Iowa hospitals treating patients through population health

Published: Sept. 11, 2017

Population health management. It’s the term du jour in the health care industry. But what is it? And more important, why is it something health care providers, payers and industry watchers are spending so much time talking about?

The idea behind it is actually quite simple — using data to target high users of the health care system who are likely accepting services in an inefficient way. Once that person is identified, health care providers work to treat that individual’s medical needs as well as his or her social needs. This makes the person healthier and less likely to come back into the emergency department for additional expensive services.

Back in 2012, Jennie Edmundson was facing the prospect of high Medicare penalties — when the federal government keeps a portion of Medicare reimbursement if too many patients return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge.

Cedar Rapids Gazette: Iowa hospitals work to treat complex, low-income patients through population health