Editor's note: Michael Kuehne is senior research strategist at Stamford, Conn., research firm FocusVision.

The time is now for the hospital and health systems industry to move toward a coordinated care model. The way internal medicine is delivered to patients is changing at an unprecedented pace due to a shift in policy and the move toward consumerism. To prepare for these changes hospital and health systems must change the way they think about research, which has tended to be slow (mail surveys), usually quantitative and lacking a humanistic element. When combined with quantitative techniques, asynchronous qualitative coordinated care research prepares the industry to maintain patient panels and adapt to changes.

Beginning in 2017, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) policy will begin to affect the health care industry. As Deloitte (2016) has stated: “MACRA is expected to drive care delivery and payment reform across the U.S. health care system for the foreseeable future. Congress intended MACRA to be a transformative law that constructs a new, fast-speed highway to transport the health care system from its traditional fee-for-service payment model to new risk-bearing, coordinated care models. It has the potential to be a game-changer at all levels of our health care system.”

Despite the impending legislative changes, awareness among providers whose practices would be affected by MACRA is dangerously low. The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2016 Survey of U.S. Physicians found that: 50 percent of non-pediatric physicians surveyed have never heard of MACRA; 32 percent only recognize the name; and 21 percent of self-employed physicians and those in independently-owned medical practices report they are somewhat familiar with MACRA, versus 9 percent of employed physicians surveyed.

Significant revenue is at stake in the new risk-bearing coordinated care model. To...