As hospitals and health systems transition from fee-for-service to value-based payment models, population health is becoming more of a focus—and health systems increasingly are hiring senior executives to manage the health of entire communities.
Hospitals, health systems look to population health
According to Sue Martin—SVP of interim leadership at B.E. Smith, a national health care executive search firm—executive roles in the realm of population health have "drastically increased" over the past few years.
For instance, Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio, has hired Kristene Grayem as its VP of population health management. Her job is to help the health system look beyond day-to-day patient care and approach community health from a more global perspective. "We do a great job when you show up for a well visit taking care of that patient," explained Grayem, "but what about the families who didn't show up for their well visit last year?"
Elsewhere, MetroHealth last year hired Nabil Chehade to be its SVP of population health, a position the health system created specifically for Chehade. Cleveland Clinic is also taking steps to create a leadership team for population health, and Summa Health added an SVP of population health role to the responsibilities of Mark Terpylak, who had served as president of the system's ACO New Health Collaborative.
Why the change?
Why the emphasis on new executive-level roles? According to Rob McGregor, CMO at Akron Children's Hospital, there's a need to break down silos between existing divisions. The hospital's new VP of population health management role, he added, will help create the infrastructure for a broader shift to value-based payments.
Chehade echoed the importance of leadership in population health to driving the shift to a value-based world: "I have not yet seen any health system that has been successful in moving from a fee-for-service to a global risk without putting a significant emphasis on population health," he said.
Summa Health, meanwhile, is searching for a VP of population health strategy to help build on their existing work. Terpylak said, "I think there's just a realization that you can't just keep creating new business units that expand the continuum of care and hope that they wind up effectively integrating in a horizontal fashion" (Coutre, Crain's Cleveland Business, 6/4).
How to reduce avoidable visits—in the ED and beyond
In these case studies, Advisory Board experts profile nine opportunities to use population health management to reduce avoidable emergency department visits, inpatient stays, and procedures.