Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6

Payment reform in the era of advanced diagnostics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning

Retired medical officer U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. James Sorace
8620 Valleyfield Road, Lutherville, Maryland 21093
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_63_19

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Health care is undergoing a profound transformation driven by an increase in new types of diagnostic data, increased data sharing enabled by interoperability, and improvements in our ability to interpret data through the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Paradoxically, we are also discovering that our current paradigms for implementing electronic health-care records and our ability to create new models for reforming the health-care system have fallen short of expectations. This article traces these shortcomings to two basic issues. The first is a reliance on highly centralized quality improvement and measurement strategies that fail to account for the high level of variation and complexity found in human disease. The second is a reliance on legacy payment systems that fail to reward the sharing of data and knowledge across the health-care system. To address these issues, and to better harness the advances in health care noted above, the health-care system must undertake a phased set of reforms. First, efforts must focus on improving both the diagnostic process and data sharing at the local level. These efforts should include the formation of diagnostic management teams and increased collaboration between pathologists and radiologists. Next, building off current efforts to develop national federated research databases, providers must be able to query national databases when information is needed to inform the care of a specific complex patient. In addition, providers, when treating a specific complex patient, should be enabled to consult nationally with other providers who have experience with similar patient issues. The goal of these efforts is to build a health-care system that is funded in part by a novel fee-for-knowledge-sharing paradigm that fosters a collaborative decentralized approach to patient care and financially incentivizes large-scale data and knowledge sharing.

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