How Close is Population Health to Being Full-Grown?

“How close are we?” A simple question of possible significant consequence.

For a football team, “How close are we to the end-zone?” changes the plays you make.

For a marathon runner, “How close am I to the finish line?” changes how hard you push.

For healthcare, “How close are we to having fully-mature population health management (PHM) solutions?” changes our buying decisions and strategy, especially in the middle of an enormous industry transformation.

Leading up to the Keystone Summit, KLAS asked participants this very question:

Question to Providers: How close are leading population solutions to being fully developed?

Answer: 35% of the way there.

Question to Vendors: How close are you to having a fully-developed population health solution?

Answer: 67% of the way there.

Why do the two answers vary so much? Perhaps providers are overly needy, or maybe vendors are clueless regarding customer needs.

I don’t believe that either of these answers are true.

The healthcare industry is in a truly unique position because nearly every consumer ofPopulation Health PHM solutions is in a unique position. Differences in organization size, payer makeup, risk-based programs, payer arms, competitive landscape, experience with value-based-care delivery and dozens of other factors cause providers to look for a PHM tool that’s tailor made.

Providers feel that when a vendor has successfully delivered a solution to other (very different) healthcare organizations, the vendors over-estimate their ability to deliver to any healthcare organization.

On the other hand, vendors often feel that providers are over-estimating how unique their needs really are.

Who is right matters less than the importance of reaching an understanding and working together. At the Keystone Summit, providers asked vendors to come and observe their needs more closely. Vendors asked providers to be better aligned and committed to current value-based-care strategies.

Clearly, there is a need to come together and better understand each other, as vendor/provider partnerships will be critical to transforming our nation’s largest industry.

Are you and your vendor clearly aligned with vision, delivery needs and strategies?

This is the third of six blogs about the KLAS Keystone Summit. Read the first one here, and the next one here.