Viewpoint |

Finding the Role of Health Care in Population Health

Emma M. Eggleston, MD, MPH1,2; Jonathan A. Finkelstein, MD, MPH1,3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
2Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
3Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2014;311(8):797-798. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.163.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Enhanced focus on population health is increasingly invoked as a potential solution to the persistent problems facing the US health care system including failures to achieve targets for health outcomes, eliminate disparities in health and health care, and function within a sustainable budget. Shortell1 recently discussed how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related developments could change incentives to align health care, public health, and social services. Sox2 further specified the inherent tensions in allocation of resources to balance the needs of individuals and those of the population overall and highlighted new aspects of medical professionalism that will be needed to improve population health outcomes. However, additional clarity is needed regarding the specific health system–based activities that may contribute most to improvements in population health and well-being and the barriers that must be overcome for them to succeed. These include stakeholder interests that may not be aligned with investments in population health, barriers to information transfer and service integration between health care and other sectors, and persistent difficulties in addressing health care disparities. Without solutions to these challenges, integration of population health–focused activities into the routine work of health care systems will be neither robust nor sustainable.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles