According to a survey by Black Book, a market research company, the data requirements to launch an accountable care organization (ACO) will cost smaller organizations more than $1 million and the larger ones upwards of $4 million before they begin operations. The survey of 300 developing and established ACOs found that 39 percent of the respondents plan to make most, if not all, of their technology purchasing decisions before the third quarter of next year.

The 2012 Black Book IT Yearbook for ACOs also surveyed executives with 1,100 healthcare organizations. Over half of the hospital and payer executives believe the return on investment in health IT for ACOs and Patient-Centered Medical Homes will be determined in the first two years of operations.

Furthermore, 95 percent of them also said they were accelerating their acquisitions of health information exchanges (HIEs), electronic health records (EHRs), care coordination, business intelligence, and complex revenue cycle management systems to prepare for ACOs that are pegged to new methods of reimbursements.

“The rapid adoption of HIE, bundled revenue cycle management, business intelligence and clinical decision support systems are clearly driven by accountable care implementation, meaningful use implementations, the need for care coordination, outcome based reimbursement challenges, available funding, and opportunities for regional stakeholder participation.” says Black Book’s Senior Partner, Doug Brown.