Population Health

Jonathan Bees, October 1, 2016

Healthcare leaders are committed to population health management, yet are cautiously moving forward to implement risk-based financial models.

Healthcare leaders are committed to population health management, yet are cautiously moving forward to implement risk-based financial models.

This article first appeared in the October 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Population health management continues to be a work in progress for the healthcare industry, with the majority of providers involved in investigating risk-based financial models, exploring strategic initiatives, and investing in patient engagement and IT infrastructure. In fact, a significant number of healthcare organizations appear to be doing their homework in this area: A combined 76% of respondents in our 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. Another 11% of respondents are planning to pursue population health but have not begun, and 9% are examining how or whether to pursue this type of health management. These responses are indications that population health is top of mind for healthcare leaders.


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However, while many providers are engaged in evaluating the feasibility of population health programs and some have initiated programs, few have managed to reap meaningful financial rewards because most are still in the early stages of implementation. One indicator of this modest financial progress is net patient revenue from risk-based population health management activities that have exposure to profit and loss: Nearly half of respondents (48%) say they have risk-based revenue of less than 10% (some have no risk-based revenue at all).

Jonathan Bees

Jonathan Bees is the senior research analyst at HealthLeaders Media.

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