Partnering for Better Population Health Management

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media , June 2, 2014

"I would double underscore that point," he says. "You need to select partners who view the world the same way you do and who have a patient-centered approach and are willing to test new models."

Stratus consists of four subcommittees that report to the board of directors, Richardson explains. Those subcommittees focus on clinical services and best practices, IT and interconnectedness, shared services such as supply chain purchasing, and strategic initiatives.

"Strategic initiatives could be anything else such as looking for other partners, maybe larger systems to join Stratus to help us achieve our goals," Richardson says.

"The ideas that come out of all four subcommittees will be funneled up to the board, and we will determine what the most important projects will be, and how to capitalize those projects," he says, adding that there will also be work groups focused on these four main areas.

"It's a work in progress," he says. "We don't know exactly where it is going to go. There will be a lot of experimentation and a lot of learning from each other."

While Richardson doesn't know precisely how Stratus will move forward, he does know that as the healthcare industry evolves quickly over the next few years, it will no longer be possible for providers to remain complacent.

"Doing nothing is not an option, and if it is what your organization is doing, you are going to find yourself in trouble," he says. "My energy as CEO is pretty much focused on this transformational journey."

Covenant Health Network

Richard Afable, MD, executive vice president of the Southern California region of Irvine, Calif.–based St. Joseph Health—which has 3,621 licensed beds and $4.4 billion in annual net revenues—says St. Joseph Health affiliated in February 2013 with Newport Beach, Calif.–based Hoag Hospital to provide better care to their collective community. Afable also serves as CEO of the affiliation between St. Joseph Health and Hoag.

While both health systems are based in Orange County and traditionally vie for market share, the need to develop better population health management capabilities trumped concerns over competition, says Afable.

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