More than half of healthcare managers surveyed expected to recoup their population health management investments within three to four years, according to a recent online survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm. Population health management programs – an approach to medicine that encourages greater collaboration and integration among healthcare providers and their patients is largely being driven by growth in the number of accountable care type models, value-based contracts and other reimbursement mechanisms.
Population Health Management Investment ROI
The survey took place during a Webcast in November titled “Enabling New Payment and Service Delivery Models through Technology” revealed 20 percent of healthcare executives believe that investments in healthcare information technology and big data & analytic tools will pay off in one to two years. Another 36 percent indicated that the payback period for these investments could take up to three or four years, showing a majority expect to recoup their costs within this time frame. The survey showed that 29 percent see the investment in population health paying off in five or more years. Only 14 percent see them not recouping their costs at all.
Other key findings from the survey include:
Preventative Care Benefits
– More than a third of the survey’s respondents (36 percent) said the biggest clinical benefit derived from population health management will come from preventive care.
– Developing evidenced-based clinical protocols to improve the efficiency of care was the second biggest response (23 percent) among the healthcare managers and executives surveyed, followed by managing chronic diseases (21 percent).
– Only 24 percent of 296 respondents surveyed see their own population health management capabilities as “mature” and 38 percent describe their capabilities as in the “elementary stages.”
– Nearly 15 percent of those surveyed see their population health capabilities as “nonexistent” or in their infancy (23 percent).
– Not surprisingly, costs are seen as the biggest challenge in implementing population health management programs among 42 percent of those surveyed.
– Getting staff and physicians comfortable with the approach behind population health program was the second largest challenge (25 percent), followed by interoperability with other providers (19 percent) and coming to terms with new payer relationships (14 percent).
– Regarding population health and its impact on meaningful use, respondents (42 percent) found that the investments in time, resources and money supported both efforts.
– Only 13 percent describe meaningful use – a program designed to encourage greater adoption of electronic health records – an “impediment or distraction” regarding population health efforts.