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Who is the Quarterback of Population Health?

November 25, 2015
Premise Health

Stu Clark was recently featured in the Nashville Post article regarding population health. He is one of four stakeholders explaining their approaches to delivering lasting wellness improvements.

Population health management is often mentioned as the salve for many of the health system’s wounds. If only patients could be better managed, with fewer complications and more efficiency, health outcomes would improve and costs would evaporate from the system.

To get closer to an answer as to whom is well positioned to call the shots while managing patients, we asked executives from both sides of the payer-provider aisle and beyond a simple question: Who is — and who should be — the quarterback of population health management partnerships, leading the team and making adjustments as the game develops?

The employer: Premise Health, Stuart Clark

Brentwood-based Premise Health believes patients are the most important piece of the population health puzzle, but their approach is based on the incentives of self-insured employers. The company’s executives have built their model on changing patients’ behavior by meeting them where they are. For most of us, that’s at work.

Premise Health operates onsite health clinics for large, self-insured employers across the country, and CEO Stuart Clark says being able to tailor wellness approaches to specific company cultures and health insurance benefits allows his team to better engage patients and improve outcomes.

“A group practice might have 4,000 employers or payers, but we have one employer, one culture and one payer,” Clark says. “We can get very focused on the individual patient and determining their needs.”

In addition to providing onsite services for basic health needs for employees and their families, Premise Health also plays a role in the greater health system. Clark calls the company’s approach patient advocacy and his team assists in connecting patients to the right community resources. Given Premise’s relationship with the employer — which in this case is also the payer — navigating the system becomes less complicated.

“We don’t do MRIs, but we’re not just going to tell you where those providers are,” Clark says. “We’re going to book your appointment, make sure it’s in your network and our doctors are going to get those results.”

Large employers are seeing the benefits of taking health care costs vertical and managing them internally. But without health care expertise and infrastructure, the companies need a partner, and Premise Health is paid based on results.

“We’re not going to continue our relationships with these large, sophisticated customers unless they see the needle moving,” Clark says. “Our industry has always been held accountable for containing costs. The rest of the health care system has never really been held accountable in that fashion, but that’s where onsite health clinics have been living for the last decade.”

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