Lessons in Population Health: It Takes a Village to Improve the Health Status of Populations

The transition to a value-based system has already arrived in Pennsylvania, as shown by recent initiatives announced by the state’s Department of Health and Department of Human Services. That’s why the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) has you covered with education that will help you succeed and thrive during the transition.

In PAMED’s final two online, on-demand volume to value courses, nationally-recognized presenter Ray Fabius, MD, talks about population health as well as lessons learned from the managed care movement.

You can register for all six courses now. And, there’s still time for you to sign up and join us for the final live session being held in Harrisburg on Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The live sessions have provided attendees the chance to participate in hands-on exercises and share stories about what they’re doing to implement value-based strategies.



In “Traditional Medical Management,” the fifth online course in the series, Dr. Fabius discusses how medical management has evolved over the past two decades. Physicians can use strategies like utilization management—which ensures that the care being delivered is necessary and appropriate—in their own practice.

What Is Population Health?

The final online course in the series, “Population Health and the Four Levels of Prevention,” will help you to understand a vitally important element for success in value-based delivery systems.

Generally speaking, 15 percent of the adult population account for 85 percent of the costs generated by a population each year. What can we do to change that trend and embark upon a culture focused on health and wellness? Population health addresses that question.

Population health is about managing what is termed the “continuum of care.” A population can be divided into categories: healthy, at risk, acute/episodic, chronically ill, and catastrophic.

Physicians and practices need to ensure that they’re developing treatment plans for people who fall into every category in the health care continuum. This includes exerting significant effort to keep healthy people healthy. Evidence indicates that the longer you can stay healthy and vital, the shorter the period of morbidity you will have at the end of your life.

There are three key issues that can enhance an understanding of population health:

  1. Engagement—A trusted patient/doctor relationship can help to ensure that patients get the screenings they need and take the necessary steps to manage chronic conditions.
  2. Coordination—Patients need collaborative care when they have multiple points of care from various specialists.
  3. Access to Primary Care—As many as 38 percent of the American population does not have a trusted relationship with a primary care physician or practice. In accountable care organizations, you may be assigned a patient population which includes those who currently do not have a trusted physician-patient relationship.

The first four online, on-demand courses cover health informatics, using the data toolbox in your practice, quality management, and process improvement.

Learn more about what you can do, in collaboration with your colleagues, to lead the way and improve the overall well-being of the patients in your community and in the state.