Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it feels as though we all received a collective crash course in public, or population, health. But, while most of us are now all too familiar with some aspects of population health management – social distancing, shelter-in-place, and contact tracing to name a few – there’s much more beneath the surface, especially financially.
Certainly, as health systems transition to a value-based care model – with a focus on population health – it can be hard to know where to begin. In IMO’s eBook, our experts weighed in to share five tips on how to help set your team up for success.
Below, we’ve highlighted one issue from the eBook that feels particularly relevant amidst a continuing pandemic:
Providers are trained to address immediate, clinical needs before focusing on larger population-level issues. However, successful population health programs place equivalent importance on long-term outcomes and individual patient care. Asking clinicians to equally prioritize both individual, immediate patient care along with overarching population health goals is usually untenable given their workloads. Indeed, doing so may ultimately result in poorer, rather than improved, outcomes.
Consider this solution
Develop a two-tiered approach by creating separate teams to focus primarily on either patient care or on population health. Clinical providers are the natural fit to track individual patients, whereas public health professionals or social workers are better equipped to assess the larger, population-health picture. This breakdown of responsibilities helps encourage proactive patient engagement, which ultimately supports cost-effective and appropriate care.