How executives' expectations and experiences shape population health management strategies

Betty M. Steenkamer*, Hanneke W. Drewes, Natascha Van Vooren, Caroline A. Baan, Hans Van Oers, Kim Putters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Within Population Health Management (PHM) initiatives, stakeholders from various sectors apply PHM strategies, via which services are reorganised and integrated in order to improve population health and quality of care while reducing cost growth. This study unravelled how stakeholders' expectations and prior experiences influenced stakeholders intended PHM strategies. Methods: This study used realist principles. Nine Dutch PHM initiatives participated. Seventy stakeholders (mainly executive level) from seven different stakeholder groups (healthcare insurers, hospitals, primary care groups, municipalities, patient representative organisations, regional businesses and program managers of the PHM initiatives) were interviewed. Associations between expectations, prior experiences and intended strategies of the various stakeholder groups were identified through analyses of the interviews. Results: Stakeholders' expectations, their underlying explanations and intended strategies could be categorized into four themes: 1. Regional collaboration; 2. Governance structures and stakeholder roles; 3. Regional learning environments, and 4. Financial and regulative conditions. Stakeholders agreed on the long-term expectations of PHM development. Differences in short-and middle-term expectations, and prior experiences were identified between stakeholder groups and within the stakeholder group healthcare insurers. These differences influenced stakeholders' intended strategies. For instance, healthcare insurers that intended to stay close to the business of care had encountered barriers in pushing PHM e.g. lack of data insight, and expected that staying in control of the purchasing process was the best way to achieve value for money. Healthcare insurers that were more keen to invest in experiments with data-technology, new forms of payment and accountability had encountered positive experiences in establishing regional responsibility and expected this to be a strong driver for establishing improvements in regional health and a vital and economic competitive region. Conclusion: This is the first study that revealed insight into the differences and similarities between stakeholder groups' expectations, experiences and intended strategies. These insights can be used to improve the pivotal cooperation within and between stakeholder groups for PHM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number757
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2019

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