CEOs: Population Health Experience is Hardest Skill Set to Find

Nearly 60 percent of health system and hospital CEOs ranked population health as the "hardest" skill set to find within the broader healthcare field.

The finding is one of many from the American Hospital Association's latest survey, "Building a Leadership Team for the Health Care Organization of the Future."  

After community and population health, executives ranked change management experience (54 percent), innovative thinking (40 percent) and nontraditional health partnerships (39 percent) as the hardest skill sets to find in healthcare.

Authors of the AHA report said the perceived rarity of population health skill sets may leave more healthcare organizations seeking candidates from other industries. And as it turns out, executives are seeing a shortage of experience in the broader industry and also feeling the population health pinch within their own C-suites.

Forty-eight percent of executives identified community and population health management as a talent gap within their organizations, making it the second-largest talent gap recorded after experience in leading nontraditional health partnerships (54 percent).

Some organizations are filling the gap by adding senior-level positions and teams related to population health: 30 percent of respondents said their management team includes a risk officer and 10 percent have a chief population health manager. Also, COOs are taking on more responsibility for population health outcomes and the financial risks of coordinating inpatient care with other providers, according to the report.

Organizations may also bring add insurance and risk management experts who can help manage nontraditional risk and risk related to chronic disease management. Some organizations are also bringing on quality experts who can find ways to improve the quality and consistency of care delivery, according to the report.

Findings are based on responses to an online survey of more than 1,100 executives, 95 percent of whom were CEOs and 5 percent of whom were strategy executives with their organizations. The majority of respondents worked with health systems or community hospitals.  

More Articles on Population Health:
Health System C-Suiters, Meet the Chief Population Health Officer
Are You Misusing The Term "Population Health?"
10 Latest Stories on Population Health


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