A Case Study of Population Health Improvement at a Midwest Regional Hospital Employer

Long, D. Adam; Sheehan, Paula
June 2010
Population Health Management;Jun2010, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p163
Academic Journal
Case Study
This article reviews the population health improvement initiative of a Midwest regional hospital employer. Services included health risk assessments, health education, and motivational health coaching conducted telephonically. Outcomes categories for this program evaluation comprised participation rates, participant satisfaction, health status and behavior change, productivity change, health care claims savings, and return on investment. Participation rates varied widely with incentive structure, although retention of participants in coaching programs averaged 89%. The participant satisfaction rate for the last 14 months of interventions was 96%. Four years of population health status and behavior trending showed significant improvements in smoking status, dietary fat and fiber intake, exercise, mental health (ie, stress, effects depressive symptoms in the past year, life satisfaction), readiness to change (ie, diet, exercise, stress, smoking, body weight), perceptions of overall health, an index of good health habits, sum of lifestyle health risks, and sum of risks and chronic conditions. Body mass index showed nonsignificant improvements during the years of greatest participation (years 2 to 4). Indicators of productivity demonstrated improvements as well. These gains were noted for employees across all health risk statuses, which suggests population health improvement strategies can influence productivity even for healthy employees. Program year 3 was evaluated for health care claims savings using a 2-stage multivariate regression approach. Stage 1 was a computation of propensity-to-participate scores. Stage 2 was an estimation of per member per month (PMPM) claims savings for participant cohorts using a propensity score-weighted linear regression analysis. Participants averaged $40.65 PMPM savings over the control population. Program return on investment, including incentive costs and vendor fees, was 2.87:1. ( Population Health Management 2010;13:163–173)


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