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The Co-Morbidities Challenge in Population Health Management Analytics

by Jody Ranck | June 08, 2015

Condition vs. Multiple Conditions

One of the most difficult patient populations to manage is the growing number of individuals with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). Many of the current predictive models for preventing readmissions are not having a major impact on outcomes for this population cohort. Currently 66% of the total healthcare expenditure in the US is directed toward the 27% with MCC.

Very few evaluations of PHM platforms exist at the moment but value propositions in this space will soon need to demonstrate significant results. Early generation digital health platforms typically tout their PHM capabilities around diabetes or other chronic diseases in a specific disease-focused manner not heeding the cautions raised in the 2001 “Crossing the Quality Chasm” report by the Institute of Medicine. The report warned against designing care around single diseases or conditions. Disease-specific approaches, the report warned, could be ineffective when dealing with the complex interactions of behaviors, medications, and disease progressions in the growing share of patients having MCC. Addressing this challenge is more than a simple problem of better algorithms. The issues are multi-dimensional, from the underlying science, data sources and best clinical practices, to change management at the organizational level.

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