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Population Health Trends in 2015 - what do you see as important?

Posted on July 6, 2015 at 12:30 AM

Trends, trends and more trends.  Experts discussing which way things will go but this is what I know for sure, we are moving more and more to the model of Population Health Management.   That is the buzz word of today and what will it take for Healthcare Providers to win the war of Population Health Management?

CMS continues it's march on "Compare" websites, the next to be added is the Physician Compare in 2016.  We will see how the behaviors of physicians will impact their future Medicare Payments.  CMS Star ratings are also another entity any organization should concern themselves with, knowing what is measured and what effect it will have on the future with reimbursement and value based purchasing.  Are you or your organization concerned with Patient Satisfaction, Quality and achieving outcomes?  You should be as this is taking precedence in the Healthcare Market place. 

What about that Continuum of Care and the integration of all providers to produce a positive outcome?  Health Systems and Physicians must now integrate and align with organizations that will enhance or positively influence their outcomes and of course, overall satisfaction which means an alignment of philosophies.  Are you a provider that can measure your value and what you bring to the table to enhance the patient experience while reducing Hospital Readmissions, Hospital bed days and Medicare spending?  Do you have data and is your data integratable? 

Gone are the days of paper folks, you need to be much more sophisticated than that if you plan on playing in the Healthcare Environment of today and tomorrow.  What can you measure, what can you prove, what can you query to produce your evidence on what you have to offer whether in a bundled payment system, an ACO or a risk sharing methodology.   What are your costs and how can you improve upon those costs?  If you are unable to get your arms around your costs and show efficiencies there, how can you improve the costs of another organization? Technology is a huge investment however technology offers much of the answers to streamlining processes, data collection, efficiencies and accessibility.  Remember Healthcare Reform is about 3 things when you boil it down:  Cost, Quality and Access. 

Embracing technology is not as easy as it seems in Healthcare, however so necessary. 

I cannot repeat that above sentence enough, embrace technology as it relates to your staff, your daily functions and also measuring what you offer.  Take the time to assess, do I have the right people in place to lead and move your organization forward knowing what is needed is:  Technology, Data, Contracting models that offer both solutions and compliance, Operational efficiencies that require a "think outside of the box" approach. 

So if your organization embraces the following you will position yourself as a thought leader and provider of services that support Population Health Management and you will be one of the winners!  Upgrade your technology as data integration is the key along with data collection to support key quality indicators and your impact on costs and outcomes.  Are you open to new models of contracting and reimbursement that allow you to embrace risk sharing opportunties, new models of delivering care to engage the patient/member frequently and are you aligned with organizations where you share similar philosophies and are integrated securely in the continuum of care?  Do you have the right leadership in place for Healthcare evolution or does your organization require the assistance of an outside agency or consulting firm to help get you there for the future? 

Whenever we are called in to "advise" one of the first questions is:  What is your 3-5 year plan and where do you see yourself in the future of Healthcare Delivery?  That 3-5 year plan must be fluid but must have a basic outline that will get you there and if you do not have it, then this may be the time to consider some help on getting you there.

The train has left the station, is your organization a freight car, a passenger car, a high speed train or a locomotive?  Now is the time to take a realistic assessment of where you are currently and where you want to be. 

We wish you the best at Ahearn Advisement Partners!






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