“Population health management represents a different business model, a different way of looking at the mandates of healthcare delivery. Most organizations are not yet prepared to embrace it, despite the fact that ... most of the executives across the industry accept the fact that it’s inevitable." — Michael Abrams, MA, co-founder and managing partner of Numerof & Associates

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Today’s discussions around healthcare innovation often include population health, and many authorities believe that it is the future of the industry.

In the article "Numerof Report: Population Health Is Inevitable, but Initiatives Have Stalled," Wallace Stephens of AJMC unpacks the findings of and online survey tracking the evolution of population health management in the United States, including its progress, challenges, and successes.

While the numbers aren’t surprising in and of themselves, when you look at them together, you’re left scratching your head.

For example, the report details that 94% of the executives surveyed agree that population health is the future of healthcare.

  • 12% rated it moderately important
  • 42% rated it very important
  • 40% rated it critically important

In addition:

  • 99% of respondents said they were considering a population health model to better control clinical costs, quality, and outcomes
  • 96% were considering it to capture performance-based financial incentives
  • 94% said a change is necessary because fee-for-service won’t last forever

But the majority of respondents said that 10% or less of their revenue came from risk-based contracts.

Michael Abrams of Numerof & Associates explains the gap this way: “Payers and providers have been very slow to collaborate on programs to share in savings from population health management efforts.

"Population health management represents a different business model, a different way of looking at the mandates of healthcare delivery. Most organizations are not yet prepared to embrace it, despite the fact that as you saw in the survey, most of the executives across the industry accept the fact that it’s inevitable."

Most organizations are not yet prepared to embrace it, despite the fact that as you saw in the survey, most of the executives across the industry accept the fact that it’s inevitable." — Michael Abrams, Numerof & Assoc.

The delay in adoption is understandable. This is a massive foundational shift for the entire healthcare system — but the system is begging for it.

At Vera, we’re already seeing the impact of population health. As Vera’s President & CEO Ryan Schmid shares, “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.”

Within these defined populations, we pull in two years of historic claims data so we can analyze it down to the member (patient) level. This process gives us a clear understanding of:

  • Common risks in the population
  • Areas of opportunity to improve health
  • How to best drive outcomes

Population health can help us understand what we’re facing. When we're prepared for the community's health needs, we can do a better job of treating them. And in doing so, we can take a more holistic approach to prevent sickness to begin with.

For more insights into the future of healthcare management, download and read our white paper, Delivering Managed Care The Way It Was Intended.

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