Gundersen Health System Partners with Medicom Health Interactive to Help Patients Take Care of Themselves
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
While many health systems focus on driving volume in high-margin service lines, Gundersen Health System is beginning to think about things differently. “About two years ago we started looking at how to shift our marketing from driving volume to building relationships, and helping consumers engage in their health and wellness,” says Pamela Maas, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer.
To test the waters, Gundersen partnered with Medicom Health Interactive and developed three online self-care planners designed to help consumers manage urinary incontinence, hip and knee pain, and back and neck pain. “These programs really help people improve health by creating personalized action plans that recommend appropriate behaviors and follow-up care,” says Sandra Kramer, former Senior Regional Account Director at Medicom.
Good For Patients, But…
In the context of population health, engaging patients with self-care tools may prevent or delay the need for treatment—good for patients, but not so great for revenue in a fee-for-service world. So how does a health system justify this approach? Maas explains, “If we’re moving to capitation, or having to be accountable for the population’s health, then we need to start piloting a whole host of tactics and strategies to get us to that space, understanding that we don’t really get reimbursed for that, we don’t get incentivized for doing that today. But we do recognize that that’s going to be the future, and we want to take a strong role in that.” Maas and Kramer co-presented on self-care planners at HCIC 2015. We checked in with Maas recently to find out how things have progressed since then.