Physician Engagement in Population Health

The successful transition to any type of population health approach requires all of the healthcare providers in a network to be fully aligned with the goals and expectations of the new model. In addition, physicians must share information such as diagnostic orders and results to be able to effectively provide coordinated care across settings and decrease overall cost of providing care in the network.

Rolling out a Physician Engagement Strategy

Evidence-based care guidelines help keep network costs down by identifying actionable gaps in care and enrolling patients in care plans that are most likely to result in positive clinical outcomes. Reducing healthcare provider variation from these guidelines can significantly improve quality while lowering overall cost of care.

When rolling out a physician engagement strategy, keep the following in mind:

  • Provide adequate support and services for the new processes and technologies being used to support the transition. McKesson Business Advisors and McKesson ACO Management Services can provide training and on-site support for the physicians and administrators in your network
  • Keep the focus tight by prioritizing key changes in a progressive rollout
  • Be clear on what are considered best practices
  • Recognize sensitivities to "extra" work by making the new process easy to use and follow

Physician Engagement Incentives & Payment

In a population health model, physicians receive a value-based reimbursement for care rather than a fee for each service. In order to accurately compensate the physicians across a network, their performance needs to be continually monitored and normalized for the types of patients in their care.

Proper management of physician engagement requires:

  • Clear setting of goals, often with the input of physician leaders
  • A real-time physician dashboard that allows physicians to compare their performance against national and network standards
  • Outcome reporting transparency to help physicians recognize how individual care decisions affect clinical and financial outcomes
  • Modeling and managing physician incentive programs
  • Physician quality-of-care and episode analysis to identify and correct variations from standard evidence-based care guidelines
  • Risk-adjusted physician profiles to correct for acuity levels in physicians' practices. No physician should be penalized for having a "sicker" population of patients
  • Analysis of physician referral patterns—both in and out of network—to determine potential for physician discussions around leakage management

Episode Analysis Can Help Reduce Physician Practice Variations

Episode analysis is one type of physician engagement
Episode analyses require that healthcare organizations define, collect, and evaluate cost of care data from various acute and ambulatory settings.

Learn how McKesson Risk Manager™ can help your network analyze physician engagement and performance on a real-time basis.

Next: Population health management