Population Health in Crisis: The Blind Leading the Blind

Deborah Leyva, RN, MSHIDeborah Leyva, RN, MSHI | LinkedIn Pulse | August 13, 2016

Everything you may know about Population Health (PH) is wrong. I wrote about the complexities associated with PH in the ACO Survival Guide (the Guide). The Guide describes the moving parts necessary to succeed using the accountable care model including data analytics, care coordination, quality metrics and, of course, a deep understanding of HHS' evolving reimbursement regulations. Certainly, any knowledgeable observer could review the Guide and conclude that the ACO model was fraught with complexity and there were plenty of opportunities for false starts and outright failures, potentially costing an organization tens of millions of dollars.

Deborah Leyva, RN, MSHIIn my new book (yet untitled) I will explore the individual points of failure that will lead to many organizations experiencing failed ACO implementations. Here's my thesis in a nutshell: Effective Patient Engagement is ALL that Matters. Although the thesis  may seem obvious to knowledgeable observers, more ambiguous are the kinds of impediments and outright roadblocks that vendors put in the way of achieving this mission, combined with a specific kind of talent deficit in provider organizations that will collectively lead to less than optimal results (understatement).

Now, this is not simply evil vendors looking to make a quick buck (although many obviously are) but rather that the vendors seek to impose their innovation agenda on providers and most providers are not knowledgeable enough to understand that the vendor's agenda probably (almost certainly) does not align with their own. Healthcare providers are not savvy consumers of information technology. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Most providers have been laggards in adopting information technology. We need look no further than the fact that it took the HITECH Act (under its meaningful use provisions) to push providers into adopting electronic health records en masse...