HPCI News: Consumer Engagement in Health Care

To: Members and Selected Others

Consumer engagement is rising to the fore in health care. It is powered by the internet and other technology, and enabled and encouraged by changing attitudes and expectations as well as evolving payment methods. Employee health engagement is being elevated through expanded choice and a more personalized experience. This includes added choice in benefit types and decision-support tools for health navigation.

HPCI has long advocated for “consumerism” in health care. Engaging employees/consumers/patients to practice healthy lifestyle behaviors and making informed decisions is our focus. Two projects are underway: 1) promoting measurement and transparency of quality and patient safety and 2) partner with Consumer Reports Choosing Wisely Campaign.

Many hospitals and health systems now see consumer engagement not only as a key trend in and of itself, but also as a component or factor in other trends. The Hospitals & Health Networks magazine describes it this way:

  • Affordability – Rising out-of-pocket costs mean that patients must make decisions about where and when to seek care. Making these decisions require consumer engagement.
  • Coverage Gaps - High deductibles and other coverage gaps send consumers in search of health care prices and best outcomes for their money.
  • Holistic Focus on Health – Providers look beyond health care to other determinates of health and more integrated approach.
  • Payment for Value – Reimbursement increasingly relies on outcomes and quality measures. Patients who are engaged in their own care generally get better faster while incurring lower costs, which adds up to the best value in health care.
  • New Technologies – Technology plays a key role in clinical and administrative sides of medicine. It also is a key force in engaging consumers in their own health care.
  • Chronic Care Management – Effective management of chronic conditions require direct involvement of patients and their families.

For more information please contact the HPCI office.

Paul M. Pietzsch, MPH
HPCI - IHBA Office
4430 Ashley Park Drive
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
(515) 778-6300

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