When it comes to healthcare innovation, a lot of the conversation has centered on population health. Improving the physical, psychosocial, and emotional well-being of patients is vital at an individual level, but many organizations are looking for solutions to meet the needs of their larger communities as well.
For many in our field, population health features heavily in the future of healthcare. But to make population health a reality, it needs to come as the result of an effective, accessible, and proven methodology. That's where advanced primary care comes in.
Making population health a success
At Vera, we’re already seeing big successes through population health.
As Ryan Schmid, Vera President & CEO shares, “We analyze two years' worth of claims data to uncover areas where we can make the greatest impact.” That information is vital, because it is how Vera works with our partners to build teams of care providers suited to each specific population. It also allows our providers to identify patients most vulnerable to certain illnesses and infirmities, then engage with them to work on minimizing their risks.
“The reason we've been so successful at managing care for specific populations is our ability to hire an entire care team and set up an entire care center dedicated to one population of people,” Schmid explains.
The next step: advanced primary care
The key to successfully improving population health is advanced primary care.
By leveraging advanced primary care features — like informatics, care coordination, and health coaching — this model delivers the right care to manage and coordinate services that are specifically tailored to the patient populations who need them. This also makes it easier for providers and the care team to guide and support their patients along their healthcare journey.
When you know the care population, the risks, and the potential rewards, it’s easier to establish a primary care system to meet those needs. Advanced primary care allows for greater insight into the care population. As a result, teams can be trained and equipped to manage patient care effectively and services can be tailored to meet the prevailing population needs.
Closing the gaps in care for population health
In this system — where providers and care teams support the patient with outreach, longer appointment times, health coaching, and follow-up support to help them follow care plans — patient healthcare essentially "wraps around" them from the first interaction. And the centralization of advanced primary care ensures that any specialist care funnels back through the care team, closing any gaps in treatment or communication.
Sue Ferbet, Vera’s Chief Clinic Operations Officer says, “So often, people come in with all of their information from Google and WebMD. Many times, they've already decided what they have. Our job as healthcare providers is to talk to them about the information that they found on their searches, talk to them about what we have seen in our evidence-based practice, and then, together with that patient, make the right decision for them. Oftentimes it’s a much less costly opportunity.”
At Vera, we want to provide that kind of care not just to individual patients, but to whole communities and organizations via population health.
What are the results?
In short, less waste and fewer gaps in care. When advanced primary care is done right, population health improves. That means reduced healthcare costs and much fewer acute care and ER visits, extended hospital stays, specialist referrals (except when necessary), and out of control claims. In fact, the numbers prove it. Our partners have seen incredible results:
17-21% reduction in healthcare costs
1.44:1 ROI in the first 12 months
31% reduction in primary care claims
34% reduction in inpatient claims
4.7/5 average patient satisfaction ratings
67-82% employee engagement
Advanced primary care provides increased efficiency and utilization, making population health more achievable and cost-effective.