Advanced Plan for Health (APH) recently published a blog briefly illustrating the value of nurse care navigators. Nurse care navigators provide self-funded employers with informed health plan management action items devised to improve health plan functionality. Most importantly, however, care management provides employees the guidance and resources they need to proactively improve their health. Barb Rutkowski is APH’s very own medical management professional. To Dr. Rutkowski and nurse care navigators alike, population health management means more than focusing on the company’s healthcare spend or bottom line. The healthcare industry has too often failed our population and people continue to slip through the cracks, so to speak, and therefore proceed uneducated as to the resources and opportunities that exist for them to improve their health. To nurse care navigators, care management is exactly that – managing people with care. Below are a few words from Barb.
Mentoring clinicians and health plan professionals in learning how to guide and support people, wherever they are on the healthcare continuum, is my opportunity to pass on the secrets of population health management that so many wonderful professionals have shared with me.
Making a difference in people’s health, while optimizing resources so that people and health plans get the desired results, is my idea of success.
This mantra depicts the outcomes-oriented, data-based approach that sets APH apart. The idea is to use (APH’s predictive modeling platform) Poindexter to see the “big picture” view with drill-down opportunities, while staying focused, working smart and reaching people that need help. The ability to constantly monitor the impact of intervention and progress at the macro and granular levels toward goals is the key. Poindexter helps us know if the individual is on the right path, or if more help or support is needed.
It is amazing to watch clinicians fully use their creativity, experience and talent, as they innovate and focus on people with high risk health issues or ongoing chronic health conditions. The result? We change lives, help people navigate the complex health system, and connect with them as if they were a valued family member or dear friend. Participants value our population health management approach, and health plans like how our “common sense”, personalized dedication favorably impacts the bottom line.
Barb’s primary goal is not to improve health plan efficiency or reduce health plan costs, but to improve the health of a population and remove waste. The byproduct of her dedication to improve the health of her population has produced significant boosts in member health and quality of life – which ultimately result in efficient plan administration and cost reductions, but her fulfillment comes in helping patients get on the right track and stay there.