Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Commentary: The Twelfth Population Health & Care Coordination Colloquium

Patrick Monaghan
Director of Communications
Jefferson School of Population Health

If there was one unifying theme to the Twelfth Population Health & Care Coordination Colloquium, hosted in Philadelphia this week by the Jefferson School of Population Health, it’s that patient-centered care appears to finally be at the heart of the way healthcare is delivered in this country. And if it’s not, it’s certainly on the way.

Patient-centered care, and the systems that are helping bring it about, were on the lips of many presenters, from Ed Wagner, Founding Director of the MacColl Institute for Health Innovation, who helped open the Colloquium on Monday afternoon, to Michael B. McCallister, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Humana, Inc., whose keynote, Reinventing Health Care: From Treating Sickness to Creating Well-Being, kicked off Day Two of the three-day conference.

Dr. Wagner spoke of medical practices focusing on methods to help patients become effective self-managers in controlling chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, and the key role of building effective clinical teams who can instill confidence in patients and their families to take on a more prominent role in their health care.

James E. Pope, Vice President and Chief Science Officer for Healthways, released results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index for 2011 on Monday afternoon. The index measures which state’s residents have the best sense of overall well-being, based on physical health, happiness, job satisfaction and other factors that affect quality of life. The results? Hawaii (big surprise) came out on top. West Virginia, which ranked at the very bottom, has some work to do in terms of well-being.

Another highlight was the talk given by Dr. Richard Baron, who left his Philadelphia practice last year to join the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation in Baltimore. Dr. Baron’s work is providing solid evidence that when medical practices follow the coordinated care model established by Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations, the results point toward better patient outcomes.

Here at the Jefferson School of Population Health, plans are already underway for the Thirteenth Population Health & Care Coordination Colloquium.
The hope here is that, by this time next year, patient-centered care shows even more evidence to becoming the rule, not the exception.

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