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Top 4 Population Health Challenges

By Debra Shute  
   July 27, 2017

Executives at the forefront of achieving the Triple Aim discuss barriers to meaningful innovation in an era of shrinking reimbursement and system disequilibrium.

If there's one thing organizations share when it comes to population health, it's that there's plenty of opportunity to refine their strategy.

The top takeaways from this year's HealthLeaders Media Population Health Exchange, a gathering of more than 40 invited senior health executives in Colorado Springs, CO, surrounded lessons learned in overcoming four key widespread difficulties.

Return on investment

The entrepreneurial energy in many organizations is strong, which is great for fostering bottom-up innovation—but the resulting unstructured efforts can be problematic for demonstrating hard ROI, according to Neil Carpenter, vice president of strategic planning, research and transformation for LifeBridge Health in Baltimore.

For example, "physician's research and administrative time is not well tracked for but is a very costly investment for the organization," he said.

"So the care solution that's created by a faculty member may require lots of unfunded time and even administrative support; but you don't see those costs buried in the budget, and you don't know if there's a real ROI on the solution."

As a result, LifeBridge is working to improve its focus on a shorter list of initiatives that are strategically critical to the organization.

"We're trying to get the leadership team to be more hands-on in the pilot phase to make sure it's set up in a way that we can get real cost and outcomes data out of it," Carpenter said. "And if there's hard ROI, we scale those [projects]."

Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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