As health care costs continue to skyrocket, you’ve likely heard that population health management has become an increasingly popular approach to health care. But as an employer, what is it and what does it mean to you and your employees?
Let’s start with the basics…
What is Population Health Management?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s working definition of population health is, “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.” More easily defined, population health management is the use of data for actionable insights that result in positive outcomes within a set population.
The goal of an effective population health management strategy is to use employee health data to make informed decisions and take action to improve their overall health and well-being.
What types of problems do population health management solutions address?
Employee health data is used to determine who is at-risk for, or is already experiencing, avoidable chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, depression, and more.
How do they work?
Employers contract with providers like SentryHealth to provide services such as chronic care management and health coaching, employee engagement services, health care navigation, and more. The provider aggregates and analyzes employee health data along with other factors to devise an effective, individualized plan for at-risk populations that will ensure the best outcomes possible.
How do these programs help employees?
Chronic disease can dramatically affect the quality of life for employees. Population health management programs focus on improving their health and well-being through interactive learning, problem-solving, guided decision-making, and good old-fashioned one-on-one support. As a result, employees learn how to better manage their conditions and are put on a path to better health.
How does having a population health management strategy save companies money?
As health care costs continue to rise, it’s not practical to say that your costs will dramatically decrease. What is true, however, is that having such a plan will reduce the speed at which your costs rise and help you mitigate the risk of high cost events. It also helps reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and create happier, healthier employees who want to work hard for you.