Advisory Board, in partnership with Medtronic, recently held a webinar to discuss how Covid-19 affects global population health management (PHM). Overall, organizations that already had PHM infrastructure in place were often better positioned to respond to Covid-19-related surges. We’ve seen these organizations continue to expand their PHM capabilities to help patients throughout the pandemic—and we hope that providers take steps to formalize PHM even beyond Covid-19. If you missed the live session, here are three takeaways to keep in mind as you adjust and strengthen your population health strategy:
1. Despite the reduction in in-person care, patients are taking a proactive interest in health care news and are willing to explore alternative forms of care.
Throughout the pandemic, every major news source has focused on health care, making it part of patients’ daily lives. As a result, people are proactively evaluating their health and wellness and are making commitments to improve their mental and physical health. Health systems should leverage this increased interest while they can to advance their population health goals—and many have started to. For example, Insignia Health developed a Patient Activation Measure (PAM) questionnaire to understand a patient’s level of activation, knowledge, willingness, and confidence to manage their conditions.
2. Covid-19 has created an environment where Primary Care Providers (PCP) are more willing to connect with the rest of the care continuum. However, ensuring these partnerships "stick" will be crucial for future PHM success.
PCPs are an essential part of the care continuum but are often isolated from other parts of the system. Covid-19 has fostered greater cooperation between PCPs and hospitals to respond to the pandemic’s needs. For example, PCPs have connected patients to phone support line and assessment centers, they have rapidly expanded testing ability, and they have ensured that patients continue to receive their necessary disease management visits. Initiatives that connect PCPs with specialists and give general practitioners quick decision support have produced tangible benefits that support PHM success. Health systems should leverage this newfound coordination and put processes in place to create more permanent partnership with PCPs.
3. Despite the opportunities to invest in PHM coming out of Covid-19, the value-based reimbursement mechanisms lag the care model evolution. As a result, Covid-19’s long-term impact on value-based care adoption is still up in the air.
On one hand, health systems or providers who have already embraced value-based care likely fared better financially throughout the pandemic and will continue taking on risk. On the other hand, organizations who are still largely in fee-for-service recognized the financial cushion other providers reaped from a capitated or global payment. However, they aren’t likely to shift into value-based models in the near term given their unstable finances and unpredictable volumes. If possible, health systems should use this window of opportunity to build up their value-based care prerequisites and accelerate their commitment to population health.
Looking for more in the series? Don’t miss the next webinar
While 2020 has been a tough year, leveraging new patient habits, collaborative partnerships, and reduced implementation hurdles will help you advance your population health strategy. Medtronic and the Advisory Board have partnered to deliver a series of webinars for hospital administrators specific to Covid-19 that you can access via this link. You can access the July, October, and December webinars on-demand and register for the January 13, 2021 scheduled webinar.
Slide deck: Advancing your population health strategy amid Covid-19
Download the full slide deck from our recent webinar where we share our thoughts on where population health management fits into health care’s future.