Payment reform in Maryland leads to innovative population health management solutions targeted at reducing readmissions

In a recent article by HealthLeaders Media, Rene Letourneau discusses population health management efforts at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland in response to the state’s recent payment reform program. In Maryland, “hospitals receive a set amount of revenue regardless of how many patients they treat or services they provide.” This type of payment reform means it is critical for hospitals to manage costs and avoid overusing expensive hospital-based services.

This program puts a huge focus on reducing readmissions because no matter how many patients enter the hospital, the hospital gets the same set amount of revenue. Bob Reilly, CFO of Anne Arundel, says, “Logically, you can’t reduce readmissions to 0%, but at any point in time there are probably some health concerns that can be handled without readmission.”

One strategy the medical center is utilizing is using data analytics to discover trends in where medical 911 calls are coming from. What Anne Arundel found was that there was an extreme amount of medical 911 calls coming from a specific subsidized housing facility where low-income seniors live. After receiving and analyzing this data, Anne Arundel began working with the state of build a clinic on the first floor of this housing facility, ultimately reducing readmissions. In fact, there has been “a 50% reduction in the number of calls from that site to our ED” according to Reilly.

Although Anne Arundel has taken many steps to reduce costs and readmissions, the hospital is still looking to employ more population health management measures that will have positive impacts on their patient population.

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