The summit honed in on a key flaw affecting population health: the focus on managing sickness instead of managing wellness. Failure to promote wellness on a large scale leads to negative population health outcomes and increased costs, as resources go toward symptom and disease control instead of prevention.
Payers and providers are in a unique situation to work together and with communities and employers to more effectively manage patient wellness by focusing funds on wellness-boosting efforts outside of the hospital.
More than 150 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored health coverage, presenting a large opportunity for payer-driven, incentive-based wellness programs in the workplace to greatly affect population health. Additionally, provider-led initiatives, like mobile screenings in under-served areas to monitor and inform patients about disease risks and preventative strategies, could also provide positive strides in population health.