentage of ACO hospitals were capable of meeting MU Stage 1 (50.9% vs 41.6%; P <.01) and Stage 2 (7.6% vs 4.8%; P <.05), having patient engagement health IT (39.8% vs 15.2%; P <.001), and participating in HIE (49.0% vs 30.1%; P <.001). In adjusted models, no difference was found between ACO and non-ACO hospital ability to meet MU Stage 1 or Stage 2, but ACO hospitals were more likely to have patient engagement health IT (odds ratio (OR), 2.20; 95% CI, 1.59-3.04) and be HIE participants (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.03-1.92). CONCLUSIONS: ACO-participating hospitals appear to be focused more on adopting health IT that aligns with broader strategic goals rather than those that achieve MU. Aligning adoption with quality and payment reform may be a productive path forward to encourage hospital health IT adoption behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016


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