Don't expect politics to derail population health, value-based care

Instead, it’s the financial implications, IT infrastructure, provider readiness and cultural readiness that can make or break population health, healthcare leaders say at the Pop Health Forum.
By Tom Sullivan
02:57 PM

BOSTON -- While the healthcare industry is wondering what the future holds in both federal policymaking and market forces, speakers at the Pop Health Forum in Boston said Monday that population health and value-based care are here to stay.

“You have two choices: embrace this or put your head in the sand,” said Thomas Scornavacca, senior medical director of population health at UMass Memorial. “This is unavoidable. You have to figure it out.”

3M Health Information Systems, in fact, conducted two research studies shortly after Donald Trump won the presidency to better understand what leaders at medium-sized and large integrated delivery networks and provider-run health plans expect under the new administration.

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Forty-four percent said they still support of value-based care, according to 3M Health Information Systems Director of Commercialization for Data Informatics Scott Monroe.

“In spite of the all the uncertainty, there are a lot of good things going on with value-based care and population health management,” Monroe said. 

What’s more, 89 percent of respondents listed value-based care as a high or medium priority moving forward, Monroe added, while 82 percent said even repealing the Affordable Care Act will not stop value-based care.

“Value-based care is here to stay. Period,” Monroe said.

Likewise, with population health. Sixty-three percent of the respondents to 3M’s study, in fact, said that their top priority is improving quality and patient outcomes and another 30 percent answered that creating a better patient experience is their top priority.

To embrace population health management and value-based care, Scornavacca’s colleague Renee Broadbent, associate vice president of population health technology and strategy at UMass Memorial, advised attendees to consider four areas to advance value-based care and population health: financial implications, necessary IT infrastructure, provider readiness and cultural readiness.

UMass crafted an IT strategy that involves enhancing reporting and predictive analytics, bringing in additional sources, including outside facilities and health information exchanges and identifying all the systems that are needed to support population health.

“The idea that you build flexible systems is super-critical,” Broadbent said. “It’s great that you collect all the data but, until you organize it, that data is not going to be helpful.”​

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Twitter: @SullyHIT

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