3 simple ways to improve population health management

As healthcare shifts from fee-for-service to value-based care, federal policy will soon reflect new incentives focused on population health management tools and efforts, Ron Greeno, M.D., executive vice president of strategy and innovation at Cogent Healthcare, told Becker's Hospital Review.

Hospitals must take on population health management with vigor. Greeno and his colleague Lakshmi Halasyamani, M.D., offered some strategies for population health management efforts, including:

  1. Adopt a broad perspective. Mold hospital culture around the success of population health management by ensuring care transitions across the entire care spectrum--hospital leaders must think beyond just the hospital stay. "Typically, we've focused on the narrow piece of care that we're accountable for," Halasyamani told Becker's. "We're going to have to think about the greater whole."    

  2. Develop a strong hospitalist program. This move will help contain costs and improve patient health, and allow hospitals to make decisions about how to best take care of patients while creating a post-hospitalization plan. Greeno said hospitals must identify and help the small percentage of patients who cost the healthcare system the most money by creating a long-term healthcare plan for them.

  3. Choose the right partners. Most hospitals must join a larger, integrated healthcare system if they want to excel at population health management. Find partners who know how to deal with the issue and know that a hospital's responsibilities go beyond its own organization. Partners should also have the same values and mission.

As population health management becomes an integral part of the new wave of healthcare, hospital CEOs are under more pressure than ever to maintain a good scorecard when it comes to these initiatives, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

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