Innovator Name: Saria Saccocio, MD, MHA
Position: Chief Medical Officer, Danville Regional Medical Center
VHIN: What do you think are the biggest opportunities for employers, health care providers, and health plans, to work together to improve population health?
SS: Vulnerability will be crucial to creating and sustaining an impact on population health. Without the ability to expose our weak points and reach out to others to learn what’s working well, we hinder communication and open sharing of leading practices. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you can tweak the course according to what suits your team and environment.
In addition, accountability of both the health of our communities and fiscal responsibility are paramount to true health care reform. Patients, employers, health care providers, and health plans need to honestly strive for the same goal: patient care excellence. We should incentivize and empower patients to preserve and protect their health through lifestyle modifications, adherence to therapy, and identification of barriers to care. Employers contribute to the well-being of their employees by providing health risk assessments and tailored wellness prescriptions, offering a workplace environment that stresses healthy lifestyle such as tobacco cessation programs, exercise programs, and mental health support.
Furthermore, health care providers are expected to provide preventive medicine and evidence-based care for chronic disease management. We are obligated to provide the right care at the right time…and nothing more. Currently $210 billion dollars is wasted on unnecessary care. We must move past denial, and accept that the age of value-based rather than volume based care has arrived. Finally, health plans should be willing to provide resources to providers that benefit patient care and population management. There are several pilot projects around the country in which health plans are offering registries and health coaches to practices as support resources to better manage wellness and chronic disease.