We've spoken a lot in this blog about The Triple Aim, a mantra defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that prescribes 1) a better care experience, 2) lower costs, and 3) increased population health. You can learn more about The Triple Aim here.
According to this article in the New England Journal of Medicine, this 3rd aim of increasing population health seems to be a "Ghost Aim" that's not being focused on or achieved. We highly encourage you to read the full article (and please note that even though it's in a medical journal it's easy to read).
Why is Population Health "The Ghost Aim?"
In summary, population health seems to be elusive among the three aims of The Triple Aim. The medical journal article astutely points out that only 10% of health outcomes are affected by medical care, whereas 60% are rooted in social and environmental factors and associated behaviors. Plus, smart people like Doctors like to focus on what's in their control, so they are able to make improvements in care experience and able to lower cost, but notable to individually change the health of the population. So the bottom line is that the healthcare community can only have a 10% influence on population health. In order to solve the problem of population health, social factors such as food, electricity, heat, housing and community must be accounted for.
Why Does this Matter to Home Care?
Even NEJM admits that population health has much more to do with what goes on in the home than with what happens in doctor's offices and the hospital. This is where home care comes into play. We in the home care industry have the ability to be the arms and legs of the population health movement. Although we can't solve poverty, we can provide nutrition, cleanliness and some measure of community to at risk people. As more waiver programs for the elderly and disabled embrace the importance of population health, there will be more opportunity for home care agencies to have an impact. The bottom line is that if you're reading this you're in a good industry that fulfills a need growing both in demand and in importance. Thanks for what you do!
But Nobody Said it Was Going to Be Easy...
Home care is growing in size and importance, but unfortunately it's also growing in complexity. Being successful in this business will increasingly require technology that takes the complexities of managed care (managing within authorizations, complying with complex care plans, reassessing on acuity-based timelines with service level agreements, EDI billing and more). Ankota's mission is to take all of this complexity out of the equation for you so you can put your focus on outstanding client care. To learn more, please contact us.
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.