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Consider post-election prospects for population health management

December 13, 2016
by Patrick Gauthier
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A key campaign message of President-elect Donald Trump was a full repeal of “Obamacare.” While he has recently softened his position–noting that he wants to preserve the popular prohibition against pre-existing conditions and maintain coverage for dependents to age 26–many in the health and behavioral healthcare fields are rightfully anxious about what the future holds.

It’s not possible to fully predict what will happen to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs under the Trump administration. Obamacare will give way to TrumpCare, but the details are still too speculative.  However, population health management—the focus on systematic efforts to improve health outcomes in subpopulations that share multiple clinical and social attributes—will remain an important part of any new healthcare landscape.

Emphasis on cost savings, quality, and outcomes

Regardless of how people are insured in the future (i.e., through Medicaid, employer sponsored plans, or via the exchange) attention is sure to remain on saving money and improving quality. This will be seen through continued attention on:

  • Individuals with chronic conditions: People with chronic conditions account for 86% of the nation’s healthcare costs. The healthcare system will continue to try to find ways to do a better job with these individuals through care coordination, improved outcomes, and reduced costs.
  • Data: In order to produce a better healthcare system—whatever that ultimately looks like—we need to be able to identify and analyze information on populations, outcomes, quality, and costs.
  • Organized and integrated delivery systems: These systems of care, which share some financial risk with providers and include accountable care organizations and collaborative care organizations, will continue to be the standard business model for healthcare delivery.

Implications for behavioral healthcare providers

What can you do to ensure your success in the new healthcare environment? The following are some key steps.

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Patrick Gauthier

Director of AHP Healthcare Solutions

Patrick Gauthier

Patrick Gauthier, BA, is the director of AHP Healthcare Solutions and an expert on the...

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