What is a Chief Population Health Officer?

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Value Based Healthcare?

As population health management becoming a central focus for more healthcare providers, a growing number are considering adding a chief population health officer to the executive ranks.  A person in this position typically oversees, creates, identifies, and leads the Clinical Quality Management components of Provider Profiling components and Client Analytic strategies.

There are a few concepts in play here:

  1. Chief [something] Officer is typically the highest-level executive in charge of that thing, within a large coporate organization. This part, you probably already knew.
  2. “Population Health” is an approach to healthcare aimed at making an entire population – for example, the residents of an area served by a particular hospital – healthier. This is similar to what has historically been called “Public Health” but perhaps even more involved in addressing societal factors that impact health.
  3. The whole idea behind Population Health and Care Management is that with the right data and right approach, you can proactively encourage and reward prevention and wellness, as well as identify those highest risk patients to keep them out of the Emergency Room and out of the hospital.
  4. “Value-based” could mean a couple different things, depending on exactly which CPHO position is being talked about. Some health systems are funded by religious organizations, which could mean somewhat different “value-based” takes on Population Health practices like family planning. Or, it could simply refer to dealing with social determinants of health in ways that are in keeping with the values of the population being served.
  5. The idea is to integrate and aggregate data from clinical, financial and administrative sources, and use that data to proactively manage patients in between medical visits.

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