The rapidly changing healthcare environment has pushed healthcare delivery organizations to adapt to new regulations, new technology, new customers and new partnerships. Preparing to take on population health management is increasingly on the agenda as providers are challenged to provide better quality at lower cost. To do so successfully will require many delivery organizations to make significant changes that run counter to cultural norms established over many years.

For example, in order to ensure that they are delivering the right services to each patient at the right time and in the right location, organizations will need to make it easier to refer patients across provider boundaries and to establish guidelines for doing so. They will need to master a range of other capabilities and processes that may be underdeveloped or non-existent, including developing a structured approach to managing variation in cost and quality at the provider level; creating a feedback loop process to be used with clinicians to address cost and quality outliers; building the clinical and financial capabilities required to mitigate financial risk; and developing more sophisticated capabilities to demonstrate value to key stakeholders, such as potential patients.1

This will require clinicians, administrators, board members, external partners and staff to operate in new and unfamiliar ways, and represents a significant cultural shift for many organizations. Those organizations that recognize and address the underlying cultural issues will accelerate their transition to this new model.

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