Financial incentives, technological advances and pioneering care models have provided fertile soil for the green shoots of population health to grow. But for these programs to flourish, they will need more sophisticated analytics, patient stratification, community involvement and care management.
The healthcare industry has made strides in population health, which aims to improve care and outcomes while reducing spending. So far, most efforts have been narrow, with promising results. These early results signal the full potential of population health if scaled across geographies, diseases and the continuum of care. Yet many organizations still struggle to scale their efforts.
As public and private payers strike risk-based deals with health systems, organizations with evidence that their population health programs are working well on a large scale are more likely to be rewarded.
HRI research has found that the keys to scaling population health lie in strengthening risk stratification, developing full-service care delivery networks with strong care management, engaging patients through community resources and running data-driven operations. Scaled-up population health management calls for skills and resources that no single organization can provide on its own. Partnerships and targeted acquisitions from inside and outside the traditional health system are its lifeblood.