Behavioral Health and Population Health Management: Is It Time for Real Progress?

AHLA Journal of Health & Life Sciences Law February 2016

Arthur J. Fried and Purvi B. Maniar, Members of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, co-authored an article in the American Health Lawyers Association’s Journal of Health & Life Sciences Law titled “Behavioral Health and Population Health Management: Is It Time for Real Progress?”

Following is an excerpt:

Although population health management is not a new concept, interest in and focus on it has blossomed in recent years. Population health management can be applied to many different patient popu­lations and towards achievement of numerous objectives. There is no one-size-fits-all definition of population health management and variations of the definition tend to be broad. However, most defini­tions include two basic elements: (i) the capture and aggregation of patient data using various health information technology resources, sophisticated analysis, and data organization and (ii) strategic use and application of data to proactively intervene within a defined popula­tion of patients to maintain or improve the health of those individuals at the lowest appropriate cost….

In general, the intensified focus on population health management seems to be driven, at least in part, by the perceived failures of the traditional, predominantly fee-for-service-based payment model. It is widely believed that the traditional payment structures engendered the fragmented delivery of health care, deficiencies in the availability of certain types of care and care coordination and management activi­ties, and unnecessarily high costs.… These types of issues are particularly prevalent in the area of behavioral health care.

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