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Five Quick Tips on Population Health

Updated: May 23, 2021

Why population health is important and what advanced degrees mean by Lori Merkel, PhD, MSPH, RN, CPHQ

1. Traditional, Fee-For-Service healthcare has been dying a slow, agonizing death for decades. Population health aides in helping to add value to patient care and should be thought of as a strategy, not a product.

2. Population Health and value-based care models are the way out of this mess but there is no easy way to "flip the light switch" to such a radically different mindset and way of doing business.

3. While policy and payers may be inching us in this direction year over year, it will ultimately be up to clinicians and healthcare leadership to acquire the knowledge and then operationalize such care models and accountabilities.

4. For me, earning an advanced degree in population health brought together my diverse interests and background in healthcare, while helping me see a path forward. It was personal as much as a strong desire to 'fix' a broken system that fails millions of Americans.

5. Every single person working in the healthcare industry can, at a minimum learn more about population health and what healthcare in our country can look like when we place an emphasis on outcomes that are important to patients and providing value-based, not volume-based care. You can begin your learning about population health here.

Lori Merkel obtained her BA in Psychology, minor in Biology from Rutgers University then pursued her nursing degree (BSN) at Drexel University. She has obtained her Masters of Science in Public Health from Pennsylvania State University. Lori has held a certification in High Risk Neonatal Nursing and presently is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. She most recently has completed her PhD at Jefferson University in Population Health Sciences with a concentration in Healthcare Quality and Safety. In her current role, she is the Population Health Director.

Listen to more from Lori on population health:


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