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Taking the Population Health Plunge: Physician Organization Leaders Go Big

September 30, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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The pioneers of the new healthcare are facing up to a range of process and technology challenges

There’s bad news and good news on the population health management front these days. The bad news is that all the forms of population health management, including accountable care organization (ACO) development, care management, patient-centered medical home (PCMH) development, and avoidable readmissions reduction work, among other types of initiatives, are turning out to be more difficult than anyone anticipated. That’s particularly true at the medical group and physician practice levels, where resource challenges, incentive alignment issues, and the lack of off-the-shelf information technologies are dogging everyone’s steps. But the good news is that the leaders of medical groups and integrated health systems are figuring out quickly where the key gaps, both process-wise and technology-wise, are, and are working to bridge those gaps.

Here’s the bottom line: medical group CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, and CMIOs, and leaders at health systems with physician groups, are coming to similar conclusions about the key learnings in this area. They include the following: