Population health management requires a huge amount of effort and work, operating at scale, to drive results: calling patients to get them in for care, pre-registering and pre-certifying them before their appointments, ensuring optimal scheduling and referral patterns among physicians, and so on. Therefore, executives and administrators should seek partners that integrate services with technology—in short, partners able to deliver not just reports but measurable results. Working with these partners, health care organizations looking to succeed in the shifting reimbursement landscape should focus on four crucial tasks:
• Identify and engage patients in need of care
• Align physicians and care teams
• Create seamless transitions in care
• Optimize revenue and efficiency
To help healthcare organizations understand the importance of partnering for population health in an era of shifting reimbursements, this sponsored white paper from athenahealth outline three population health myths and realities:
1. Population health issues won’t affect my organization.
Reality: The entire health care industry will be affected by population health through reimbursement models that reward better clinical outcomes at lower cost. The question is: how will you be prepared to thrive in the new environment, and do you have a holistic technology partner who can help you succeed under a mix of reimbursement models.
2. We can address population health by buying a software solution that gives us access to a large amount of patient data.
Reality: The most common perceived solution is to invest enormous capital into the purchase of a single, on-premises instance of software—and then to force patients, doctors, and ancillary caregivers onto that platform. That strategy is proving financially and culturally disastrous for hospitals and health systems and their providers and patients. These negative outcomes will only worsen as the cost of debt for an enterprise software purchase rises and as the software itself slides into obsolescence. No matter how hard they try, hospitals and health systems won’t be able to buy everyone, so choosing a system that provides easy and inexpensive interoperability with other providers will be a key to success. What’s more, insight without action is worse than useless; it’s a waste of money. A technology solution should take responsibility for delivering both insights and results.
3. Our current health information technology (HIT) can handle population health, with a few adjustments.
Reality: Transitioning to population health requires more than HIT. It will require a cultural shift in the health care industry to emphasizing prevention, patient engagement, care coordination, and health outcomes. Your organization must have a plan to drive revenue while providing coordinated, high quality care that includes interventions for certain groups. Most EHRs are not equipped to help do that.
To learn more about how to partner for population health in an environment of shifting reimbursements: