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Most Medicare Advantage beneficiaries say the plan doesn't incentivize action to improve health

The results also reveal that beneficiaries are mostly non-compliant, with just 14 percent always following through on recommended actions.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Sixty percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries say their plan does not offer any incentives to take actions, such as an annual doctor visit, to better manage or improve health, finds a new Healthmine survey.

In addition, 75 percent of respondents say their plan does not provide personal health incentives and recommendations, and simply provides similar recommendations to the entire population.  Most recommendations are for seasonal issues such as flu shots (39 percent), and age or gender recommendations (33 percent).

Just 15 percent of respondents said recommendations were about their chronic condition.

IMPACT

The results also reveal that beneficiaries are mostly non-compliant. Just 14 percent of beneficiaries always take their health plan's incentives and follow through on recommended actions, while 54 percent responded that they "sometimes" follow through. Thirty-two percent said they "never" follow through.

Most respondents, 75 percent, said their plan doles out similar incentives and recommendations to the entire population, while just a quarter said their incentives and recommendations are personalized.

According to the survey, personalizing SMS and email reminders for each member to complete appointments and screenings is one way to incentivize positive health actions among patients.

Other methods include online health coaching for healthy behavior modification like smoking cessation and checking blood sugar for diabetics; exercise and fitness programs; direct rewards (such as gift cards earned for completing health actions); and sweepstakes.

THE TREND

According to the National Council on Aging, about 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77 percent have at least two. Four chronic diseases -- heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes -- cause almost two-thirds of all deaths each year.

Chronic diseases account for 75 percent of the money the country spends on healthcare, yet only 1 percent of health dollars are spent on public efforts to improve overall health.

HealthMine is a clinical technology company with a platform designed to identify risks and close gaps in care.
 

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com