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Forum examines healthcare-delivery models
October 28, 2015Tweet
Healthcare providers are moving to a new model for improving the health of the communities they serve, according to a presentation by representatives from Greater Binghamton’s largest hospital systems.
“Healthcare: Call to Action” was the topic of the Binghamton University Forum breakfast program held Oct. 27 at the Binghamton Club. The presenters were Lisa Bobby, director of strategic planning at Lourdes Hospital, and Robin Kinslow-Evans, vice president for strategic planning at United Health Services.
The Affordable Care Act is not only changing the national healthcare landscape but also changing the way healthcare is delivered and implemented locally, they said.
Higher insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays; workplace wellness programs; and a focus on prevention have become common, Kinslow-Evans said.
Meanwhile, hospitals and other healthcare providers, which are seeing decreased payment reimbursements from insurers, are directing their attention to the health of the entire population they serve, not just on waiting for patients to come in and providing treatment services to them as needed, she said.
The new healthcare delivery model focuses on “population health,” or a systematic effort to assess the health needs of target populations — those at high risk for inpatient or emergency care, rising risk and low risk — and applying resources and services wisely and proactively to maintain and improve the health of each group, Kinslow-Evans said.
Bobby said the current system relies on the individual to initiate a visit for healthcare, which usually happens when there is a health problem — if the individual comes in at all. Population health “changes the mission from caring for those directly in front of you to proactively caring for the people in the community,” she said.
When patients self-select for care, it provides little insight into the overall health of others in the community, she said. Analytics now help providers identify people at risk for disease and help with outreach and engagement.
“The patient needs to be the driver of the car,” she said. “Healthcare is the entire community’s responsibility.”
Greater Binghamton has a growing elder population that is putting upward pressure on the demand for local healthcare resources, Bobby said.
By 2016, 1 in 5 people in the region will be over age 65, she said. By comparison, the United States will not reach that point until 2032.
In addition, 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition; half have two chronic conditions, she said.
Transitioning to a population health-based care delivery model requires changing allocation of resources, implementing systems such as electronic medical recordkeeping, collaborating across a broad network of healthcare partners, and greater participation and commitment to personal health management, the presenters said.
Kinslow-Evans noted the healthcare industry is a major employer and economic driver in upstate New York.
After the presentation, she named Binghamton University’s developing School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the “extraordinary” Decker School of Nursing and Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science as key assets helping Lourdes and UHS get through and manage changes in the healthcare landscape.
The University previously announced it is working to develop a Southern Tier Health Sciences and Technology Innovation Park in Johnson City, near Wilson Hospital and the pharmacy school, which is in the design phase and expected to open in 2018.
The new healthcare campus would bring together the Decker School of Nursing, pharmacy school and Clinical Campus of Upstate Medical University.
Apart from providing space for teaching and learning near one of the region’s largest hospitals, the new healthcare campus would house research and clinical facilities to support advances in medical science, and position the University and region for decades of future growth in jobs and national reputation.
The facility, and the organizations it helps establish, would become a source of clinical placements and internships in such fields as public administration, social work, engineering and nursing.