A Voice for Population Health Management in a New Year of Opportunities

Tracey Moorhead, President & CEO

Tracey Moorhead, Care Continuum Alliance President & CEO

Welcome! We’re thrilled to launch this blog as another important step in the evolution of Care Continuum Alliance (CCA). Our members, along with other industry leaders and observers, know that CCA has long served as the convening voice for care management strategies, first for disease management and, since 2007, for the full continuum of population health interventions – wellness, prevention and other approaches to improving health, reducing disease risk and raising productivity. Today, we add the industry’s voice to the vibrant online community of social media commentary.

Since early in the debate over health care reform, there’s been much talk about the Triple Aim of better care quality, outcomes and value – and nearly as much head scratching over just how to achieve it. That’s a perplexing sight from the perspective of population health management (PHM), which has long offered tools and resources to reach all three goals (and a growing body of work to support its view). PHM also has an indispensable role in the drive toward greater accountability in care delivery, a point that came through clearly in the comments of industry leaders in a recently published CCA white paper on key industry issues for 2012.

We reached out, through a survey, to high-level thought leaders within and outside our membership to develop the paper and found strong optimism about opportunities in accountable care and other new delivery models; expanding government and societal recognition of the value of wellness and prevention; and increasing consumer acceptance of mobile health and other technology-enabled care common in PHM programs. “Key Issues in Population Health Management – Key Industry Issues for 2012,” available freely as a download from the CCA website (www.carecontinuum.org), illustrates the many avenues available to population health management for making meaningful differences in care quality and value.

There may be those who say the white paper’s resolutely positive tone comes filtered through rose-colored glasses. But the industry isn’t alone in its optimism. From policymakers to patient advocates to employers and others at ground zero of the chronic disease fight, the precepts of population health management – care coordination, patient self-management, physician collaboration, outcomes assessment and others – are increasingly part of the arsenal. Also, population health management isn’t shy about looking in the mirror: Survey respondents tempered their upbeat outlook with admonishments that the industry must do more to build the evidence base for and to promote its work.

We intend to meet that challenge with robust research in 2012, vigorous advocacy in support of PHM strategies and promotion through education, including at our annual meeting, The Forum 12, online learning and new events (more on that soon). CCA members and the broader community of stakeholders in wellness, prevention and health management must do the same to broaden the reach of these essential programs.

— Tracey Moorhead, President & CEO

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