January 5, 2017
Population health: a clear path to value-based care
Although population health management is top-of-mind in the industry, lines can get a little blurred as to how physician practices can practically stand up these programs to tie results to greater value-based care strategies. A well-designed population health initiative can help an organization reach its broader fee-for-value goals—improved outcomes and reduced costs.
For that reason, it is imperative that practices design their population health programs to align with value-based initiatives, so they not only elevate overall patient health but also specific cost and quality metrics. Check out a few strategies your practice can use to get started:
- Foster stakeholder agreement. Clinical and financial leaders must be involved in defining goals for the program, identifying specifics around how it will further quality care and committing to help the practice is buy into its efforts. Without everyone moving in the same direction, population health programs can get off track, lessening their impact on quality and costs.
- Examine value-based programs already in place. A natural place to start is to see if your population health program can tie in with existing workflows or initiatives. For instance, an organization can design population health initiatives alongside its MACRA efforts. Every good population health management program, for example, takes resources, cost, quality and information into account, which are the four key tenets of the MIPS program than many practices are already working toward.
- Cultivate physician buy-in. Getting physicians on board and excited about the programs in place helps them to encourage patients to actively participate in their care – a key factor in fee-for-value. This is especially true when it comes to technology. Practices can onboard a robust patient engagement infrastructure but if physicians won't use it in their population health efforts, then improved clinical results won't be seen. With physicians onboard, patients will soon be excited to use the solutions as well. Ultimately, physician and patient engagement with the technology will lead to strong PHM and better value-based care.
Marrying population health management strategies with value-based initiatives is a simpler way to see healthier populations and improved patient care. Organizations that seek stakeholder agreement, weave efforts into existing fee-for-value programs and engage physicians in using the technology that supports quality work can see real benefit, both clinically and financially.
To read more about population health as it relates to value-based care, check out this article by Dr. Sarah Matt.