What ‘Population Health’ Means, and What it Could Mean to You

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What ‘population health’ means, and what it could mean to you (WBFO/NPR)

A feature story on Millennium Collaborative Care, “an organization in the middle of a five-year initiative to create a better health care system in Western New York.” This piece from WBFO focuses on how providers think about population health, and how the definition (as it exists now) needs to shift to include broader networks. “Among health care providers, there are building blocks of all shapes and sizes needed to create an aligned network. Things like nursing homes and home health programs, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, and doctors, as well. Take all that and extend the network to look at palliative care and disease management, outpatient care, retail clinics, and even the new technologies available in electronic health.” The result is a “health information exchange,” which means a patient’s healthcare needs and background is known to whatever provider/service they need or seek.


That said, Dr. Jon Burroughs, speaking at a population health conference in Buffalo, says that nothing can progress until providers understand why moving towards a stronger population health model is worth their time, resources, and investment: “People have to have a compelling reason why they would want to go through the hard work – and it’s hard work to learn new skills, to adapt to a new environment, to learn a new business, new care model, new skills – in order to provide people better health at a lower cost.” The role of patients and community organizations is also discussed.


DCHI’s Healthy Neighborhoods initiative is following a similar path, emphasizing the role of the provider, patient, and community organizations and members to minimize social determinants of health across the state of Delaware. To date, three of the 10 proposed “Healthy Neighborhood” regions have launched, and an additional three-five Healthy Neighborhoods communities are slated to be launched this year (with the remaining communities rolling out in 2018-2019). For more details on the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative please visit us at https://www.dehealthinnovation.org/.  


Humana shares its population health management secrets (Managed Healthcare Executive)

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