"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summit on Population Health

Yesterday, I had the privilege to serve on a panel of "experts" on population health at the Mid-Atlantic Summit on Population Health.  The focus was "Value Based Payments in Population Health: Accelerating Concept into Reality."  Two of my favorites presenters preceded the panel discussion, Anirban Basu, the Chief Economist for the Sage Policy Group, and Dr. David Nash, Dean of the Thomas Jefferson School of Population Health.  I have heard both speakers a number of times; in fact, Anirban served as our keynote speaker at our board summer planning meeting last year.  He is extremely knowledgable and quite entertaining as a presenter.  David Nash is also an excellent presenter and is one of the nation's leading experts on population health.  He is a frequent speaker at the Governance Institute meetings and his message now resonates very well with what we are doing at WMHS.  

What I found yesterday was not necessarily that deer-in-the-headlights look from the audience, but still a look of skepticism regarding accelerating concept into reality by what we have done over the last four years with value-based care delivery at WMHS.  We are living it, but it is really hard for those who have been part of the fee-for-service or volume- based care delivery model for their entire career to understand  just how value-based care really works.  I tried to assure the group, including a number of folks from outside of Maryland, that it does work and that I would never go back to fee for service.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really sink in until they visit with us.  Once they see first hand the success that we have achieved in reducing admissions, re-admissions, and use rates; improving quality-based reimbursement and patient satisfaction scores and ultimately providing better care to those patients who are our high utilizers with multiple co-morbidites, they become believers.  

As I have blogged previously, we have had a multitude of visitors to WMHS to experience our journey on value-based care delivery; I guess the rest will have to experience it for themselves.

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