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National Survey Finds Employers are Challenging Health Plans to Better Use Resources to Prevent Illness and Improve Patient Safety
Date:11/12/2007

or complication rates where applicable and 31 percent provide patient experience data.

Consumers are rarely informed about which physicians have adopted standard health information technology with only 28 percent of plans providing information on a physician's accessibility of email communications, 15 percent include information on availability of web consultations and ten percent include information on prescribing.

-- Increasing co-pays discourages patients from getting the care they need

Health plans can create plan designs that encourage members who need care the most to get that needed care. Yet, for diabetes, 38 percent of health plans indicated they modify co-pays for pharmaceuticals, tests and/or equipment and only 28 percent modify deductibles. For depression only 15 percent of health plans modify co-pays and 11 percent modify deductibles. In addition to reducing overall health care costs, these strategies can provide significant down-stream benefits to consumers and employers alike through increased productivity and decreased absences due to illness and complication.

-- Health plans should remind patients about cancer screening

Eighty-one percent of health plans indicate they send some type of education material to members. For breast cancer screening, 68 percent of health plans use claims data to trigger reminders to plan members and 40 percent of plans send reminders for colorectal cancer screening where early detection is proven to save lives. Health plans have the claims data and know which members need screenings due to how old the member is or if they have not gotten a screening. Yet not enough health plans are using the information to ensure members are getting important screenings. Further, since few track it on their own, doctors need that information as well. Only 56 percent of health plans send reminders to doctors regarding which members need breast cancer screening and only 46 percent of health plans send remin
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SOURCE National Business Coalition on Health
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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