By Fred Goldstein, MS and Gregg Masters, MPH
Two macro trends are converging to further season and ultimately catalyze the transformation of the American healthcare enterprise: the predominant fee-for-service model that fuels the provider ecosystem (hospitals, health systems, medical groups, IPAs, ACOs, or managed physician networks, etc.) and their ‘partner’ financing plans, payors or administrators.
Ecosystem incumbents include national or regional commercial health insurers (payors), third party administrators (TPAs) that enable self-funding options for smaller employers unable to access the administrative services only (ASO) market, and the historically volatile ‘individual’ market. And, no discussion of markets would be complete without considering the wide range of public sector initiatives including Medicare (Medicare Advantage and Accountable Care Organizations or ACOs) and Medicaid’s outsourcing to contract with managed healthcare organizations.
These two trends, seemingly at odds with one another, are on a collision course… and the health of our nation hangs in the balance. The burning platform regarding fee-for-service is commonly seen as driving a seemingly insatiable appetite for ‘more’, giving rise to widespread conversation and supportive health policy advocating ‘value based’ healthcare with an emphasis on quality, outcomes and affordability.
The roadmap to achieving wholesale transformation of our system to focus on health is perhaps best reflected in the emerging science and practice of population health management.
Population health management depends on business and service delivery provider/financing sector partnerships to achieve a sustainable healthcare ecosystem that enables the ‘triple aim’. Yet, the results of early population health management initiatives nationally are generally mixed, particularly when they neglect to consider the contextual social determinants specific to the target population and community.
In order to achieve that holy grail of improved health outcomes, we must have a clear understanding of the needs and available resources as well as a coordinated plan that includes all the relevant stakeholders.
To avoid the metaphoric outcome once opined by an Eastern Airlines (RIP) pilot emerging from the cockpit to announce to his passengers:
‘well folks, the good news is we’re making great time, the bad news is we have no idea where we’re going…’
The rest is legion for those who recall the death of legacy carrier Eastern.
Finding A True North – Grounding the Science and Best Practices of Population Health Management
The promise of managing populations efficiently and effectively, leading to a healthier overall America is something that just makes sense, whether the push is from the government, payers or providers. Where can one explore the myriad pieces of the population health puzzle to find out what’s working? Fortunately, the upcoming Eighteenth Population Health Colloquium, March 19-21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can provide some answers.
This conference, chaired by David Nash, MD, MBA, Founding Dean of the College of Population Health at Jefferson, the first such institution in the country, provides the opportunity to hear from and network with some of the biggest names and companies in the field.
Whatever your area of interest — policy, data and analytics, program design and development, provider-based programs and ACOs, payer-based programs, value-based care and contracting, social determinants of health, technologies or even personalized medicine — . Dr. Nash and his team are bringing together world class leaders and in a right-sized setting that supports interactions with speakers and networking with other attendees.
If you haven’t been to this conference before, now is the time, as health and healthcare system and communities at large are turning to population health. Be part of this transformation by attending the Colloquium!
For an invitation to the 18th Population Health Colloquium David Nash, MD, MBA, Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health provides an overview of what to expect (click image).
For the 3rd year in a row Health Innovation Media will be on the ground interviewing keynote speakers, conference organizers, select sponsors and exhibitors committed to supporting the emerging population health focused economy.
Follow the Colloquium via @pophealthconf. The digital dashboard accessible via #phc18 including newsworthy tweets associated with the Colloquium.
For more information or to register, click here.
This post is sponsored by the Jefferson College of Population Health