Tim Petrikin

Executive Vice President of
Ambulatory Care Services
Vanguard Health Systems

 Health Leaders Magazine Cover



How do Organizations Define Population Health Management?

"How we connect to the rest of the population will be less about health status and more about personal relationships, whether it be demographic, psychographic information. We connect with them really more as customers. That population does not connect with healthcare as much as it connects with health. So we have to design something fundamentally different."

Who Convenes the Population Health Management Discussion?

"In every one of our communities, multiple parties are convening the conversation around population health. We certainly see it where payers are driving that. We have experience where physicians are driving that, and then you have health systems and certainly large integrated systems or hospitals. And then you have governments who are trying to do it through policy. But what’s very interesting is who’s not convening: the communities and the members of the communities themselves."

How do You Address Primary Care Shortages in Population Health Management?

"I would argue that a shortage of advanced practitioners is the real shortage, whether it’s nurse practitioners, PAs, etc., and that we should start to encourage the primary care physician—family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics—to practice at the top of their license. We have to change the business model and the delivery model. The majority, or however many it is, are unable, for a multitude of reasons, to adjust to a changing business model. That’s the critical factor."

Where Will You Find the Competencies that Population Health Management Requires?

"Partnerships are critical. In the populations we serve, the six geographies that we serve today, there are 23 million people. If we extend our acute care service market share into population health management, we could essentially take care of 1% of the U.S. population; we’d have 3.5 million lives in a population health model. There’s no way we can do that without effective partnerships. We’re spending most of our time on how we form networks, how do we govern those, what’s the participation criteria to be in the network, and how that’s going to evolve. It’s the only way we can successfully enter the world of population health management because of our scale. There’s just not enough capital available to develop the entire continuum of care beyond merely acute care services."

Where Do Shared Risk and Incentives Fit in?

"I think that’s secondary to a strong partnership. Partnerships are about getting the softer things right. The rest of it actually is easier. It really is."