February 25, 2013
Making an investment in population health management
probably read, today we
announced our intentions to acquire a company called PureWellness. Co-founders
Ken Kaufman, Ron Keen and the rest of their team have developed a
remarkable online health and wellness platform available to millions of
individuals across the United States, and we couldn’t be more excited to work
with them moving forward.
reimbursement models emerge, the individual will play an increasingly important
role in health care ecosystems around the world. Organizations are realizing
they will need to shift their focus from what we’ve referenced as “sick care”
to a model that prioritizes keeping healthy people healthy and helping people
with illnesses manage them better. Part of that involves providing them with
tools that facilitate engagement with the various aspects of their health and
care, and we think the combination of our Millennium solutions and Healthe Intent platform with
PureWellness’ engagement platform creates the most comprehensive set of
capabilities on the market to support an individual’s health and care needs.
Individual engagement is an important piece of a comprehensive approach to
population health management, a concept we see playing a vital role in the
evolution of health care.
others here at Cerner have spoken repeatedly about how digitizing hospital
systems is just the first step in the journey to transform health care.
Digitization enables the second- and third-order effects that start to drive
true transformation in health care. In this post-EHR world, where sophisticated
organizations have already made the major step of removing most of the paper
from their processes, the new challenge is how you realize benefits for your organization,
patients and membership. Population health management has become an imperative
for health care organizations driven by extreme market pressures to achieve
better outcomes with less overall spend. This story is unfolding around the
world, thanks to a series of common market pressures.
organizations choose to respond to these pressures is where we will see organizations
that have a long term vision focusing on the importance of population health
management. At Cerner we believe that there is a three-step approach to the
creation of high performance health networks in this new landscape:
- Decrease costs – All organizations will need to focus on
continuing to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their provider
services. There is no alternative to increasing productivity through improved
workflow, reduced waste and an greater quality. EHR implementation and the
associated process redesign is a critical component of this step.
- Secure income – In the new world organizations will need to develop more robust
service lines that deliver within the the funding available, manage patients
within their network of care and ensure that they are optimizing their revenue
against the incentives that payers are offering. As they step into the wider
challenge of reducing the total cost of healthcare by better population health
management, organizations will also need to renegotiate their contracts with
their payers to ensure that they are rewarded for doing the "right
thing" and their contracts with network of supporting providers to ensure
that they are aligned around the same goals. These new challenges are why
Cerner is developing its population health solutions and next generation
revenue cycle management as part of our Healthe Intent platform.
- Optimize care delivery – Those organizations that take on the
challenge of population health management by managing risk will need to rethink
both the role of the hospital and the role of the individual. For example, fewer
patients will be managed in hospital, many reviews show that up to 40% of
patients in hospital could be managed in a lower cost setting. We are
developing the ability to create a managed health network that supports
extended care and the medical home through our integrated Healthe Intent
platform. This platform will enable evidence-based care and decision support to
be provided in the location that is most suitable for the patient, even their
But, more than this, we recognize the need to engage the patient
or member in maintaining their own health; this is where the PureWellness
platform fits in. The platform will enable us to support individuals directly
in reducing their health risks, and managing their chronic conditions. This
will empower people to have a higher quality of life and lower costs for the
whole health system.
We expect ACOs to adopt the PureWellness platform to help manage
their populations, health plans to use it engage their members in reducing
health risks and employers to use it to improve the health of their workforce,
which will improve productivity and lower health care costs.
activities under way, the question shifts to how can a health system use its full,
integrated network to drive its population(s) to improved outcomes. We think
the answer looks like this:
you need to identify members of a population that may require management of a
particular health condition. You also need the ability to predict where health interventions
will be effective and attribute that person to the accountable provider(s).
Finally, you need to take the appropriate action, measure the outcomes for the
person, and manage the effectiveness of the programs well as the performance of
saying here at Cerner is that “health care is too important to stay the same,”
and I couldn’t agree more. Population health management will be a key driver of
the continued evolution of health care around the world, and we’re well on our
way to creating the framework our clients need to succeed. The PureWellness
platform is a piece of that framework, and one we think will integrate nicely
with the solutions we have now and those in development. Ultimately, what we’re
creating is a unified platform and executable knowledge that will allow our
clients to program their network to deliver team-based care across
the continuum in line with the capabilities and objectives of the organization.
To learn more about Cerner's approach to population health management, visit us in booth 4941 at HIMSS13.
Matthew drives Cerner’s population health
management strategy development. He brings
more than 20 years of health care, technology and policy experience to Cerner,
including his work with the UK Department of Health and front-line health
sector and leadership experience at Royal Surrey County Hospital.