The Next Generation of Value Based Medicine: Corporate Population Health Management™ - Part 1: "Definition"
(this is Part 1 of a three-part blog entry discussing the topic of Corporate Population Health Management, a concept Open Health Market and its partner ACAP Health are helping companies adopt.)
The concept of population health management is about stewarding a group of people to receive the highest quality, safest, most convenient, lowest cost, and most seamlessly integrated health care, ensuring they live the longest, best lives possible. How do we ensure that this group gets what they need at the right time? Population health management breaks it down and asks, “how do we consistently, conveniently, and efficiently perform the vital steps that will lead to the best health outcomes for this group of people?”
There are four major aspects to population health management:
- Access to care
- Comprehensive coordinated care
- Preventive and chronic condition screening and management, and
- High value, timely, convenient provision of services (surgical, etc.)
If one were to look at this at a corporate level, they would ask, “what does each individual need to focus on to add years to their life and life to their years so that employees are healthy, engaged, present and fit?” Is it wellness? Heart disease? Diabetes? And, how do we engage each employee to get what he or she needs, when they need it, by the right provider, at the right cost?
For human resource staff you may be asking, “do corporations really want to get involved in health care at this level?” Well as we know, employees are a company’s single most important asset. The health of the employees could be called the “Health Assets” of a corporation, and one could look at the HR team’s job and ask “how well are they doing at “Health Asset Management™?” By looking at the collective health of the employees on Jan. 1, their level of fitness, their weight, biometrics, the presence of cancer, pre-diabetes and diabetes, etc., it is clear that over the course of the year, the company is going to make a significant Health Equity Investment™ (frequently millions of dollars) in their employees. On Dec. 31, your employee’s health, after investing millions of dollars, has changed. Was it for the better? Worse? How do you assess whether your investment was made at the correct clinics, hospitals, or doctors? Who is providing you the highest value and best return on your investment?
As you may know, many primary care doctors are being asked to set up Patient Centered Medical Homes to help in this endeavor. Patient Centered Medical Homes offer continuous, coordinated care between a personal physician and team of health care professionals throughout an individual’s lifetime, to maximize the outcomes of health. This involves coordination and implementation of preventive care, treatment for illness, communication and access, and quality and safety. This model would shift payment of services from paying for volume billing and collecting, to companies soon paying for value based health care. According to research done by The Commonwealth Fund, this model of care would reduce health care costs, improve quality and increase patient satisfaction.
It is remarkable to note that primary care doctors are doing this while only seeing the average patient for 10 minutes, three times a year. If a corporation provided the support and encouragement of this methodology with 40 hours a week - control of the benefits structure, communication and educations efforts, and working with the highest quality providers – one would have to wonder how much of a difference employees would experience in their health care and the reduction that would be experienced in their health benefit costs.
So how does a corporation determine what defines value and how to compensate for outcomes and quality? For more on this topic, stay tuned for Part 2 – “How to Define Centers of Value”.
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