MoneyBall Medicine

Kathryn Teng on Unlocking the Puzzle of Population Health

Episode Summary

Harry has a heart-to-heart conversation with Dr. Kathryn Teng, who’s working to use data to implement an access- and experience-based population health model at MetroHealth, the public health system for Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Episode Notes

Kathryn Teng, MD, is division chief of internal medicine and community medicine at MetroHealth, one of three major healthcare systems serving Cleveland and the rest of Cuyahoga County in Ohio. She believes that healthcare costs are out of control in part because too many patients go directly to specialists about issues that their primary care physician or nurses could and should handle. But figuring out how many primary care doctors a big healthcare system like MetroHealth needs, and where they should be placed, is a data, analytics, and management problem.

When she arrived at MetroHealth in 2015, Teng set out to collect data points to help with decisions across what she calls the “four quadrants” of population health: access to care, patient experience, provider and caregiver experience, and lower costs. “The real joy in this job,” Teng says, “is really around…trying to achieve the vision of population health, which is how do we provide the right care for the right patients by the right team members, and in the right modality.”

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