U of Utah's new population health clinic aims to find unmet care needs

Salt Lake City-based University of Utah has cut the ribbon on its new population health clinic, which it hopes will improve patient outcomes, identify unmet care needs and lower the overall cost of care, according to an Oct. 12 news release.

The Population Health Center in partnership with University of Utah Health Plans will seek alternative funding methods for its care delivery models to "put a new spin on incentives — shifting from 'volume' to 'value,'" so that the care teams can renew their focus on other drivers of patient and population health like addiction, trauma and poverty.

The impetus for the university's Population Health Center was born out of a single program in 2017 that sought to "to provide highly coordinated and integrated care for Medicaid members with complex mental and medical health problems that result in high utilization," according to the release. The program's care model laid the foundation for a successful continuation of care at a larger scale by: 

  1. Providing patients with a holistic approach to care that not only addresses physical ailments, but includes "components of their care historically delegated to other providers or sites of care (e.g., mental and oral health)."

  2. During the ongoing nationwide healthcare staffing shortage, in this model, staff are able to be shared between different programs, which also reduces costs.

  3. Attracting providers who may see more benefits in "practicing in a mission-driven environment that connects to their purpose of serving patients," according to the release, rather than traditional settings. 

"When we identify unmet health needs, we see if we can sustainably fill any gaps to improve outcomes," the release states. "Then we develop our intervention and measure its impact based on improved health outcomes, not the number of patients we can see. We follow a Plan Do Study Act framework to continuously improve interventions for each patient. Our novel integrated care and payment model aims to improve the overall health and well-being of the population."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars