As many of us in health care realize, sometimes it is just not possible to keep patients out of the hospital! All of our best strategies are in some cases not used, or in others, did not work. So how do we keep patients out of the hospital? Per chance we are putting the cart before the horse. Let me explain. Continue reading
A critical task in population health management is identifying individuals at risk for bad outcomes and providing intervention to reduce that risk. Claims-based algorithms identify prospective risk,¹ but people without a claims history present a problem as payment continues to move toward value-based purchasing. Rather than waiting for claims, we can ask people questions that unmask significant risk. Patient-reported data tells us, in real time, a person’s risks and hands clinicians an opportunity to address those risks and change outcomes. Continue reading
We recently held our biannual payer client conference in Orlando, FL, and it was another very productive meeting. Several plans shared their respective progress and challenges as they each journey forward on the path to value. Based on the feedback, my colleague, James Lawson, Vice President, Client Experience, Payment and Population Solutions, shared some key takeaways from the meeting: Continue reading
Patient reported outcome measures matter. The subject is capturing an increasing amount of attention as clinicians strive to reduce suffering by trying to figure out what matters to people (see the New York Times article, “Doctors Strive to Do Less Harm by Inattentive Care”).
Helping people with chronic conditions achieve better outcomes is a foundational principle of population health management and value-based contracting. Continue reading
The title says a lot: “Patient-Centered Medical Homes In Louisiana Had Minimal Impact On Medicaid Population’s Use Of Acute Care And Costs.”¹
Health plans and other payers want to improve total cost of care and quality by aligning payment and measurement models with better health care delivery. They ask “How will we know better care delivery when we see it?” The National Committee for Quality Assurance’s PCMH (patient-centered medical home) recognition program is one way. Continue reading
I am not a fan of cold weather. Not a snow lover, don’t like sleet, detest freezing rain and ice and the resulting traffic accidents. Most folks don’t think about their airbags until they begin to skid on an ice-covered road and suddenly it becomes one of the most critical components of the vehicle.
Bad weather makes me think about the news reports of the frightening problems with faulty airbags. I was surprised to hear reports that the problem impacts the entire price range of vehicles – from economy to luxury brands. The news got me thinking – is an airbag a component auto manufacturers would compromise? Continue reading
Sing along with me! We are entering a time of unprecedented change in healthcare. I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Healthcare Finance Management Association (HFMA) Region 11 Symposium in San Diego recently. This was one of the most dynamic conferences I have ever attended and I came away, by far, with more knowledge than I was imparting. There were certainly some clear surprises which I would like to share with you. The biggest reward for me was listening to finance leaders express their compassion and determination to care for their populations. Not only were they committed to ensuring all had access to healthcare and the means to pay for it, they were extremely focused on making it affordable and were open to an overhaul to pricing and pricing structures. It is moments like this that make me proud to be a member of the healthcare community.
What other lessons did I learn? Continue reading
In 2014, Singapore achieved the top rank among 54 industrialized countries for healthcare efficiency. The United States ranked 44th. Singapore’s average life expectancy of 82.1 years and a per capita healthcare cost of only $2,426 (4.5% of GDP) earned it top billing. The average life expectancy in the United States is 78.7 and the U.S. reluctantly boasts the highest per capita healthcare expense of $8,895, accounting for 17.2% of GDP.
Should the U.S. adopt Singapore’s approach to the financing and delivery of health care, and if it did, would it achieve the same outcomes and similar quality? First, we need to understand what makes Singapore so different. Continue reading
Maybe solo primary care practices are dying, but so what?
This question led some folks at Mathematica Policy Research to look into solo primary care practice and the results are interesting.¹
They looked at a handful of states and found that the ratio of solo and very small practices varies quite a bit but represents a significant proportion of practices. While on average 13 percent of primary care physicians practice solo, this represents 46 percent of practices. 65 percent of practices have one or two physicians. Continue reading
There is plenty of speculation about the fate of hospitals and healthcare IT. The uncertainty could make it difficult for hospital executives to set strategies for the coming year. Yet, there are a few near-certainties as we go into 2015. Here are three resolutions hospital executives should make to keep pace with 2015 trends. Continue reading