Improving Population Health: Creating Healthier Communities to Make Healthcare Better

Brenda Schmidt, MS, MBA, President and CEO of Viridian Health Management

A few weeks ago, I attended the 2013 CCA Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am proud that Viridian Health Management was a CCA Forum contributor sponsorSolution Zone exhibitor and symposium speaker, as this conference is the largest gathering of healthcare professionals in prevention, wellness and chronic care management.

The days started early with the breakfast symposiums and were followed by sessions led by well-known organizations as Accenture, Aetna, Alere, Apixio, Banner Health, Optum, Mayo Clinic, Qualcomm, stickK, Walgreens, Weight Watchers, Zamzee, and many more. The days ended with great networking events in the evening. Despite the long days, I was completely energized and refreshed. Spending three days with over 1,000 innovative thinkers can certainly have that effect. I was fortunate to talk with many of these innovators throughout the duration of the CCA Forum and the common thread was that they all wanted to improve healthcare delivery, positively impact health outcomes, increase quality of care, and make sustainable improvements in healthcare for the future.

Looking back at the many CCA Forum speakers, they all were very aligned to this year’s theme of “The Value of Population Health: Implementation Matters.” Here are a few of those examples that really resonated:

  • Michael Taylor of Accenture: “Maintaining a ‘human touch’ in your engagement methodology is a key component of a successful wellness program. Sustainable engagement is necessary to drive value in population Health.”
  • Nilay Shah of Mayo Clinic: “Big data gives the opportunity to collaborate, to prototype, test new findings and speed adoption.”
  • William Crown of Optum Health: “Creating the right cadence for population health management is the key to success over a shotgun approach.”
  • Dee Edington of Edington Associates: “There is plenty of evidence to show health improvement and improved productivity as a result of a culture of health.”
  • Thomas Parry of Integrated Benefits Institute: “If ROI is your only driver for worksite wellness initiatives, then you’re missing out.”
  • Sean Sullivan of the Institute for Health & Productivity Management: “It’s about a consistent message from the top to create a culture of health at your organization.”
  • Robert Stone of Healthways:  “The things that can be measured the most, oftentimes are not the most important.”
  • Ron Weinert of Walgreens: “It’s not a complicated idea…provide patient care in a community setting. We’re bridging the gap…coordinating care through innovative pharmacy programs.”

It was also an honor to co-present with Marissa Hudson, Viridian’s EVP of Public/Private Partnerships at CCA Forum 2013 to discuss Viridian’s role as a strategic partner of the CDC to deliver the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP); Viridian’s proprietary My Weigh 2 Prevent Diabetes™, a cloud-based technology developed exclusively for the National DPP; our diabetes lifestyle coach training; andMAESTRO™, Viridian‘s proprietary model for the identification, outreach and administration of diabetes prevention.

In addition, I am honored and privileged to accept my appointment as a member of CCA’s board of directors. As one of 10 new members of CCA’s board of directors, I look forward to collaborating with other leaders of the healthcare industry to focus on the implementation of effective population health models and strategies from development to delivery.

It’s not a complicated idea: creating healthier communities to make healthcare better and sustainable for the future. As a value-driven health management company, Viridian powers performance in population health, inspires healthy living and lowers healthcare costs. Our philosophy of integrative health management is an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes a synergy between health protection and health promotion. This approach extends not only to individuals, but also to caregivers, providers and the larger healthcare system.

CCA Forum 2013 clearly chose a very relevant and timely theme. Without a doubt, there is tremendous value of improving population health…it really does matter.

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About the Author

Brenda Schmidt is the president and CEO of Viridian Health Management. As the architect of numerous successful health and wellness programs, Schmidt is widely recognized as an authority on developing best-in-class programs that engage diverse populations. In founding Viridian, Schmidt works in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the National Healthy Worksite Program. This national initiative brings a new level of health to the American workplace to improve the lives of employees while lowering employer healthcare costs. In addition, Schmidt also serves a leadership role in the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Think Tank, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), NIOSH Total Worker Health™ and frequently speaks nationally on integrated health management and worksite health.

