When just beginning the shift to data-driven value-based care, health care providers can start by focusing on one clearly defined population.
But true population health management is about successfully administering care for all patients attributed to an organization.
So how do providers travel the path from novice to intermediate levels of care management?
Once a provider gains experience with chronic and complex cases, they will want to augment their efforts with services that make managing a population’s health easier, more efficient and consumer friendly.
These services can include:
- Telehealth services
The service known as telehealth nursing or telephone triage allows nurses or other care providers to communicate with patients by phone, email, Internet or other channels. They can answer questions and determine the best next step for either acute care or chronic conditions.
A study published in the June 1, 2011 issue of JAMA found telehealth services are associated with lower mortality rates and shorter hospital stays for intensive care patients.
- Referral management
By better managing referrals, organizations can determine if they are sending away patients they have the resources to treat. Keeping patients in your own care network may allow for better care coordination and drive revenue.
- Centralized appointment scheduling
A single hub for scheduling appointments means patients can access the services they need in one call. It might also allow an organization to better manage scheduling across the entire network.
- Biometric remote patient monitoring
Collecting information from fitness trackers or other wearable medical devices and being able to combine it with other forms of data can provide new insights into the needs of your patients.
To learn about adopting population health management skills while still operating under fee for service contracts, listen to an Optum Provider #5in5 podcast. It features five questions answered in five minutes on the healthcare transformation.
About the author
Jay Levine, MA, MBA, is the Vice President of Provider Population Health Management Solutions for Optum’s Consumer Solutions Group. He has over 20 years of experience supporting healthcare leaders and provider organizations in areas such as strategic planning, marketing, business development, physician practice management, and hospital operations.
Jay currently serves as a subject matter expert and strategic advisor to provider organizations establishing population health management capabilities to transition their clinical operations to a risk bearing entity. He has been featured in publications including Healthcare Executive and Healthleaders.com and presented at national conferences on the topics of healthcare strategy and marketing.