Investments into Population Health Management Paying Off

Population health management programs are paying off, according to a survey of healthcare managers. More than half of respondents expect to recoup investments into these programs within 3 to 4 years, KPMG LLP found.

Population health management programs are paying off, according to a survey of healthcare managers. More than half of respondents expect to recoup investments into these programs within 3 to 4 years, KPMG LLP found.

Respondents are using population health management programs as a way to reduce avoidable medical costs and variability in care, according to West Johnson, a KPMG advisory partner who heads provider transformation.

“Preventive care is given a big priority in these programs, since they deliver improvements in efficient and effective care with a high degree of patient engagement,” Mr Johnson said in a statement.

More than a third (36%) of respondents say preventive care is the biggest clinical benefit of population health management programs, followed by developing evidence-based clinical protocols to improve the efficiency of care (23%) and managing chronic diseases (21%).

Only 14% of respondents said they do not see recouping the cost of the programs, but 20% expects the investment to pay off in 1 to 2 years, 36% expects 3 or 4 years, and 29% estimates 5 or more years.

Costs are the biggest challenge when implementing a population management program, according to 42% of respondents. However, a quarter also said getting staff and physicians comfortable with the approach, which requires greater collaboration and integration among providers and patients, is the second biggest challenge, followed by interoperability (19%) and coming to terms with new payer relationships (14%).

“Healthcare providers are facing a seismic shift in the coming years, largely because government and commercial payers will increasingly decline to pay for avoidable hospital visits,” Joe Kuehn, a KPMG partner with the healthcare advisory practice, said. “Providers and other participants in the care delivery system need the real time data and analytic tools to not only manage and improve the quality of care provided, but also the ability to measure costs to operate efficiently.”