IDC Health Insights’ Survey Reveals Analytics for Population Health Management Leads Accountable Care Investment Priority

FRAMINGHAM, MA, March 14, 2013 – IDC Health Insights announced today the availability of a new report, “Business Strategy: Analytics Leads Accountable Care Investment Priority,” (Document # HI239735). The new report was developed based on the results of IDC Health Insights' 2012 Accountable Care Survey and IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Organization IT Survey, 2012, as well as qualitative research on the accountable care and analytics market. While still behind the curve, healthcare organizations have recognized the pivotal role that data plays in the success of accountable care. Survey results clearly point to a focus on IT investments in tools for analytics to manage the health of the population (Population Health Management).

Analytics For Population Health Management

The top 4 reported capabilities for which healthcare organizations intend to use analytics are:

The ability to identify patients/members in need of care management was the most frequent type of planned analysis (cited by 66% of respondents in IDC Health Insights' 2012 Accountable Care Survey).

Clinical outcomes were identified by 64% of respondents as the second most frequent type of planned analysis.

Performance measurement and management was also identified by 64% of respondents as the second most frequent type of planned analysis.

Clinical decision-making at the point of care was identified by 57% of healthcare respondents as the third most frequent type of planned analysis.

While accountable care is growing rapidly, there is skepticism about the industry's ability to meet the objectives: to improve the health of the population, to improve the patient experience, and to manage financial growth. Previous attempts to improve quality and control costs through programs such as capitation and withholds were not successful, in part due to inadequate data that was retrospective and not in a format that was useful to physicians. Advantages and reasons for optimism in 2013 and beyond are about the ability to move, normalize, and analyze data in a far more robust fashion than 20 years ago.

“Access to timely, complete, accurate, contextual, and digestible data is the lynchpin for accountable care success,” said Cynthia Burghard, research director, Accountable Care IT Strategies, IDC Health Insights. “All indications, from survey results and from discussions with healthcare thought leaders and technology suppliers, are that analytics is the number one investment priority on the agenda for healthcare organizations engaging in accountable care.”

Additional key findings include:

Healthcare organizations are beginning to embrace advanced analytics and new data sources. Respondents to IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Organization IT Survey, 2012, indicated 2013 investments in advanced analytics such as streaming data monitoring and analysis, text mining, and social graph analysis were also a priority.

Sources of their data identified by respondents include the types of data (e.g., claims [57%], clinical structured data [73%], and care management data [70%]) that are needed to identify and manage patients with chronic illness or through wellness programs. These data sources indicate strong opportunities for analytics.

New data sources such as from mobile devices (42% of respondents), social media (32% of respondents) and unstructured clinical data (29% of respondents) are being used to support accountable care. Though the percent of respondents is not large, the survey data does reveal a willingness to invest in these new data sources. Health plan respondents had significantly greater interest than hospitals.

Investment Benchmarks

The new report provides healthcare executives with a series of investment benchmarks for accountable care technology investment trends. As with other technology deployments, providers lag health plans in their investment plans. While all healthcare organizations are challenged with the number and complexity of IT priorities, hospitals have unique challenges as they complete electronic health record (EHR) installations or replacements and strive to meet the requirements of meaningful use as well as other federal and state mandates. Health plans and providers are consistent, however, in their investment priorities and are focusing their technology acquisitions toward the analytics required for Population Health Management.

For additional information about this study or IDC Health Insights' Accountable Care IT Strategies research advisory service, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Cynthia Burghard, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or A summary report is available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact

About IDC Health Insights

IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-935-4445. Visit the IDC Health Insights Community at