Population Health Management
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
— Benjamin Franklin
A Case Study
A municipality in the Midwest provided its employees with an excellent health plan and wellness program. The employees with the costliest chronic medical conditions: diabetes mellitus, hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and/or triglycerides), used the majority of the health plan resources. Even with rigorous management, employees with these diseases face complications like deteriorating health, catastrophic consequences, and earlier death. The municipality recognized that these employees needed education about their chronic medical conditions. They needed a program with accountability which produced results, reinforcing the benefits of better self-care. The municipality turned to SentryHealth for solutions.
SentryHealth is a unique company which designs actionable, effective, personal health programs, in alliance with an exciting, innovative movement in healthcare: population health management. It starts with identifying participants of the plan who have been diagnosed with chronic, high-maintenance medical conditions. This cluster constitutes only 20 to 30 percent of plan members, but who consume 70 to 85 percent of the healthcare dollars.
Preparing for Change
SentryHealth performed a thorough and rigorous analysis of the municipality employees’ health care claims. The study revealed that the members with chronic disease(s) had the poorest compliance with their physicians’ health recommendations, and often ignored their employer-sponsored wellness programs.
The municipality collaborated with SentryHealth to create detailed, specific, individualized plans for management of chronic medical conditions. They helped each member set realistic goals, and scheduled periodic feedback on their participation. The plans included one-on-one coaching with trained SentryHealth healthcare professionals, as well as education about the individual’s medical condition(s). These sessions included, but were not limited to: clinical assessment; medication reviews; consideration of any concerns raised by the employee; additional education, and more.
SentryHealth care programs have demonstrated significant, favorable effects on health, as well as improvement in sense of well being. The programs’ supportive counseling and education often enhance the recommendations of the individual’s primary care providers. Progress notes are sent to providers after each one-on-one appointment with a SentryHealth health professional.
The program was launched in January 2014, and has grown to more than 50 percent of the municipality’s employees participating (in contrast to 5 percent of the employees participating in the previous program alone.)
- Received a discount on their health insurance premiums.
- Had no out-of-pocket expenses for their personal coaching sessions.
- Could expect three to five private consultations annually, with health professionals trained in and delivering assessment and guidance consistent with the SentryHealth model.
- Had no travel requirements.
- Received gift cards for early registration.
Just 18 months later:
- 90 percent of the employees with previously diagnosed hypertension had blood pressures within the desirable range for all adults.
- The number of claims filed decreased 26 percent.
- The return on the municipality’s investment in SentryHealth was 148 percent.
- Participant satisfaction reached an unprecedented 95 percent.
These were just a few of the benefits achieved which could be attributed to living by the SentryHealth model.
Population Health Management Works
SentryHealth achieves success through an innovative model with these components:
- Proven Chronic Disease care protocols resulting in consistent successful outcomes
- Healthward(TM), a proprietary platform where our care is documented and measured
- Customized care for the individual
- Deploying a clinical team trained to deliver high-touch care through face-to-face encounters and consistent follow-up communications
- Clinical team members are supported by a team that provides executive and clinical oversight, data and financial analysis, and strategic consultation, all to help achieve desired health and financial outcomes.
What starts with a technical rigor follows with customized care. This combination achieves the results that everyone wants – improved health and better value in health care.
One significant result of the program, even though difficult to measure, cannot be overstated – employees who know that their employer authentically cares for their well being tend to take good care of their employer and the corporation.