Population health management (PHM) represents one of the long-term goals of the healthcare industry: building upon the patient-centered medical home concept to provide proactive support to a defined patient population in an attempt to address preventable behaviors that drive up healthcare costs. Through process improvement aided by technology, PHM helps with clinical decision support, thus improving the quality of care as well as patient safety. In diabetes, PHM is an attractive target for the following reasons: its ability to stratify patient populations, the disease’s high prevalence and costs, concerns over patient noncompliance, the risk of hospitalization associated with the disease, and the presence of defined treatment algorithms.
PHM is geared toward high-risk individuals and changes in physician compensation (partly tied to the proliferation of accountable care organizations) are translating into changes in prescribing behavior. As the use of PHM becomes more ingrained in physicians’ practice behavior, specific therapies will gain market share at the expense of others.