Shifting to value-based care requires a new model of healthcare operations and focus on new population health goals. For many hospitals and health systems this means a systematic transformation.
In late 2015,
Any thoughts on the first year of the program's development?
I think we're ahead of the curve. On a national scale
What does it mean to be the Physician Champion for
The population health model supports positive change for the way we all (patients, providers, and hospitals) think about healthcare. My role is to help define and implement the change that brings value. I'm committed to making healthcare more beneficial for our patients, our physicians and
Where do you focus your efforts?
Physician engagement is both my biggest opportunity and my greatest challenge. Fundamentally physicians are distrustful of change, me included. We fear loss of autonomy. My role is a liaison between "change" and the medical staff and providers. I'm currently participating in an AHA-AMCA Fellowship that provides valuable learning and networking on physician engagement. At the core of this Fellowship is data supporting
What challenges have you faced in the first year?
We always like to see the immediate effects of our efforts but population health is a long-term commitment. This is especially evident in the technology and predictive analytics of population health. Tracking specific disease conditions and individual patients requires being able to aggregate data from many different sources and we're not able to do that yet. We're struggling with how to accumulate and track data across these different settings.
Why is the shift to Population Health Management important?
Population health is being driven by Medicare Payment Reform so you might think it's about chasing metrics and compromised care. However, value-based care can improve the quality of patient health. It's not episodic, it's over time... if we are doing a good job caring for the patients, then the metrics will fall in place. To succeed under new payment methodologies like MACRA we need to begin making changes now including implementing new clinical quality measures and determining how to fund further measures, utilize resources, incorporate meaningful use and implement clinical practice improvement activities.
Where do you see your program in the next 1-2 years?
It's hard to say because healthcare is ever-changing. We'll see population health evolve at all levels and we'll continue to adapt to change. Our goal is to create healthy communities and much of what we accomplish in chronic disease management today will support better health in the generations of today and tomorrow.