Bridging the divide: Supplementing payment reform to promote needed investments in population health
This installment of the Payment Reform for Population Health blog series focuses on limitations in payment reform and ideas for the creation of the right incentives for population health investments.
Two important trends in health care reform are converging and driving toward a new way of allocating resources for more effective -- and efficient -- population health. The first is the growing recognition of the link between social spending and health outcomes: states with higher levels of social spending relative to health spending have significantly better health outcomes across diverse conditions. This has spurred a deeper examination of the balance of public investments between social and health services so that they are more upstream and outside of the health care system. By investing early in housing stability, food security, robust education, and safe recreation opportunities for everyone, we may be able to avoid later hospitalizations and vastly improve the health of our population. While the aggregate public expenditures could remain the same under this approach, we end up with a much healthier (and presumably happier) population to show for it.
McGinnis T. Bridging the divide: Supplementing payment reform to promote needed investments in population health. AcademyHealth Blog. 2017. Available online.