The way that healthcare is accessed and delivered is in the spotlight. Thanks to technology -- and our recent, collective experiences with stay-at-home orders and social distancing-- healthcare as we know it now extends far beyond the walls of a doctor’s office or hospital. As a nation, stresses on our healthcare system have required us to take a critical eye to how people receive the care they need. But for some people, improving their health isn’t necessarily a question of access.
This group isn’t easily defined by age or health condition. They have a range of socio-economic backgrounds, medical conditions and concerns, but -- most notably -- they share one thing in common: they access the healthcare system frequently, without getting better.
This “hidden” population makes up 5% of those insured through their employers nationally, yet accounts for about 20% of healthcare costs. Compared to the average person, they’re visiting the doctor three times more and filling new prescriptions five more. Their medical and pharmacy claims total about $18,000 a year, compared with an average of about $4,400 for the typical insured individual.
For these individuals, access isn’t the problem -- nor is it providing the solution. They’re already accessing the healthcare system more than most, but aren’t seeing improved health outcomes. In other words, access to doctors, pharmacies and information is a crucial first step -- but alone, it isn’t always enough.
The missing piece is personalized health guidance -- empowering individuals to understand their complete health picture, sustain lifestyle changes, and ask questions about medication, nutrition, stress and exercise -- when and where they need support.
When people in this hidden population receive this kind of additional support the results are incredible. Data prove that personalized, one-to-one guidance from health professionals such as nutritionist, nurses, chiropractors, and pharmacists can make a dramatic impact on people’s health.
What’s more, when they get the support they need to address their health problems, their use of healthcare services and medications often goes down -- resulting in savings without adding any new costs to individuals or the healthcare system. It’s the ultimate win-win.
Through this model, MOBE has saved the system more than $100 million in just 3.5 years. We have brought more than 90,000 members on to our platform offering one-to-one personal guidance on medication, nutrition, fitness and other factors impacting wellness like sleep and mental health – without prescribing, treating or diagnosing. Their stories inspire me every day (you can read more here).
Personalized guidance makes all the difference, and technology has made it possible for us to provide that guidance rapidly and often to people who need it most. It’s the combination of human touch and intuition with big data and digital technology -- and we need both. In the year ahead, the country and world at large will continue to put healthcare innovation in the spotlight, and many challenges remain. If we remember that “access to care” includes more than just the ability to see a doctor or purchase medication -- it also includes readily accessible health and wellness guidance -- I believe that we can truly help people live happier and healthier lives.
Click on image to view infographic
MINNEAPOLIS, August 3, 2020 — New research has shed light on a longstanding healthcare system challenge that affects more than 1 in 3 Americans: Health outcomes are not improving for those with complex, chronic health concerns, even though they see their doctor frequently and take multiple medications.
Chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and mental health affect more people than ever before – despite medical advances and readily available technology that can help. What’s needed to tackle such a large public health challenge? Population Health News recently featured insights from our CEO, Chris Cronin, on how data and predictive analytics, combined with personalized guidance, can improve outcomes.
At the core of healthcare is human connection. Whether in-person or virtual, mental or physical, chronic or urgent, good health guidance is facilitated by the trust and personal attention between patient and provider. And although it might have seemed counterintuitive just a few months ago, telehealth is a great enabler of this one-to-one connection – if we use it wisely.
MOBE’s unparalleled approach shows improved outcomes and reduced costs for Americans with persistent health care needs.
“Navigating the health care system and being healthy in general can be complicated and disconnected,” said MOBE co-founder Eric Hamborg. “Even with more access to information, specialized medicine, and technology, we’re not always healthier. Horizon recognizes all of these factors and sees the value of how MOBE can help.”
Medical experts agree: better engagement with personal health decisions can have a significant impact on health outcomes, while also reducing catastrophic health events and preventable hospital readmissions. But patient engagement isn’t always that straightforward. One of the biggest culprits – for both preventable hospital admission and readmission is medication discrepancy. Medication discrepancy is the mismanagement of medication or complications that stem from medication use that isn’t optimized and patients who are not engaged in their treatment plans.