A survey conducted by Numerof & Associates in collaboration with Jefferson College of Population Health founding dean Dr. David Nash found progress toward implementing population health models appears to have slowed in 2018.
The fourth annual study from healthcare consulting firm Numerof & Associates found progress toward implementing population health models seems to have stalled in 2018.
The report, which was conducted in collaboration with Jefferson College of Population Health founding dean Dr. David Nash, included more than 500 C-suite healthcare leaders’ responses to an online survey. Additional insights were gained from in-depth interviews with certain execs.
The reason for the pop health stall, the report claims, is based on three subsets of data.
The first involves the global perspectives of respondents. Slightly more than 60 percent of leaders said their organizations were at least moderately prepared to manage the cost and quality of care.
The second is respondents’ reported progress on implementing management processes that support population health. Less than 50 percent of leaders said their organization routinely used a process to pinpoint outliers in quality and cost at the physician level or had a process to address such variation when it happened.
Finally, the report relies on participants’ reported assumptions of risk-based contracts. The majority of respondents said 10 percent or less of their organization’s revenue came through risk-based contracts. This measure stayed flat relative to surveys in previous years.
Overall, respondents pointed to the potential for financial loss as the biggest barrier to implementing population health. Twenty-three percent listed the threat of financial loss as the primary hurdle to pursuing pop health models. Other top concerns included difficulty in changing the organization’s culture (14 percent) and issues with internal systems like IT, tracking and management (14 percent).
Plus, smaller healthcare organizations appear to lag behind bigger ones. While 90 percent of large hospitals and health systems said they had at least one at-risk contract, only 76 percent of mid-sized institutions and 71 percent of smaller institutions said the same.
“Healthcare is an industry in transition, but the resistance to necessary change is deeply entrenched,” Rita Numerof, co-founder and president of Numerof & Associates, said in a statement. “Rather than embracing new models that they perceive as risky and difficult to manage, providers are trying to muddle their way through as long as possible.”
Though progress has waned, the industry believes population health is the future. Forty percent ranked pop health as critically important for future success, and 42 percent said it’s very important.
Yet there’s still a long road ahead. Thirty-two percent of respondents rated their organization’s ability to manage variation in cost as worse than average, while 14 percent said their organization’s ability to manage variation in quality is average.
Date: March 22, 2019