A letter from our Chief Medical Officer
By: Dr. Jonathan Rubens
I hope this letter finds you well and preparing to enjoy the longer days and warmer weather. Having spent so much time at home over this past year, being outside holds that much more promise to us all. In this quarter’s letter, I’d like to share some interesting study results with you.
We recently completed a two-year study of our well-being solution, the Lifestyle and Condition Coaching program. Third-party validated1 results show that the program can improve health outcomes and deliver hard dollar savings for clients. Key results include:
- $27.49 cost savings per identified member, per month2
- 20% reduction in inpatient costs for identified members2
- 3.6:1 return on investment2
- 10% increase in primary care utilization2
The value inherent in the first three results is obvious. But why is a 10% increase in primary care utilization a good thing?
There are two key reasons why this is a positive development. First, members are closing gaps in preventive care. Second, they’re receiving treatment for health issues in appropriate, high-value settings. They’re taking advantage of expanded availability of primary care services, including same day appointments, telehealth and extended hours.
The average primary care visit lasts about 17 minutes.3 So it’s critical that members and their doctors make the most of their time together. That’s where we come in.
- Before the visit – We can find gaps in care, recommend and prioritize health actions and help educate members about their conditions.
- After the visit – We can help members understand their care plan, answer questions they have about treatment options and stay motivated to set and achieve health goals.
As members improve their health literacy, they’re better able to understand their health, can participate actively in their care and treatment and have more meaningful conversations with their doctors. Our experience with the pandemic in the last year has made the value of coordination and collaboration with providers even more clear.
A final note
It’s been a long year since we first started adjusting our lives to shelter safely at home. With vaccination distribution efforts underway around the country, it’s exciting to imagine returning to a more normal pace of life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that once we’ve been fully vaccinated, we may be able to do things that we stopped doing when the pandemic started. Think about being able to be indoors with others who have been fully vaccinated without masks. For now, even after we’ve been vaccinated, we’ll still need to wear masks in public and keep practicing social distance to protect others.4 Though it may seem frustrating, it is important that we continue to follow these necessary precautions.
Lastly, change is seldom easy. For some, just considering the return to pre-pandemic activities, much less adjusting to our new post-pandemic lives, will be stressful. I encourage you to pay special attention to your emotional health. Acknowledge and notice when you or those around you might be struggling. Be encouraged and encouraging. None of us must go this alone. There are resources available to help you and those you love. Please reach out and ask for help if you need it and know that we at ActiveHealth are here to support you wherever you are on your path to well-being.
1 Independent third party validation was conducted by Validation Institute. Validation Institute is a professional community that advocates for organizations and approaches that deliver better health value – stronger health outcomes at lower cost. They connect, train, and certify health care purchasers, and they validate and connect providers delivering superior results. Founded in 2014, the mission of the organization has consistently been to help provide transparency to buyers of health care.
2 Lifestyle and Condition Coaching year two follow-up study (October 2020)
3 Young RA, Burge SK, Kaparaboyna AK, et al. A Time-Motion Study of Primary Care Physicians’ Work in the Electronic Health Record Era. Ann Fam Med. 2018;50(2):91-99. Available at https://journals.stfm.org/familymedicine/2018/february/young-2017-0121/. Accessed March 3, 2021.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html. Accessed March 16, 2021