ACOs, Population Health Management Share a Common Thread

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, February 27, 2012

There may be no 'I' in team, but there is one in self-interest, and 59% of healthcare leaders feel it's keeping the industry from solving its problems, according to the cross-sector version of the 2012 HealthLeaders Media Industry Report.

Yet while more than half of healthcare leaders say self-interest is inhibiting an industry solution, 53% of leaders say their respective organizations will participate in an accountable care organization in the next five years. These two conflicting stats provoke a question; how can an industry that's laden with self-interest become selfless enough to successfully operate ACOs, which require deep partnerships? The answer may lie in the collaboration that's necessary for population health management.

PHM is often defined as the health outcomes of a group achieved by addressing a broad range of factors that impact that group's health, such as environment, social structure, resource distribution, etc. Several pilot PHM programs across the U.S. report anecdotal success with improving patient outcomes while reducing costs.

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A report from the American Medical Group Association, ACOs and Population Health Management, clarifies the relationship between the two concepts. As the reimbursement environment transitions from volume-based reimbursement to a value-based one focusing on quality care and efficiency, providers will be held accountable and could lose out financially if the health of their patients doesn't improve.


Karen Minich-Pourshadi Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media. Twitter


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