The primary goal of population health strategies is getting the different, more or less isolated, parts of the healthcare ecosystem to come together into a loosely affiliated group. That way, your physician, hospital, physical therapist, skilled nursing provider, etc. are all talking to each other and in so doing, providing you with a better health outcome – ideally at a lower price.
This is not a controversial idea. Everyone largely agrees on the strategy: “yeah, if we can make this happen, we can get better patient outcomes, get people healthier and it’ll get done at a lower cost.” Getting it done is the challenge. Although the concept is relatively simple to explain, it’s probably the leader in the clubhouse in the category of easier-said-than-done. One of the biggest hurdles to getting it done is sharing information and educating patients.
Last month, I moderated Waller’s first quarterly Healthcare and Big Data Series panel. During the session, our panelists discussed the increasing role of population health management, even as the Affordable Care Act faces new challenges in Congress and the Supreme Court.
Our panelists (and the audience) had a lively discussion about the use of data and technology to improve care coordination and outcomes; new technologies available to healthcare providers, payors, employers and patients; the role of employers in influencing employee health; and the protection of patient data and intellectual property.