The increasing importance of population health management

With National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo declaring population health management as one of ONC's primary focuses for 2014, it no doubt also will be a topic to watch at HIMSS14 in Orlando, Fla. next week. Such tools increasingly are being seen as essential to the success of accountable care organizations, which are expected to double this year from the estimated 500 currently in operation.

Several educational sessions at the conference will focus on population health efforts, including:

  • Predictive Analytics Helps Reduce Future Health Costs: At this Feb. 25 session, representatives from the Baylor Quality Alliance, an ACO of the Baylor Health Care System, will talk about the role of technology in managing high-risk patient populations. They'll also compare and contrast retrospective predictive modeling with more forward looking efforts.
  • Learning from Early ACO Adopters: Barbara Adams, vice president of innovative technology services at Texas Health Resources, and Natalie Dion, director of enterprise data management at THR, will discuss how their ACO experiences helped the health system successfully manage its patient populations. In particular, they'll talk about the importance of designing a data infrastructure to ensuring proactive participation in population health efforts.
  • Building an HIT Road Map to Support Population Health Transformation: Grace Terrell, president and CEO of Cornerstone Health Care, P.A., a 300 member multi-specialty group that serves 11 hospitals in North Carolina, will talk about technology's role in turning a large group practice into "an innovative population health management hub" that can deliver high-quality care. Terrell also will examine the challenges faced by large ambulatory group practices in making such a transformation.

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