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Guest Blog Post Disclaimer CCA invites guest bloggers to post on Voice on Population Health Blog as a benefit for our members and the industry and to allow for exchange of ideas and information regarding population health. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and/or of the company the author represents and do not represent those of the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA), its members, or the industry as a whole. CCA is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this guest post article. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author(s) and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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NEW at CCA Forum 2013: Walking Learning Labs

Care Continuum Alliance Forum 2013This year the CCA Forum has made it easier than ever to make meaningful, face-to-face connections between attendees and exhibitors through our new Walking Learning Labs.

These unique, hands-on demonstrations are intended to help you determine the value of specific solutions for your organization. The Walking Learning Labs are guided and facilitated by CCA researchers and provide attendees with an opportunity to explore particular areas of interest throughout the exhibit hall. Register today!

Walking-Learning-Labs

News from CCA Quality and Research

CCA Forum Program Committee

With more than 90 proposal submissions received last month, the Program Committee has a multitude of high quality presentations from which to choose for CCA Forum 2013 in Scottsdale, AZ, on October 23-25, 2013. Through a process of online review and scoring along with an in-person meeting and conference call, the Committee is making final selections for the educational program. Themes for 2013 will include collaborative strategies for practice transformation, Big Data, and employer strategies for employee health, to name a few. And the traditional session format of the past will be transformed into more engaged presentations, working sessions, and workshops.

Walking Learning Labs and a pre-conference workshop on program evaluation are new offerings for 2013, providing additional opportunities for attendees to gain hands-on learning. The walking learning labs will guide attendees through a mini-tour of The Solutions Zone exhibit hall and demonstrate how, for example, a health care provider might use population health management strategies to better care for his patients. The half-day program evaluation workshop, on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 23), will interest employers (HR and benefit managers) who want to better understand their wellness programs and what they should measure, resulting in “take back to the office” information. Forum attendees will need to register separately for these opportunities.

For the third year, the International Symposium on Wellness & Chronic Care will demonstrate the application and success of a variety of population health management strategies around the globe. This half-day conference will take place on Friday afternoon (Oct. 25) and will bring new perspectives from countries/regions that have not been represented at past conferences.

Our sincere appreciation goes to the Program Committee, reviewers, and their associated organizations for the commitment of time and resources: Greg Berg (McKesson Health Solutions), Suzanne Duda (Healthways), Neil Gordon (INTERVENT International), Cynthia Hallam (Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana), Nancy Hedstrom Wigley (Cigna), Natalie Heidrich (Ethicon), Iver Juster (ActiveHealth Management), Craig Keyes (Alere), Rose Maljanian (HealthCAWS), Michael Taylor (Accenture), and Mike Van Den Eynde (Deloitte).

Stay tuned as we begin to release more details on the CCA Forum program within the next month. Those who submitted proposals can expect to receive notification of the Committee’s decision by the end of May.

Population Health Management in Health Insurance Exchanges

A 2013 research initiative, the Population Health Management in Health Insurance Exchanges has kicked off with two work groups: HIX Assessment and Exchanges 101. We are conducting an environmental scan of the state exchanges to better understand the variety in structure, design decisions, measurement, etc. We are also using past CCA research to build the value proposition for population health management and communicate that value to the exchanges. If you have resources or expertise to share in these areas, please contact Karen Moseley, KMoseley@CareContinuumAlliance.org.

CCA Quality & Research Update – Focus on Partnerships

Quality & Research March Update

Population Health Management in Health Insurance Exchanges

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance exchanges (HIX) to be established and working by 2014 in every state. Currently, 17 states are pursuing a state-run marketplace, while the remaining 33 states will allow a federally facilitated marketplace or partner for a state-federal marketplace. These exchanges will function as a transparent and competitive marketplace where buyers of health insurance, mainly individuals and small businesses, can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans.

This move toward increased health care access for broader populations provides an opportunity to apply population health management (PHM) beyond Medicare and Medicaid populations to the commercial market. As employers shift the ways in which they provide health benefits, this work will be applicable to any population health model trying to gain access to broader populations through broader access models such as state and private exchanges.

