The goal of population health is the systematic and transparent delivery of services to improve the health status of a given population at a prospective price, ultimately delivering better outcomes at lower cost.

Population health management reflects a new care delivery model that emphasizes wellness and prevention, and requires new payment models that support that goal. Rather than making money on high-cost procedures and episodes, healthcare delivery organizations will focus on preventing them from occurring. This doesn’t mean rationing care… it means ensuring that each patient gets the right treatment at the right time in the right setting.

By managing health problems at the least expensive point of care, healthcare delivery organizations will be able to lower total costs and redefine “healthcare” to include more than just “sick care.” Building the capabilities, infrastructure, and culture required to successfully transition to population health management is a significant challenge that demands investment of time and capital, but the reward will be a marketable approach to maximizing the health of a population that improves the bottom line and paves the way for future delivery and payment models.

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