Come Together: Moving Care to the Community

by / Wednesday, 17 May 2023 / Published in Uncategorized

The economics of healthcare reimbursement don’t add up.

Insurance companies pay for hospitals to treat patients when they are ill, rather than incentivizing healthcare systems to encourage wellness and prevent hospitalization. Recently, an article in Fortune highlighted this growing issue, discussing how preventative health and hospital-at-home models have the ability to upend healthcare economics.

Within the article, Patrick Charmel, CEO of Planetree Gold Certified Griffin Health in Derby, CT, noted that “We need to explore ways such as the Planetree person-centered care framework which can help healthcare providers make practical operational improvements to integrate healthcare seamlessly into people’s lives.” In practice, this centers around preventative and community-based care.

Essentially, Charmel is calling for a shift in emphasis from healthcare to HEALTH. A healthcare system focuses on a patient’s diagnosis, biomedical symptoms, and treatments. A system focused on HEALTH promotes and protects health preventatively and holistically. It addresses the upstream factors that influence health and well-being. This includes non-clinical needs like access to healthy foods, reliable transportation, stable housing, safe neighborhoods, and economic stability. Partnerships between clinical settings where care is provided and community-based organizations that reach people where they live their lives are the lifeblood of any healthy community. And as it turns out, this is how people want healthcare to be organized. Studies show 86% of adults prefer to receive short-term healthcare outside of the hospital or healthcare organization.

Given this, isn’t it time for healthcare reimbursement models to reflect the value of these upstream health promotion investments that may ultimately result in less “sick care” being needed?

Broadening the view of healthcare to focus on health is the epitome of person-centered care.

Here are 5 person-centered principles for embedding a focus on health into your healthcare operations:

1. Be Proactive: Make healthcare about both sick care and well care through education, prevention, and health promotion. The goal is not to merely help someone get better, but to support lifelong health and quality of life. Proactively reach out to the hard-to-reach populations and those who are resistant to engage in healthcare – these are the individuals who may need you the most.

2. Be Holistic: Deliver care that is designed to address the range of biological, psychological, and social factors that influence everyone’s health and wellness. Be inclusive and ensure staff have the skills and empathy necessary to deliver care without bias.

3. Be Flexible: For care to transition from being responsive to proactive, we must rely on the patient to agree to, and follow through on, care planning. This coordinated approach involves understanding each individual patient, their needs, and their lifestyle, and developing a care plan that meets them where they are, and fits into their day-to-day life.

4. Be Boundless: We mean this quite literally. Supporting an individual’s lifelong health and well-being cannot be confined to one specific setting. Person-centered approaches encourage us to build the care experience around the person. With this in mind, we must be prepared to meet people where they live, play, work, learn, or worship.

5. Make it personal: As individuals we each have personal goals, strengths, and challenges which can impact care management, planning, and decision-making. We can use population health data to identify patterns, gaps, and predictions, but the most important information is in an individual’s self-reported data on what a successful health outcome looks like for them. Without taking the time to make it personal we won’t understand an individual’s barriers, and we cannot effectively deliver care to a single patient or the community at large.

It is time for healthcare organizations to elevate their roles not only as care providers but as true stewards of health in the community. Planetree is here to help.
Connect with us today to take the first step in co-designing your organization’s path to building a person-centered culture within a healthy community.

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