Population Health in Indiana: A Study

IHA retained Hanover Research—a global market research firm—to conduct a series of in-depth interviews with population health experts at 12 hospitals and health care organizations across the state. The goal was to evaluate common features of population health management models, consider current trends and potential drawbacks and identify successful strategies to share with our members.


  • Most Indiana health care providers interviewed have a population health strategy in place or intend to implement one in the future. Six of 12 respondents reported using population health strategies currently, while three more have plans in development. Respondents cite changing market dynamics as the impetus for adopting a strategy.
  • Population health strategies vary in scope and composition. The average population health strategy has been in place for 16 months. All seven respondents who offered insights into their current or proposed strategies indicated partnerships and coordinated care—including ACOs—as central to their strategies.
  • Despite variation, population health strategies share a number of common elements, including:
    • Population stratification
    • Chronic disease management
    • Shared savings plans
    • Gap identification
    • Care coordination
    • Electronic health records and advanced data analytics
  • Most organizations report that it’s too early to observe significant trends or impacts related to population health strategies or outcomes. However, one organization did indicate it’s beginning to see positive develop- ments related to acute care utilization, emergency room use and acuity index.
  • Respondents cite a number of challenges related to the implementation and maintenance of population health strategies, including:
    • Change management and the impact on existing business models
    • Care coordination and interventions
    • The use of abundant data and electronic health records
    • Significant investment required
    • Community and leadership buy-in