Partnering for Better Population Health Management

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media , May 13, 2014
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AllSpire Health Partners

Another organization that has recently partnered with regional providers to bolster its population health management efforts is Reading (Pa.) Health System, which joined with six other systems that encompass 25 hospitals in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania to form AllSpire Health Partners in September 2013.

Clint Matthews, president and CEO at Reading Health, which had $913 million in total operating revenue in fiscal year 2013 and includes the 735-bed Reading Hospital, sees population health management as a crucial component to handling a new payer environment.

"To me it means moving away from the singular approach of per-episode care to one individual to understanding that we need to care for groups of people for periods of time," says Matthews. "With the provision of care comes the payment for care, and it's moving from volume-based to value-based compensation."

"We foresee population health management as an area we can better manage through AllSpire because we will have a larger universe and be able to share best practices and manage down the overall cost of the infrastructure," he adds. "I anticipate that AllSpire will be very helpful as we are dealing with population health management for the purposes of risk stratification."

AllSpire's board of directors includes board members and the CEOs from all the member organizations and also consists of development committees and a management committee.

"Each organization has contributed executives to help study what impact we can have as well as identify opportunities for improvements in each system and the group as a whole," Matthew says.

Richard W. Jones, CPA, Reading Health's senior vice president, CFO, and treasurer, says that because six of the seven AllSpire members use Epic for their electronic health records and other technologies, the group has "a natural ability to share, to establish protocols, and to learn best practices from each other."

"We believe AllSpire offers opportunities to leverage purchasing power and to leverage our ability to utilize information systems in a way that will provide economic benefits … and best practices in how to use health information for the benefit of our patients. That is a big opportunity in and of itself," Jones says.

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