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Understanding the relationship between Population Health and Value Based Care

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This blog was originally published in September 2018 and was updated in April 2024

Population health and value based care models significantly overlap in their approaches. Delivering value based care that’s focused on ideal patient outcomes is leading to better patient outcomes, but physicians must assume greater risk and track patient data overtime. Implementing population health management is ideal for physicians who want to uncover risks in population groups and help effectively manage those risks. Keep reading to learn more about the intersection between population health and value-based care, and how the right technology plays an essential role in effective population health management and value based care. 

How do population health and value based care overlap?

Population health and value based care are two interrelated concepts that aim to improve the overall health outcomes of a community while optimizing the use of resources. Here are a few additional aspects they have in common:

Both are focused on patient outcomes

Both population health and value based care emphasize the importance of health outcomes rather than just the volume of services provided. Value-based care seeks to deliver high-quality care that improves patient outcomes, while population health focuses on improving the health outcomes of an entire population or community.

Both focus on preventive care and care coordination

Population health models often prioritize preventive care and health promotion activities to address the underlying factors contributing to poor health outcomes within a community. Value-based care similarly emphasizes preventive measures to keep individuals healthier and reduce the need for costly interventions.

Additionally, both population health management and value based care emphasize the importance of care coordination and collaboration among healthcare providers, social services, and community organizations. By coordinating care across the continuum and addressing social determinants of health, both approaches aim to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Both approaches incentivize quality over quantity of patients

Value-based care and population health are both incentivized by providing quality care for patients, rather than serving the largest number of patients possible. Value-based care models incorporate financial incentives for physicians that are tied to the quality and efficiency of care. In a similar fashion, population health initiatives incentivize physicians to focus on preventive care and population health outcomes rather than just treating illnesses.

Both approaches rely on data analytics to be effective

Both approaches rely on data analytics to identify health trends, assess risk factors, and tailor interventions. Population health management utilizes data to understand the health needs of a specific population and implement targeted interventions. Value-based care uses data to measure performance, track outcomes, and identify areas for improvement in care delivery.

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Important factors in effective population health and value-based care delivery

A recent article published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) noted that “Population health management has been widely discussed as the solution to help healthcare organizations reach value-based care goals.” Additionally, the article states that “there are three keys to a successful program: data analytics, technology adoption and the inclusion of the patient as a partner.”

Population health analytics

Population health management involves tracking data on individual patients within a population group. Healthcare IT News reports that the “concept of population health first came about in 2003 when David Kindig and Greg Stoddart defined it as ‘the health outcome of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.’”

The ability to manage data regarding the population can be a significant factor in the value-based care provided to those patients. HIMSS emphasizes that “real-time data enables clinical decision support which can help payers and providers address at-risk populations, and provide timelier interventions. Analytics help us find gaps in care and determine whether healthy outcomes were achieved.”

EHR solutions

An electronic health record (EHR) solution enables physicians to holistically evaluate the patient population with a longitudinal record that trends vitals and lab values over time. Partnering with the patient to manage healthcare plans and medications improves the value of the care provided to that patient. In fact, most patients want to be more actively involved in decisions that affect their ongoing health.

Quality technology, data analytics, and patient involvement enable physicians to manage the population’s health to produce quality patient outcomes and to more successfully participate in value-based care.

Master population health and value based care with Elation EHR

Elation offers a complete EHR solution that helps physicians practice effective value based care and provide the best outcomes possible for their patients. With Elation EHR, physicians can identify and track patients with specific health conditions or risk factors and deliver proactive care to prevent complications and improve outcomes. Elation offers robust data analytics that empower physicians with insights into workflow efficacy, performance, and the downstream impact of care interventions.

If you’re ready to provide exceptional value-based care for your patients, learn more about Elation value-based care EHR today and request a demo


What is population health?

Population health refers to the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. It encompasses the overall health status, health behaviors, and health disparities among a specific population or community. Population health takes a holistic approach, considering not only medical care but also social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health outcomes. It involves analyzing and addressing health issues at the population level through preventive measures, health promotion, and interventions aimed at improving the health and well-being of entire communities. By focusing on the broader determinants of health, population health aims to enhance the quality of life and reduce health inequities across diverse populations.

What is the relationship between population health and value based care?

Value-based care and population health share the common goal of enhancing health outcomes while optimizing resources across the healthcare system. They both prioritize outcomes over service volume, emphasizing preventive care and health promotion activities to improve overall community health. Leveraging data analytics, they identify health trends, assess risk factors, and tailor interventions, while also stressing the importance of care coordination among various stakeholders. Financial incentives tied to quality and efficiency drive value-based care, while population health initiatives incentivize providers to focus on preventive care and community health outcomes. 

What are social determinants of health?

Social determinants of health are the conditions and factors in the social and physical environment in which people are born, live, work, and age that influence their health outcomes. These determinants include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, employment status, housing conditions, access to healthcare, social support networks, and environmental exposures. Social determinants of health play a significant role in shaping individuals' health behaviors, access to healthcare services, and overall health outcomes.