Course Detail
Course Components:
In 2010, an Institute of Medicine expert panel estimated that a minimum of 30 percent, and probably over 50 percent, of all money spent on health care is waste – non-value adding from a patient’s perspective. Some have asserted that waste could account for as much as 65 percent of all health care spending. In 2018, a mid-point 50 percent estimate totals to more than $1.8 trillion dollars in financial opportunity. Almost half of all waste extraction opportunities – almost a trillion dollars per year – fall within a relatively new approach called “population health.” Population health includes (1) treatments provided even though associated risks outweigh any potential benefit to the patient; (2) treatments that patients would have refused, had they been given a complete description of the treatment and its likely outcomes; and (3) high-order treatments (specialist visits, hospitalizations, ED visits, or surgical procedures) that a patient could have avoided with better “upstream” health behaviors, social networks, physical environment, public health, or primary care (low-order treatments). Population health is strongly associated with new “pay for value” health financing mechanisms. Both seek to control health care costs, aligning financial incentives around waste elimination through better clinical outcomes. “Bending the cost curve” could keep health care services widely accessible within modern societies. Process management science (quality improvement) provides a very strong framework to understand then manage population health, directly addressing both clinical and financial issues. On that foundation, this course will support medical students as they prepare to effectively execute population health principles within a value-based healthcare framework. Students are recommended to complete during MS4; MS2 or MS3 if strong interest in Population Health and Quality Improvement. It is also recommend participation in either Population Health or Value Pathways (not required).