CCA and its members have already laid the groundwork for population health management as the cornerstone for this broader access model. PHM strategies and tactics will be important to the success of the health insurance exchanges. As the voice of population health, CCA will develop tools and guidance to address three main objectives: 1) help PHM vendors to understand the health insurance exchanges and the opportunities that may exist in these new markets; 2) demonstrate the value of PHM to the health insurance exchanges; and 3) inform policy makers about the value of PHM for the HIX and differentiate the payment models used.

The Quality & Research Committee has formed two work groups for this effort. If you are interested in participating, please contact Karen Moseley, kmoseley@carecontinuumalliance.org.

  1. HIX Assessment. This work group will perform the environmental scan of HIX, including participating states, design decisions, product offerings, populations served, measurement, health information technology, and other exchanges such as private exchanges and state-federal marketplaces.
  2. Exchanges 101. This work group will develop guidance around the value proposition of HIX as a new business opportunity for PHM organizations as well as the value proposition of PHM for the success of HIX.

HERO-CCA Employer Dashboard

CCA’s collaborative effort with HERO is progressing and will be in the final stages of review within the next few months. The project leadership group plans to meet for a full-day working session in April to finalize the document for review by experts in the industry and stakeholder groups within HERO and CCA. If you have expertise in measures for employee health management programs—specifically the domains of health impact, satisfaction, participation, financial outcomes, productivity, organizational support, and value of investment—please contact Karen Moseley, kmoseley@carecontinuumalliance.org, if you would like to serve as a reviewer of the work prior to release. The final review will include public comment, so stay tuned.

Workplace Wellness

The CCA data aggregation buzz has been quiet for several months, but it is becoming louder as we await the release of RAND’s Report to Congress on the effectiveness of wellness programs in the workplace, including factors such as the incentives offered, the impact participation has on employee behavior, and programs’ ultimate impact on employees’ health. We expect to have the full report in April, and RAND has offered to brief the CCA data advisory board as well as the data contributors on the report findings post release.

On a similar note, CCA Quality & Research is collaborating with CCA Advocacy to develop a detailed, comprehensive, and evidence-based response to a recent article in Health Affairs titled, Wellness Incentives In The Workplace: Cost Savings Through Cost Shifting To Unhealthy. The authors draw several conclusions that merit a response, and CCA members are called to submit case studies to increase the evidence. Read the Call to Actionand act now!

 

CCA 2013 Research Priorities: Charting the Course of the Population Health Industry

The Care Continuum Alliance’s research work sets the standards and informs the policy, legislative, and regulatory processes for the population health industry. There are at least four reasons our members should patronize CCA’s research endeavors:

  1. The PHM industry needs to build a solid body of research that validates its claims.
  2. Companies who partake in the research are at the cutting edge and take advantage of that knowledge in product and service development.
  3. Research partners influence the industry’s progress, charter its course, and are recognized as an industry leaders.
  4. Research cost money.

CCA members are strongly encouraged to participate in the various research committees, task forces and initiatives. Please, contact Karen Moseley, Director, Research, kmoseley@carecontinuumalliance.org or (202) 747-4956.

2013 Research Priorities

Collaborative population health strategies: Develop a guide that could be utilized by physician practices as they move forward in the process to transform their practices to a more patient centered and population health focused model. Informed by site visits and in-depth interviews, the CCA research team and volunteers from member companies will identify successful strategies of physician practices that have become a patient centered population health model of care. The guide is intended to offer providers detailed information, resources and case studies that can be utilized through the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of the population health management model.

Engagement for primary care centered models: Identify leading engagement innovations where the population health management industry has assisted through collaboration in primary care settings. CCA is partnering with Deloitte to build on the organizations’ initial research to identify key engagement components used by the population health industry. This second phase will involve in-depth interviews with primary care providers and focus on engagement strategies used to motivate and engage patients within primary care driven models (e.g., patient-centered medical homes, accountable care models, integrated delivery systems) and implemented as a collaboration with the population health industry.

Role of population health management in health insurance exchanges (HIEs): Population health management (PHM) strategies and tactics will be important to the success of HIEs. CCA will develop tools and educational materials to help the HIEs understand the role of PHM in their success. This research project will include an environmental scan of HIEs.

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