By Anne Mitchell (Anne.Mitchell@amerinet-gpo.com), Senior Director, Quality and Patient Safety, Intalere
In last week’s post, we reviewed risk stratification and technology platforms. In this post, we’ll cover patient involvement and look at some best practices.
It is important to understand that patients also play a key role in helping to reduce the national trend of rising healthcare costs. Helping patients become educated healthcare consumers is a key element of population health management. This can be one of the more challenging aspects for healthcare providers as the high utilization populations with chronic and co-morbid conditions may have additional socioeconomic and psychological considerations such as limited education, substance abuse, lack of transportation and poverty that may hinder their involvement in self-advocacy.
Incentives such as gift cards, cash rewards and reductions in insurance premiums have been effective in drawing patients into a program, thus increasing the likelihood of the very essential active patient/family engagement and receptivity to coaching and general ownership of health maintenance practices.
The scientific best-practices and metrics designed for each unique population will continue to evolve as the body of shared information expands over time, always moving toward a safer, more efficient, patient-centered and equitable approach.
Looking for “Best Practice”
At the end of the day, supporting the wellness needs of patient populations will require healthcare leaders to implement large-scale improvements in processes and technology to ensure efficient coordination. Additionally, leaders need to have a strong commitment to aligning their physicians, payers and employees, as well as their communities. To accomplish this as efficiently as possible, leaders should look to organizations with integrated solutions to deal with population health management.
Best practice solutions should include:
- Ability to identify at-risk patients, intervene, engage and evaluate (reduce 30-day readmission rates)
- Own efficient, financially sound medical practices (ability to analyze downstream revenue to hospitals from medical practices)
- Qualify physician practices for Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (gain additional practice revenue as a result)
- Possess an integrated technology platform that connects disparate systems including long-term care and post-acute care (allows for the connectivity and access to data to emphasize population health management)
All of this does take enormous time and money, but costs and efforts can be minimized by not “recreating the wheel” but using integrated solutions available on the market. Despite the costs, the incentives surrounding the inevitability of value-driven healthcare are too powerful to ignore.
Contact Intalere now to find out how we can help with population health management.