Three patient engagement success stories

1. UnitedHealthcare's Rewards for Health Program

What it is: an "earnback" program that provides financial incentives through reduced premiums to employees who adopt healthy habits. Enrollees earn points to qualify for insurance premium reductions of up to $1,200 per family per year for "having health screenings to detect conditions like cancer or diabetes, or meeting certain targets such as body mass index (BMI) reductions. 

Results: $107 million in healthcare cost reductions in the first 36 months. In the first 24 months, 82% of employees earned points and "improvements were made in all quality measures over three years, including large increases identified in wellness visits and office-based screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, and retinal eye exams for people with diabetes." Participating overweight employees lost 4.5% of their body weight on average.

Health Affairs: UnitedHealthcare Experience Illustrates How Payers Can Enable Patient Engagement 



2. Essentia Health Telemedicine Program for Heart Failure Patients

What it is:  Essentia Health, an ACO, enables patients to track weight and blood pressure via a connected device in the patient's home.  This device helps the patient keep track of progress against goals, but also relays the data back to a team of care providers at the health system who monitor out-of-range values. For example, upon seeing a spike in weight gain, a care provider might prescribe a diuretic for one day to reduce water retention in the patient's body. 

Results: 2% 30-day readmission rates vs. the national average of 25% for heart failure patients. 

AHRQ: Heart Failure Disease Management Improves Outcomes and Reduces Cost



3. Center for Connected Health BP Connect Program

What it is:  Patients (with a median age of 62) were given wireless devices that automatically captured and logged blood pressure readings. Providers were able to view the blood pressure readings and provide feedback. 

Results: Participants who used a wireless-based device engaged more frequently, and recorded a significantly higher number of measurements per day versus those in the modem-based group (median = 0.66 versus 0.2 measurements/day; p = .01). The number of uploads per day was significantly higher in the wireless-based group versus the modem-based group (0.46 versus 0.01 uploads/day; p < .001, respectively).

Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology: The Impact of Using Mobile-Enabled Devices on Patient Engagement in Remote Monitoring Programs (PDF)