The Impact of Community Outreach
Provider organizations are tackling social issues in order to help patients better manage their health and to avoid incurring government penalties.
This article first appeared in the April 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
As hospital and health system leaders look for ways to improve their population health management capabilities, it is becoming clear to some that they need to develop community outreach programs to assist patients in overcoming the social barriers that exist in many areas.
Hunger and nutrition challenges, low literacy rates, and a lack of safe housing are among the biggest obstacles faced by many patients who are high utilizers of healthcare services. Through community-based initiatives, provider organizations can help patients get beyond these hurdles to be able to prevent and manage chronic diseases and other costly health problems.
Focus on public health
Successful population health management requires an innovative way of thinking about care delivery, says Randy Oostra, president and CEO at ProMedica, a Toledo, Ohio-based health system with 2,268 licensed beds and fiscal year 2014 budgeted revenue of $2.6 billion.