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5 Big Ideas from the AHIP Conference

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 22, 2011

3. The payer-physician relationship is in transition...again.
The era of the ACO is upon us and it brings a new call for payers and physicians to work together. This time around a lot is at stake. Payers have an opportunity to step up and provide their physician partners with the tools they need – like robust data ? to develop successful outcomes for their patients. Health plans have deeper pockets than physicians and are more accustomed to working with the technologies and infrastructure required in this age of post healthcare reform.

4. Look for the influencers.
Donald Berwick, the CMS administrator, likes to talk about the "three-part aim" – better care for people, better health for populations and lower cost through improvement. To implement that type of systemic change requires the buy-in of disparate groups, which can be a bit like herding cats. That's where influencers – folks who can convince other folks to buy a certain car or prescribe a certain medication ? come in. How do you find an influencer? Ask Dr. Nicholas Christakis. The Harvard professor uses social network mapping to identify the three degrees of influence where most social influence takes place. The information can be used in a healthcare setting to identify physicians and others who may help reduce the use of healthcare resources as well as help cut costs.

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