Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Population Health is the Future of Health Care and Here is How You Can Learn About It

Health reform means, in part, practicing a different kind of medical care. This new care will focus on the care of entire populations that we serve, not just on individual patients. While every individual is, of course, important, the healthcare system will soon be held accountable for outcomes of care across larger groups. These populations may be defined by persons with the same insurance coverage, folks in the same zip code, or even everyone who has diabetes in a clinical practice. We know that the health of populations is largely determined by so-called "social determinants of health" - factors like socioeconomic status, crime, and pollution. Yet, we are just beginning to understand their full impact.

Population Health is the Future of Health Care and Here is How You Can Learn About It

Health reform means, in part, practicing a different kind of medical care. This new care will focus on the care of entire populations that we serve, not just on individual patients. While every individual is, of course, important, the healthcare system will soon be held accountable for outcomes of care across larger groups. These populations may be defined by persons with the same insurance coverage, folks in the same zip code, or even everyone who has diabetes in a clinical practice. We know that the health of populations is largely determined by so-called “social determinants of health” – factors like socioeconomic status, crime, and pollution.   Yet, we are just beginning to understand their full impact.

The United States, despite its outsize spending on health care services, ranks only 17th in the world with regard to our national health status. It seems clear to many experts that we are not getting the best return for the money we are spending!!  Shifting the focus to population health may change that.

If you are interested in these kinds of critical issues, I urge you to attend the 14th Annual Population Health Colloquium to be held in Philadelphia on March 17 through the 19th at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Among the major national figures who will be speaking are Dr. Jeffrey Brenner of the Camden Coalition (recent MacArthur Genius Award Winner and fellow Field Clinic blogger), the CEO of Humana, the Commissioner of Health for the State of New York, and the President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and its health system. Since health care is one of the largest and most important “businesses ” in our region, we all have a stake in the transition to a population health focus. You can learn more about this important conference by visiting http://www.populationhealthcolloquium.com, or by calling 215-955-6969.


From Obamacare to Medicare to managed care, read more of The Field Clinic here »

David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health
About this blog

The Field Clinic reports and analyzes health care laws, government policies, and political trends that are transforming the care we receive and the way we pay for it. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on Inquirer.com and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson School of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Donald Schwarz, MD, MPH Deputy Mayor for Health & Opportunity and Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
Krystyna Dereszowska A third-year law student concentrating in health at Drexel
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