5 steps to effective care management

As healthcare leaders work to improve care quality and reduce readmissions, management of high-need, high-cost patient populations is a necessary part of the conversation. To address this need, an alliance of providers, purchasers, payers and patients has released a white paper on how organizations can create care management initiatives for such patients.

In the paper, experts from the Health Care Transformation Task Force laid out five ways the industry can improve care management:

Assess care management: Care management programs must feature a process for evaluating care quality in the form of patient-reported outcomes. "Any system embarking on a value-based payment initiative should certainly be mindful of the quality frameworks to which they will be held accountable for reimbursement purposes, and should establish internal processes to monitor progress on those defined metrics," according to the report.

Strengthen patient/caregiver engagement: Providers should engage not only patients, but their informal caregivers, the report states, looping them in at every stage of the care process. Such engagement can be valuable at the community level by connecting acute care and community care management.

Establish scope: Rather than attempting to develop a one-size-fits-all strategy, the report states, each care management program must look at its specific patient population and tailor its strategy accordingly.

Develop individual patient-centered programs: Similarly, providers must tailor care management to individual patients' needs through establishing mutual trust from the beginning of the care process.

Work through patient resistance: For care management programs to be effective, the Task Force writes, it's vital that providers overcome any fear, distrust or anxiety that might impede care management and lead to patient resistance.

To learn more:
- download the white paper (.pdf)