Population Health Strategies for 2015: What's the Buzz?
We were curious about what top health care leaders are thinking when it comes to investing in population health IT. So in February, we asked members of the HealthLeaders Media Council to respond to a brief survey. We wanted to get a better understanding of their outlook, results they’ve achieved so far, and challenges they face as health care shifts from volume to value.
In part one of this two-part series, we’ll see how 133 HealthLeaders Media Council members answered the first survey question:
What will be your biggest health IT investment in 2015?
The survey results show strong interest in care management and coordination, the #1 population health strategy respondents say they will invest in this year.
- Care management and coordination - 41%
- Data integration and exchange - 30%
- Patient engagement and outreach - 18%
- Clinical analytics - 11%
- Other - 1%
“It makes perfect sense that care coordination would be a leading priority for health care organizations as they assume more risk in accountable care models,” explains Dr. Charles Kennedy, Healthagen’s Chief Population Health Officer. “Much of the non-value added spending in health care has been driven by lack of coordination, contributing to avoidable readmissions, adverse drug interactions and errors such as errors of omission or patient safety.” Dr. Kennedy added that care coordination has already contributed to reduced costs and improved outcomes, warranting greater refinement and scaling.
Regarding data integration and exchange, the second most popular population health investment strategy, Dr. Kennedy believes it is accelerating. “As technology solutions deliver on the promise of connecting siloed patient data and extracting usable information, health systems will be more likely to increase investments,” he said. “The value to a health provider of having a comprehensive picture of a patient cannot be underestimated.”
Profile of respondents
More than half (54%) of the HealthLeaders Media Council respondents in this survey were senior leaders with C-level titles like:
- Chief Operations Officer
- Chief Medical Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief of Staff
- Chief Information Officer
- Chief Nursing Officer
- Chief Medical Information Officer
Other respondents were operations leaders (17%), clinical leaders (14%), marketing leaders (8%) and financial leaders (7%). The bulk of respondents work for hospitals or health systems (64%) and the balance is made up of physician organizations (13%), ancillary/allied providers (7%), health plan/insurers (7%), long-term care/SNF (6%), and government and education/academic (4%). The majority of respondents, 71%, are affiliated with nonprofit organizations.
Are investments in population health paying off?
On Thursday, we'll look at how current investments in population health IT have (or have not) helped health care organizations improve quality or reduce costs, and what the survey respondents see as the biggest challenges to achieving positive results.
Population Health and the associated process and functions to that end is absolutely the chatter in the industry today. Tangent to that is the swing in Value Based reimbursement initiatives. I am interested in feedback on how organizations have meshed the two initiatives and the challenges that "technology-ready" components are now facing.