By Phil Suiter
Part I – Steps Involved in Creating a Successful Partnership
For population health management to be truly effective, it must leverage the power of relationships. Healthcare providers must develop stronger ties to all individuals in the community, not just those who are currently patients. This is why progressive health systems are now proactively partnering with local employers and community groups. Their main objectives are:
- To obtain an accurate picture of community health trends (e.g., high incidence of obesity, diabetes, smoking, etc.)
- To identify community members who are most at risk of developing chronic diseases
- To provide upstream education, intervention and appropriate hospital services to help prevent individuals from developing those chronic diseases
The key steps involved in creating a successful partnership:
A provider targets area employers, offering the expertise to create healthier, more productive organizations, reduce insurance premiums and lower absenteeism. The provider works directly with each employer to conduct health risk surveys and biometric screenings of the workforce, often including spouses and family members. This data is analyzed in a variety of ways and becomes the basis for a provider-sponsored health management program to address the organization’s health challenges at both group and individual levels. Participants receive a personalized health score, health risk profile, and content tailored to address their specific health issues or conditions that can lead to chronic illness.
This becomes the foundation for a population health website that employees can easily access. To maintain confidentiality, only the employee and the provider have access to Protected Health Information. The employer, however, receives an aggregate view of employees’ health along with a financial analysis tool that details the cost associated with current health risks and identifies potential savings that may be realized from various health initiatives. Here is where the partnership gains traction as the health system and employer team to create targeted, cost-effective programming for risk reduction. Employers can also track, manage and evaluate incentive offerings, key to many workforce activities.
Employees now are just a web click away from their personalized health dashboard. They can see their Health Score, a numerical snapshot of their health profile – and be motivated to improve their “health number”. They can also access engaging tools like a health calculator, a nutrition diary, a water consumption log, and more, plus health tracker status including synced devices such as Fitbit ®. Content is also tailored based on their individual risk factors and is updated on each log-in.
A population health website offers numerous benefits for all who take advantage:
> the hospital – as they seek to build a healthier community and support strategic service lines
> the employers – as they gain a healthier, more productive workforce while lowering insurance premiums
> the employees – with customized health content and an engaging website that motivates healthier behavior and a happier, healthier lifestyle
Part II will feature The New Rules of Engagement in Employer/Provider Partnerships.