How healthcare executives can take the lead in population health management

Going above and beyond in risk analysis is key to manage population health, Steven C. Linn, M.D., CMO & vice president of academic affairs for Inspira Health Network, a New Jersey-based charitable nonprofit organization, said in a video interview with Hospitals & Health Networks.

"You have to determine which group of individuals you're going to hold yourself responsible for," said Linn. "It could be a community, it could be a payer, could be a disease population." Once that is clearly defined, he said, the organization must develop cost-effective care strategies accordingly.

Because high-risk patients create higher costs, Linn said, healthcare organizations must stratify risk among their patient population to determine where and how to alllocate their limited resources. "Some of the data elements that we've historically used in healthcare have ignored key aspects that are critical determinants of health, like a recent loss of a job, death of a spouse, or other change of environment that may not have seemed part of the health system, but is intricately tied to someone's health status and their ability to follow a treatment plan and take their medication and do all the things that we need them to do to stay healthy," he said.

Patient engagement during this process is "the $64,000 question," Linn added, saying that while patient engagement in population health is possible, it will require a different approach from physicians. Linn added that there is increased pressure on hospital CEOs to maintain a population health scorecard, which is "not something that we've had to measure in the past."

A July report found that providers that build their organization's model around population health are better prepared for coming shifts toward a value-based reimbursement model, and can manage population health by defining the population, providing a continuum of care, getting performance-based contracts and using all available data, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- watch the video