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Incentives studied to align care, coverage and wellness
Date:10/4/2010

d develop Total Health, he recognized a chance to conduct a natural experiment on the plan's implementation. He got Group Health Research Institute funding early on, to collect preliminary baseline data on participants. With the AHRQ-funded evaluation, scheduled to begin this fall, he can now see how Total Health affects factors such as chronic disease control and quality of life among its enrolees.

Employers will be particularly interested in the study's analysis of how the value-based health plan affects worker productivity and health care use and costs. The study will compare Total Health participants both to the preliminary "before" information and to a control group of Kaiser Permanente Colorado employees who have a conventional, non-values-based health plan.

The results may influence health care across the nation. "By studying worker productivitynot just health outcomeswe're addressing a key issue from the employer's perspective," Dr. Grossman said. "Purchaser interest in this approach is growing, and Group Health is planning new value-based insurance products for the market."

Co-investigator Paul Fishman, PhD, an associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute, brings expertise in health economics to the study.

"This evaluation will help us understand how to improve these products, and stay competitive," Dr. Fishman said. "Through Total Health, Group Health is implementing and evaluating innovative delivery and payment models."

"This is an exciting pilot whose goal is to demonstrate improved health and productivity for our workforce," said Cindy Johnson, Group Health's executive vice president, human relations.

Total Health parallels the health care reform law that President Barack Obama signed in March 2010. Like Total Health, national health care reform promotes free preventive care services such as tests for chronic illness, routine vaccinations, and prenatal and well-child visits. Group He
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Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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