An Introduction to Contemporary Issues with Population Health

Understanding population health trends requires more than just an analysis of current hospital and clinic procedures. It requires acknowledging the many social and socioeconomic factors that come into play when it comes to developing strategies to provide care to patients across a wide variety of demographics. Population health solutions must use available data to come up with business models that can better serve today’s diverse population.

Unfortunately, most healthcare facilities currently operate using models based exclusively on fee-for-service, encounter-based medicine. This not only leaves some patients without the help they need but also makes it more difficult to determine the real cost of care. Read on to find out about a few different strategies for improving current models to more accurately reflect patient needs and healthcare facilities’ abilities to provide for them.

Risk-Based Contracts

In order to understand the true cost of care in the context of population health, organizations must improve their abilities to manage risk-based contracts and bundled payments. Of course, this is only a vital first step toward gathering accurate data regarding socioeconomic status and patient outcomes. However, it is a step that must be taken before the data already being gathered by hospitals and other facilities can be accurately understood.

Relationship Building

There is no understating the importance of developing better communication between patients and their healthcare providers. Healthcare is not a one-size-fits-all industry, and what works for one patient may not work for another. That’s why it’s essential that patients be encouraged to participate in their own care.

Risk Stratification

Successful business models enroll patients in risk-based plans, taking advantage of a tool known as risk stratification. High-risk patients often fall under the category of those who refuse to participate in their own care. In order to better serve these patients, healthcare systems must develop strategies that distribute care management resources according to risk level and patient needs.

Meeting Challenges Head On

If all of this sounds like a difficult task, that’s because it often is. However, it’s important for care providers to understand that there are now plenty of professional services out there that can help. Start by looking into healthcare data analytics and applicable software solutions that can make it easier to apply new strategies to managing care.