How do you improve overall health care trends by focusing on the needs of the individual patient?

That’s what Partners Population Health aims to do.

Who We Are

Partners HealthCare is a not-for-profit, integrated health care system based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Partners HealthCare network includes hospitals, community health centers, physician practices and post-acute care facilities. Partners Population Health is a team of teams dedicated to researching and redesigning clinical care in a way that focuses on the whole patient. We design population health management strategies, programs and tools to help improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, and reduce overall health care costs. To identify and test meaningful interventions, Partners Population Health collaborates closely with clinicians on the ground. Our central team works with local teams across the Partners system to develop, implement and manage a system-wide value-based care strategy for all patient populations. Learn more from our population health overview video. 

Where We Came From

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, it was apparent health care costs were increasing at astronomical rates. Predictions estimated that Massachusetts health care spending could account for as much as $1.2 billion by the year 2020. In 2006, the same year Massachusetts legislature broadened health care coverage in the Commonwealth, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) piloted a Medicare Demonstration on managed care for high cost patients with chronic conditions. The pilot, the first of its kind in the United States, showed to be hugely successful:

  • HOSPITAL RE-ADMISSIONS ↓ 20%
  • MORTALITY RATES ↓ 4%
  • FOR EVERY $1 SPENT, $2.65 WAS SAVED 

The program would eventually be scaled by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and North Shore Medical Center before being rolled out across the Partners system.

Where We've Been

On the heels of the care management pilot final evaluation, two historic legislations went into effect both nationally and in Massachusetts:

  • The 2010 Affordable Care Act, which both expanded insurance coverage for United States citizens as well as supported innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care.
  • Massachusetts Chapter 224, which sought to monitor and enforce benchmarks for health care cost growth, placing new scrutiny on health care market power, price variation, and cost growth at individual health care entities.

Partners Population Health was poised to support the new legislation by testing new payment models and scaling effective, innovative programs like High-Risk Care Management, PCMH, and Behavioral Health Integration.

Where We Are Going

As Partners continues to expand its work in population health management, we’re working to reach larger populations and better tailor interventions for even more specific groups. Most recently, we’ve sparked nascent projects in risk coding, physician variation, and utilization management. We continue to look for ways to inform and expand this important work through strategic collaborations. Examples of current collaborators: Externally: Health Catalyst, a data architecture firm, that supported the development of our Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). Internally: AllWays Health Partners is helping us understand how population health management programs can benefit our own employees. This has also allowed us to model how insurance and health care providers can better collaborate to address important health care challenges.

Are you interested in learning more or becoming a collaborator?

Contact us.

© 2019 Partners Population Health All rights reserved.