The “Secret Sauce” of Population Health

Published on April 13, 2017

Across policy and practice, health care appetites are changing.   As reimbursement models shift from volume (of procedures) to value (of health outcomes), providers are expanding their menu of services to initiate broader and earlier interventions for health, to lower costs and to reach across populations.

Health and well-being are valuable societal objectives, and have consequences for our country’s bottom line.  Healthy individuals report experiencing a greater quality of life, and a healthy population contributes to higher rates of economic growth.  Health equity matters, too.  Income and wealth disparities between and among demographic groups result in poorer health outcomes and exert negative effects on individual productivity and on national economic growth and sustainability.

Achieving optimal health outcomes is a complex undertaking.  Social Determinants impact up to 90% of health outcomes, while just 10% of health outcomes are attributed to clinical care.  Meeting consumers (patients) where they are will therefore require interventions outside the four walls of the clinical system.

Social and physical determinants encompass the wide set of forces and systems that shape the conditions of daily life – from the availability of living wages and job opportunities, to access to healthy food, parks, and quality housing, to freedom from violence, social isolation, and environmental hazards.   Each force, alone and in consort, impacts physical and mental health, and imparts subtle or significant influences – leading to healthy or less healthy behaviors.

Consumer data gives providers clues into consumer behavior.  There is a strong correlation between consumer behavior and health; variations in behavior lead to swings in cost management and sustainability.  Carrot Health leverages health care’s largest consumer database, analytics, and application models so providers can lead their patients to better health.  Gaining an enhanced view of the consumer helps providers determine what upstream interventions are needed, and adds insight into where they might be applied, and when.

Examples of upstream interventions abound, and the frequency of partnerships implementing and documenting them is growing.  Some examples include:

  • Providing access to fruits and vegetables in a neighborhood that is absent a grocery store, but flush with fast food;
  • Funding a bike-share program in a city that is car-centric and that struggles with high rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes;
  • Planning with government departments, developers and neighborhoods to offer multi-generational housing units that are affordable and free from mold, pests, and criminal activity;
  • Placemaking across agencies to create public spaces where people may gather, exercise, and socialize for low or no cost.

the secret sauce of population health

Health care providers are in a unique position to affect health care outcomes, and health care
providers need not go it alone.  The “secret sauce” to improving outcomes of population health blends access to data with actionable analysis, curates partnerships across sectors, and connects with communities to create opportunities for health. 

That bold combination sets the first course for sweeping changes in the delivery of health to consumers.  Learn how health providers lead the way.

Check out the full whitepaper to read more about the “Secret Sauce” and leveraging data to influence health outcomes.

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