Promises and Pitfalls of Health Information Technology for Home and Community-Based Services


Background

Health information technology (HIT) use in home- and community-based services (HCBS) has been hindered by inadequate resources and incentives to support modernization. We sought to understand the ways the Medicaid Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) facilitated increased use of HIT to increase access to HCBS.

Method

Qualitative analysis of interviews with 30 Medicaid administrators, service agency providers, and consumer advocates.

Results

Although stakeholders perceived several benefits to greater HIT use, they highlighted critical challenges to effective adoption within the long-term services and supports (LTSS) system, including lack of extant expertise/knowledge about HIT, the limited reach of HIT among rural and disabled beneficiaries, burdensome procurement processes, and the ongoing resources required to maintain up-to-date HIT solutions.

Conclusion

The structural reforms required by BIP gave states an opportunity to modernize their HCBS systems through use of HIT. However, barriers to HIT adoption persist, underscoring the need for continued support as part of future rebalancing efforts.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND’s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.

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