Providing the tools for Primacy Care Transformation

By Howard Beckman, MD, FACP, FAACH, FNAP. Chief Medical Officer, EagleDream Health In a series of articles in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Ellner and Phillips1, then Shrank2, and finally Hochman and Asch3, argue for the need to transform primary care to meet the needs of our population in a cost effective manner. Ellner and Phillips argue that the principles that should guide this…

Improving the Value of Care: Reducing the use of Low-Value Services

By Howard Beckman, MD, FACP, FAACH, FNAP. Chief Medical Officer, EagleDream Health In the March 7, 2017 issue of the Milbank Quarterly1, Schlesinger and Grob reported on a study to quantify the populations’ commitment to reducing low value care. Regretfully, even though estimates are that 30% of care delivered is unnecessary, they found that overall one-third of Americans currently cannot envision benefits from avoiding low-value care. Worse, the percent rose…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #10

How much do population health management systems cost, and what is their return on investment? Price methodologies vary, but many vendors base their price on the number of billable providers as measured by national provider identifiers (NPIs). Cloud-based systems typically price on a monthly subscription basis with additional one-time fees for implementation. A vendor quote should provide the meaningful details you need. A system’s return on investment is directly correlated…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #9

What should a physician practice look for when selecting a population health system? While it is beyond the scope of this document to consider all the myriad features of a population health system, at the high level, here are some guiding principles that assist in the selection process: Ability to meet use cases: this requires that you prepare the use cases in advance (as suggested above) Ease of use for…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #8

What are some key factors for a successful population health project? Before any technology project is initiated, it is worth a moment to consider what’s required to make it successful. For a PHM platform deployment, here are some of the key factors for success: Practice Leadership; an active population health project directly impacts your providers across a spectrum that ranges from organizational focus on closing gaps in care, to potentially…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #7

What is involved in implementation and support of a population health management system? For staff experienced in the labor, process, and technology intensive implementation of EHR systems, the implementation of population health system is refreshingly easy—with the majority of the tasks and set up completed by the PHM platform vendor. While implementations of different PHMs will vary, for EagleDream Health (EDH), an implementation team lead by an EDH physician will…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #6

Is claims data part of a PHM platform? Robust PHM platforms can be implemented without incorporating adjudicated health insurance claims. Nonetheless, when available, paid claims offer rich and important insights not possible with clinical data alone. Paid Claims data helps administrators manage complex value-based contracts in which some level of accountability (and thus risk) for cost and quality is assumed by the practice. Both risk and gain sharing arrangements require…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #5

Can population health be integrated into daily workflow, or will it slow down a busy staff? Effective PHM platforms actually enhance care team workflows by increasing team effciency, shifting tasks away from the point of care to the pre-visit period by supporting streamlined pre-visit planning. For those tasks or gaps in care that the care team is unable to close prior to the patient’s visit, the PHM platform’s point of…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #4

How do we get the data? How do you insure data integrity? How is data updated? The first task of a PHM platform vendor is to extract the relevant clinical and financial data that will populate the PHM platform’s data warehouse. For clinical data, the main source will be the practice’s own EHR, other EHRs within the same delivery system, data feeds from regional HIEs (as needed) and lab interfaces.…

The Essentials of Population Health: Ten Things You Need to Know – #3

Doesn’t my EHR provide this sort of information? Why do I need another system? While an essential tool in helping practices manage the daily process of seeing patients and documenting visits, EHR systems were designed to support the care of individual patients rather than populations of patients who share common denominators. Additionally, EHRs have not evolved the necessary capabilities to integrate disparate sources of information such as adjudicated payer claims,…