New Intelligence Report: Healthcare Leaders exploring new financial risk structures to support a successful population health program

Press Releases, October 30, 2015

In a new HealthLeaders Media report, Population Health: Investing in a Risk-Based Future, sponsored by McKesson, 69% of healthcare leaders say that they are either fully committed to or have a pilot program underway for managing the overall health of a defined population.

The report, sponsored by McKesson, details what strategic initiatives are widely employed by leading healthcare provider organizations to improving the health of a defined population. This report includes data from a survey of HealthLeaders Media’s 8,000-plus member executive research panel. A free excerpt can be downloaded at

“Developing competencies and implementing population health programs requires significant effort and takes time. Organizations that do not begin this journey sufficiently early may find themselves struggling as a value-based world overtakes them,” says Jonathan M. Niloff, MD, MBA, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at McKesson. “Key success factors include implementing new care models, aligning providers, and implementing good technology.”

The data indicates that large numbers of healthcare organizations are actively participating in population health management. The majority of respondents say that they are either fully committed to or have pilot programs underway for managing the health of a defined population, although interestingly the percentage is down somewhat from last year’s survey (80%). Looking more closely at the results, both fully committed (41% versus 49%) and experimental or pilot programs (28% versus 31%) are lower this year.

“This is generally the kind of the trend that I hear when talking to industry leaders. Everybody’s trying something, but the excitement or the initial fervor seems to be dwindling a little bit. The thought process is ‘Before we jump into this thing with two feet, we’ve got to better understand what we’re dealing with,” says Michael Kotzen, Executive Vice President for Population Health Management at Virtua.

Taking on risk and exploring new financial risk structures is an essential aspect of developing population health competency and effectiveness. A close look at metrics such as net patient revenue from risk-based population health as well as other indicators suggests that population health management has yet to reach critical mass.

Other compelling statistics from the report include:

  • Providers are anticipating aggressive investment in IT infrastructure to support population health with the largest increase in responses found on risk stratification, from 40% up to 66%, analytics to identify gaps in care from 46% up to 68%, analytics using payer claims data from 50% up to 68%, and analytics using population data from 55% up to 71%.
  • Among those fully committed to or underway with pilot programs, 42% of respondents have risk-based revenue of less than 10% (some have no risk-based revenue at all), which suggests that population health management has yet to reach critical mass.
  • 42% of health leaders rank shared savings with providers to be the top financial risk structure
  • The top three population health initiatives are physician engagement (68%), patient engagement (55%), and care management (51%).
  • While 73% of respondents say employed physicians at their organizations have at least some compensation exposed to risk for quality-based outcomes, 27% have no compensation at risk at all.

About HealthLeaders Media
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