Monday, March 1, 2010

Selected Quotes From the 10th Population Health & Disease Management Colloquium

The Disease Management Care Blog spent a very long but intellectually rewarding day listening to speakers at the Population Health and Disease Management Colloquium. It was much like a health care policy mall with something for everybody. While the DMCB is still digesting it all, here are some eminently quotable insights with attribution (whenever possible) that may be of interest:

"Right now, care coordination is only available if there is a specific condition and the person is insured by a specific plan, or if the person is part of a public health program or an experiment." So said Richard Wender, MD, Chair of Family Medicine at Jefferson.

"Good transitions of care involve not only the safe movement of the patient, but the successful hand-off of all their information also." This is courtesy of Thomas Wilson, Ph.D of Trajectory Healthcare, who is also working on how to measure this (hint: structure, process, outcomes and attributon).

"It's not 'health information technology' anymore, it's health improvement technology." Dennis Schmuland, MD, National Director at Microsoft who also showed us how a computer controlled avatar can be capable of holding a spookily real "live" conversation with you, such as the problem of an elevated blood sugar and how to treat it.

"It's all about C4 healthcare ecosystems (convenient, connected, coherent and cost-effective) with P4 (predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory) care for E4 (equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged) consumers." That's from Gordon Norman MD of Alere.

"Whatever happens with health reform, wellness and prevention are underway." So says Fred Goldstein of U.S. Preventive Medicine, who believes it's reached a tipping point.

Then there is this piece of insight from a wise colleaque during a hallway conversation: "Self-pay health consumerism is going to take off because of a) impatience with and b) distrust of commercial and government-run insurance programs."

"The liklihood of health reform passing is 60%." This prediction is from Susan Dentzer, the Editor of Health Affairs. The DMCB wonders why the intrade information market says otherwise.

When asked about physicians that are reluctant to transform their practices into patient centered medical homes, the same Gordon Norman (linked above) offered this astute solution: "Fine, let the nurses do it." The silence in the hall was telling.

Lance Lang, MD of Health Dialog pointed out "that the population-health/disease management companies can fulfill the role of extension agents" extolled in Atul Gawande's article on transforming primary care practice.

And finally Sean Sullivan of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management looked forward to the day when companies "will not only report cash flows, profit and losses as well as balance sheet data, but will also report on the health status of their human capital," perhaps by using this metric.

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