Patient engagement is the key

From the Health Affairs Blog:

Everywhere outside of health care, the consumer is in the driver’s seat. From Angie’s List to Yelp to Uber, consumers have never had more tools, and more ability, to get what they want and need. But “health care is different.” Although 72 percent of Internet users have searched for health information in the past year, many consumers find health care lagging behind in supporting their needs for information and support. The good news is this is changing — fast. A new report published in this month’s Health Affairs describes how health plans and other payers can use patient engagement strategies and financial incentives to engage consumers to improve their health while lowering costs.

We’ve found (along with many others) that patient engagement — the actions that people take to better control their health and benefit from care — is crucial to achieving better health outcomes and a more efficient health system. But we’ve also found that while there’s great promise in patient engagement, a serious gap exists between that promise and current reality. And payers, along with care providers and consumer groups, can play an important role in closing this gap.

“UnitedHealthcare Experience Illustrates How Payers Can Enable Patient Engagement,” published in the August issue of Health Affairs, describes our experience with helping support both consumers and care providers with patient engagement. The report details UnitedHealthcare’s programs for analyzing information to identify gaps in care, using information to enable better treatment decisions, comparing care provider quality and cost to help inform care choices, and promoting better health and disease prevention using financial incentives and rewards.

Read the complete blog post here.

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