The growing emphasis on population health represents a sea change in the way medicine is practiced. A team-based effort is required to effectively meet the population health challenge of improving outcomes for groups of patients rather than a single patient at a time. Find out how private practices can focus on patients who will benefit most from a population health approach and direct staff to help efficiently deliver that care.
Care delivered to defined groups of patients based on their medical conditions is not only a sound clinical approach, it is also becoming central to practice sustainability. Health plans are switching from traditional payment mechanisms to value-based models tied to outcomes.
“Because of value-based purchasing, there is more incentive for physicians and practices to be sure that they are addressing the needs of their whole population of patients and not just those patients who take the initiative to present for care,” said internist Christine A. Sinsky, MD, who recently retired from private practice and is the AMA’s vice president for professional satisfaction. Population health success is closely tied to a shift from reliance on the physician to making the best use of everyone’s skills at a practice.
In-depth, actionable guidance on that score is available with the AMA STEPS Forward™ collection of open-access modules, offering innovative strategies that allow physicians and their staff to thrive in the new health care environment. These resources can help prevent physician burnout, create the organizational foundation for joy in medicine and improve practice efficiency.
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STEPS Forward is part of the AMA Ed Hub, an online platform that brings together all the high-quality CME, maintenance of certification, and educational content you need—in one place—with activities relevant to you, automated credit tracking and reporting for some states and specialty boards.
Orientation modules on preparing your practice for value-based care and patient panel management provide private practices with the administrative basics for population health care. Condition-specific modules, such as managing type 2 diabetes and medication adherence, outline key clinical steps team members will perform.
Dr. Sinsky recently co-wrote an article, “Advanced team-based care: How we made it work,” published in the Journal of Family Practice. It details the experiences of Bellin Health system in Northeast Wisconsin in using team-based care for success with population health and other practice improvements.