Achieving Population Health Management

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By Todd Ebert, President and CEO, Intalere

If you were to ask 10 different people to define Population Health Management (PHM), you might get 10 different answers. To put it simply, PHM means healthcare providers are responsible for caring for the health outcomes of defined groups (or populations) of patients. Physicians can no longer dwell in the mindset of caring only for individual patients in their waiting rooms, hospitals no longer with just people in their beds. It’s not just about the sick in this new era of reform.

The new models provide interventions to address patterns of morbidity, reduce costs and help people stay well. The focus is on minimizing chronic conditions and less episodic care. The objective is to keep everyone healthy, and to do that requires healthcare providers to pay close attention to defined populations and coordinate their care. Trends will include community coalitions, narrow networks taking patients through the continuum of care and evidence-based payment models.

At the recent Intalere Executive Forum, Intalere members and industry leaders gathered to discuss key elements of population health management and to review current successes by Intalere members Virginia Mason Medical Center, OSF Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare and Samaritan Health Services.

All of these organizations have had success implementing programs that feature these important competencies:

  • –  Care automation
  • –  Care coordination
  • –  Reduction in readmissions
  • –  Cost and utilization measurement across the continuum of care
  • –  Improved patient compliance, no-show rates and engagement
  • –  Quality measure reporting
  • –  Patient stratification and interventions targeted to the right people and populations
  • –  Outreach and quality patient education
  • –  Connectivity to community-based organizations

All of this does take enormous time and money, but despite the costs, the incentives surrounding the inevitability of value-driven healthcare are too powerful to ignore. The future of healthcare will be what population health management is all about – the healthcare provider utilizing the right people and right resources, including technology, to provide better organized, more personalized and proactive care to all patients.

To learn more about key components and best practices in achieving PHM, download Intalere’s latest briefing, Keys to Achieving Population Health Management.

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