Population Health seems to be the the buzzword these days.  Population HealthRegrettably, many of pepole don’t know what the real
definition of Population Health is, the term “Population Health” was published in the American Journal of Health back in 2003.  That’s when Dr. David Kindig and Dr. Greg Stoddart got together and realized that Population Health was being used more and more often and the longer it went without an actual definition, the more confusing it would become.  They decided to do some research and put together a clear definition of Population Health, including a definition for the field that studies Population Health.
The same time that Dr. Kindig and Dr. Stoddart put their heads together to define Population Health, other countries such as  Canada was in front of the U.S. in terms of addressing Population Health, the Health Promotion and Programs Branch of Health Canada released this statement:

“The overall goal of population health approach is to maintain and improve the health of an entire population and to reduce inequalities in health between population groups.”Still, there wasn’t a clear definition and the risk of not clearly defining what population health truly was meant that the more widely used the term became, would render its meaning more confusing. Dr. Kindig and Dr. Stoddart published their study and proposed what is now the widely-accepted meaning of Population Health. Here is what their study proposed:

“We propose that the definition be “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group,” and we argue that the field of population health includes health outcomes, patterns of health determinants, and policies and interventions that link these two.So why has Population Health become so important to the healthcare industry overall?  Recent studies have shown that actual medical care only accounts for somewhere between 10-20% of overall health.  After that, aside from genetics, you’ll find that upwards of 60-80% of health is attributed to individual behavioral patterns, social factors, and environmental exposures.  Based on these findings, improving overall health outcomes of your patients will rely on more than just providing medical care.  You’ll need to go beyond the regular care you provide to truly gain an understanding of the health determinants affecting that patient.  In other words, you need to gain an understanding of the range of personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the health status of the patient.  This is what Population Health is all about.

Population health is the health outcome of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. Electronic Health Records software such as Prime Suite by Greenway can help . Greenway offers a Community dashboard that provides information from Prime Suite, the payers, or the HIE, and aggregates that data to show any gap in treatments no matter where the patient was seen last.

With the onset of MACRA and the Quality Payment Program, it is going to be very important that providers across the U.S. begin to understand their patient population much more than they previously did.  Because the industry overall is turning to reimbursement based on quality of care instead of quantity of care, it will become crucial that clinicians understand the bigger picture to have a better impact on improving health outcomes.  Population Health technology, as it begins to emerge for private practices, will be an essential tool for achieving success in today’s healthcare environment and Medical Billing Service.