Health Reform Toolkit Needs Focus on Health Management and Prevention

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

The toolkit needed for healthcare reform is more broad-based than containing costs and improving quality, says Kenneth Thorpe, executive director, for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. Thorpe is also a Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

Reform efforts must also include population health management, health prevention and care coordination, Thorpe said during a panel discussion in conjunction with last week’s National Medicare Readmissions Summit and the 2009 Medicaid Congress.

“Getting to the Value Quadrant of Healthcare Reform,” sponsored by Pharos Innovations, highlighted several care management programs achieving positive returns, as well as the role of care coordination in health reform.

Thorpe underscored the importance of the primary care system in any reform efforts to help achieve the goals of population health management and care coordination especially among those with chronic conditions.

While declaring that he has pilot and demonstration fatigue, Thorpe called on the healthcare industry to build out the medical home engine to coordinate this care and to collaborate with smaller physician groups to bring the opportunity that the medical home model of care offers to these smaller groups.

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