Faced with constantly increasing health plan costs, employers are struggling to find effective population health cost control measures. The key to positive results is the third HPMI pillar: ENGAGE—actively engaging employees in their own health and lifestyle behavior change.

Traditionally, employers delegate health plan management to insurers and consultants. The frequent employer request to brokers at renewal time is “show me a spreadsheet with the lowest cost insurer.”

The problem: this approach isn’t working. Healthcare costs just keep getting passed along to employees and costs continue to soar. But this tide is beginning to turn.

Turning to innovative new software tools, employers are seeing the connection population health management can have on employee health, cost savings and increased productivity.

Studies find that companies with population health management programs see decreases of $1 to $3 in their overall healthcare costs for every dollar spent on better plan management.

With advanced analytics, employers can scan plan data in real time to identify and monitor workforce health problems before they occur, which means that instead of paying for costly health problems after they arise, employers can invest in technology tools that focus on an entire workforce population to help prevent potential problems from becoming more serious–and more expensive.

The power of HPMI can be illustrated by the following individual example. Leveraging plan data and predictive modeling, a member who was at high-risk for a potential high-cost medical claim was identified. The member, having a history of Crohn’s disease flare-ups, began working with an R.N. Health Coach to develop a proactive health plan to better handle unexpected flare-ups caused by stress and anxiety. In a short period, the member experienced no further flare-ups, a reduction in costly medications and was managing stress with a cardio and weight lifting exercise routine.

An upcoming white paper will focus on the proven results of three employers using an HPMI population management engagement strategy to improve outcomes and control costs. Watch for this paper soon!

George J. Pantos, Esq.