Understanding the Production of Population Health and the Role of Paying for Population Health

This article considers two related themes that address population health outcomes and the contributions to those outcomes by time, place, individual behaviors and choices, and activities of various social sectors.

First, what does it mean to “produce” population health, and how can the production of health be understood empirically? Second, through what processes can incentives be modified to improve population health? Among the issues that arise are understanding the mechanisms through which paying for population health works and how the health-producing incentives materialize in various sectors, especially those whose primary functions are not generally viewed as fostering better population health.