- The physician advocacy group is partnering with KaMMCO Health Solutions to develop an interoperable, analytics-driving health IT solutions to support the state's providers transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care.
"SCMA members are continuously seeking opportunities to improve patient encounters and health outcomes. In keeping our priorities aligned, SCMA is positioned to help physicians across the state realize success," SCMA President Alexander Ramsay, MD, said in a public statement.
"Partnering with KHS," he continued, "allows us to support the physicians of South Carolina with benefits unlike any other professional association when it comes to data analytics relevant to both patient care and the successful transition to alternative payment models."
According to the announcement, South Carolina Medical Association will form an advisory board to collaborate with KaMMCO "to establish a statewide health information network, allowing connected physicians to share real-time patient information while employing powerful analytic reports designed to help improve clinical outcomes, reduce inefficiencies, and positively impact patient safety."
The launch is expected this fall.
On a national level, the American Medical Association has taken an active role in health IT innovation most recently with the establishment of two initiatives with the purpose of improving EHR and health IT usability through physician-centered design.
In April, AMA partnered with IDEA labs to support health IT innovation and other medical technology developments among student entrepreneurs.
“IDEA Labs relies on collaborations with healthcare providers to create impactful new technologies,” IDEA Labs President Stephen W. Linderman, MD, said at the time. “We look forward to collaborating with the AMA to spread the IDEA Labs model to more institutions and clinicians. By bringing together top universities across the country, connecting budding companies with the talent, mentors, and investors needed to thrive, this new collaboration will accelerate medical technology development and entrepreneurial education.”
AMA leadership touted the partnership as a vehicle for connecting health IT innovators and physicians to ensure that medical technologies have real-world applications.
“The AMA looks forward to working together with IDEA Labs to help young entrepreneurs identify and understand key challenges in modern medicine and inspire innovation that will deliver meaningful solutions for patients and physicians,” said AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD.
In January, AMA announced the launch of a new health IT startup Health2047 in Silicon Valley, backed by $15 million in investments by the association.
“Our investment in Health2047 tangibly underscores the AMA’s ongoing commitment to innovation and collaboration in health care. This dynamic new environment will include the physician perspective in every major innovation cycle, ensuring that physicians play a greater role in leading changes that will move health care forward,” Madara said in the announcement.
Madara received criticism for dubbing EHR interoperability the "digital snake oil of the early 21st century."
"More and more we're seeing digital tools in medicine that, unlike digital tools in other industries, make the provision of care less, not more, efficient. And these digital tools often don't connect with each other — interoperability remains a dream," he told attendees of the association's annual meeting. "We were told that interoperability was the future; we didn't expect that it would always be in the future."
He later offered clarifications to his remarks which emphasized AMA's efforts to promote physician-centered health IT design.
"The AMA is taking a multi-pronged approach to helping to influence the improvement and evolution of EHRs and working to ensure physicians have high-performing EHRs that support a learning health system," he added. "We continue to consult with experts in the EHR and digital health fields, speak to vendors, advocate for changes to the Meaningful Use and EHR certification programs, and promote interoperability through participation in industry-led efforts."
The move by South Carolina Medical Association appears to build on this support for physician-centered health IT but with an emphasis on interoperability and actionable data.