Healthcare Trend Watch — We Are Finally Addressing Population Health Management

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This post is taken from an article by Robin L. Rose, MBA VP, Healthcare Resource Group, HealthStream, where she looks ahead at the coming year, with an eye to big picture trends that could have a significant impact on how we provide and experience care.

We Are Finally Addressing Population Health!

While the move to value-based care has been a top priority in recent years, governmental uncertainty and a slowing of the bundled payment initiative have made this a lower priority, at least for now, as healthcare executives look to 2019. Instead, a greater focus on population health management is emerging. In late September 2018, attendees at the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG) ranked their priorities for 2019. The top three priorities were (Pennic, 2018):

  1. Data & Analytics: Leveraging data (especially clinical) to manage health and drive individual, provider, and payer decisions.

    Most healthcare organizations still lack the technical infrastructure and predictive analytics necessary to understand and influence population health. There is a strong push to develop such skills in 2019.

  2. Total Consumer Health: Improving members’ overall medical, social, financial, and environmental well-being.

    There is a recognition that improving overall health means more than just addressing a person’s medical needs. Care definitions are expanding to include social, financial, and economic issues alongside a person’s immediate clinical needs. It is widely known that factors such as socioeconomic status account for about 40 percent of patients’ health, and these factors cannot be overlooked when addressing overall health (LaPointe, 2018).

  3. Population Health Services: Operationalizing community-based health strategy, chronic care management, driving clinical integration and addressing barriers to health such as social determinants.

“C-suite leaders are looking to operationalize their community-based health and chronic care management strategies” (LaPointe, 2018). Plans have been in the works for years, and executives are ready to begin implementation.

Additional Healthcare Trends to Watch

Other trends identified in this article include:

  • Amazon is becoming a major disrupter in many areas of healthcare
  • Healthcare costs are becoming scarier than the illness itself.
  • We need to prepare for new health risks from weather and other disasters.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Dramatically Changing Healthcare
  • CMS is changing course.
  • We need more joy in the work of healthcare.
  • The nursing shortage is getting worse.
  • Physicians are in short supply too.
  • Digital healthcare organizations are emerging.


LaPointe, Jacqueline, “Value-Based Purchasing, Consumerism Top Healthcare Exec Challenges,” September 24, 2018, Rev Cycle Intelligence, Retrieved at

Pennic, Jasmine, “Top 10 Challenges, Issues and Opportunities for Healthcare Executives in 2019,” HIT Consultant, September 28, 2018,

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