Progress toward the implementation of population health as a model for organizing healthcare delivery appears to have stalled in 2018. Unfortunately, that’s the key finding from Numerof’s fourth annual State of Population Health survey, which revealed that organizations are well behind where, two years ago, they thought they’d be – especially when it comes to alternative revenue models and risk-based contracts.

Financial concerns continue to be the biggest barrier to change. Nearly a quarter of respondents cited the threat of financial loss as the primary barrier to moving to a risk-based model. As one top executive noted: “We are considering investments in new models of care that have more risk, but these models can become a direct hit to our revenue … when risks are not mitigated properly.”

However, for the first time in our administration of the survey, difficulty in changing organizational culture ranked as the second-biggest hurdle. Healthcare organizations are finding that changing people is even more difficult than changing processes.

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