Population Health: Moving Beyond Treating Illness to Improving the Health of a Community
This is a watershed moment in how healthcare is being delivered in our country. The adoption of population health is growing—indicating a fundamental change in healthcare. Reimbursement is driving the focus from a fee-for-service “treatment” system of care to a value-based system focused on clinical outcomes, quality and resource utilization. But questions abound: What exactly does population health mean for hospitals? How can hospitals and physicians be accountable to improve the health of the community without the power to change unhealthy behaviors? Hospitals and health systems must rethink their role in healthcare by moving from an organization that traditionally treated illness and injury to an organized system that is also focused on improving the health and wellness of a defined population.