The missing ingredient for population health management success

amanda-skinnerMedicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement program, and value-based contracting in general have driven the health care industry to invest in population health management (PHM) applications and services.

But it turns out that it takes more to succeed in value-based care than purchasing technology or engaging in a short-term consulting engagement. To be successful at bearing clinical and financial risk, leaders need to understand how to execute against improving care and reducing costs. PHM applications and services can help do that, but it also takes another key ingredient: expertise.

According to Steve Griffiths, a senior vice president of health care analytics at Optum, the lack of PHM proficiency at providers is leading to several significant challenges:

  • PHM analytics deliver valuable insights, but they are not impacting patient outcomes to a level providers expect
  • The current spend on analytics continues to rise without a clear return on investment
  • Analytics platform offerings have improved, but most organizations aren’t yet utilizing these platforms to their fullest extent
  • Providers often struggle to find the right talent to make the most of analytics systems

That’s why many provider leaders are looking for partners who can help them guide their strategy as well as drive not only data but also insights from their analytics systems. For shorter-term needs, health systems and hospitals are hiring consulting firms that offer initial support for value-based care initiatives. However, it’s the move toward managed services that is showing the greatest promise.

PHM managed services organizations offer end-to-end solutions that include the technology, processes and people to deliver against a value-based care strategy. These highly customized relationships put the onus of overseeing ongoing core functions on the managed services firm, which lets providers focus more on patient care.

Learn more about PHM managed services by downloading the Optum featured topic: “Getting Analytics to Work for You.”


About the Author:

Amanda Skinner, Vice President and General Manager, Managed Value and Risk Analytics

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