Population Health: Risk-Based Revenue Growth Accelerates

Jonathan Bees, October 23, 2017

Providers are taking a cautious approach, but momentum appears to be building toward assuming greater risk for population health management activities.

Healthcare industry momentum continues to build for risk-based population health revenue, with 40% of respondents in the 2017 HealthLeaders Media Population Health Survey indicating that 25% or more of their organization’s net patient revenue is attributed to risk-based population health management activities, up 18 percentage points from last year’s survey.

Also encouraging is that fewer respondents say that this activity represents less than 10% of net patient revenue (34%), with results down 14 percentage points from 48%.

While risk-based net patient revenue from population health is increasing, the pace of population health program adoption by providers has remained relatively steady, with the majority of providers either involved in formal programs or pilots.

For example, a combined 75% of respondents in the survey say that they are either fully committed and underway or have an experimental or pilot program underway for managing the overall health of a defined population, nearly the same response as in last year’s survey (76%).

And while the percentage of respondents saying that they are fully committed and underway (53%) is up six percentage points and participation in experimental or pilot programs (22%) is down seven points, these modest changes in response are within the survey’s margin of error.

Fully Committed and Underway

The survey results for fully committed and underway suggest that a greater share of respondents is taking on risk-based population health activities and making a deeper commitment.

Note that the use of risk-based financial models is another key indicator that population health management is occurring at an organization, as providers face real consequences if they misjudge their capabilities or lack insight into the quality of their risk pool.

Up until now, providers have generally taken a cautious approach, but momentum appears to be building toward assuming greater risk.

Jonathan Bees

Jonathan Bees is the senior research analyst at HealthLeaders Media.

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