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Population Health Transformation Journey


This article was written by Michael Samczak, Desiree Vuocolo Canovic and Julie Hobson of Highmark.

Highmark is on a journey to transform health. Being a leader in the health care industry requires a curated approach that focuses on the individual needs of each member and clinician. Leadership means curating new relationships with our clinician partners and leveraging the use of new technologies and best practices to build a better care delivery model; for Highmark we are calling this Living Health.

Our Living Health team works closely with our clinician partners, and our work has become synonymous with the adoption of Agile methodologies, which encourage improved efficiencies through collaboration and the ability to change priorities quickly. This new approach provides us with the dedicated time, resources, and capacity to rapidly address the identified needs of the market timely and to maintain an internal process in support of continuous improvement.

What is Agile and continuous improvement? Essentially, these methodologies allow us to efficiently channel our collective efforts toward the development, delivery, and improvement of new and flexible tools in support of our goal to collaborate with our clinician partners participating in our value-based reimbursement programs.

Our team was fortunate to be an early adopter of Agile within the Highmark organization. The Agile opportunity quickly led to operational and philosophical changes that have improved collaboration across the enterprise which resulted in a quicker time-to-market and a more targeted approach. Internally, the team developed a standardized method to the creation and review of provider support documents, process flows and training materials, and to engaging with our matrixed partners.

Ultimately, we unlocked the strategic thinker in every team member, instilling a sense of ownership to the department’s direction and priorities. Through this transformation all of us share the due diligence to understand each entity and their unique processes and approach to population health, allowing us to:

  • Tailor strategies and support based on an entity’s capabilities and market-specific needs
  • Utilize analytical capabilities and expertise to provide actionable insights to assist our clinician partners in achieving success in our value-based reimbursement programs

This dynamic approach finds purpose in providing support to our clinician partners as they manage our members. The grand idea is that we build a place to share our tools, discuss best practices, and to provide a space for open dialogue between our clinician partners.

The team is committed to continued partnerships through our consultative support, leveraging the collective expertise of our internal teams, and with access to insights into the data that will drive improvement. We are excited to share this new approach to engaging with our clinical partners with all of you. 

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