Health Care Engagement Technology Grows, but Opportunities Missed
More employers are turning to games and contests, mobile applications and social media to drive health care engagement among their workforces. However, issues such as lagging support from senior management, privacy concerns and IT infrastructure challenges continue to undermine widespread adoption of emerging health engagement tech solutions, Buck researchers said Monday during a presentation at the WorldatWork Total Rewards 2013 Conference and Exhibition in Philadelphia.
WiserTogether's research of patient decisions across the top 200 health conditions shows that of the 22 unique factors that patients typically use in evaluating treatments, quality of care tops the list. Cost does not even make the top five. In other words, cost is not the primary decision driver for patients, and consumers do not seek out cost tools when they begin making decisions. This explains the low utilization that organizations see when they offer cost transparency tools as a stand-alone service.
Most Emergency Room Visits Made by Privately-Insured Patients Are Avoidable
According to a new study from Truven Health Analytics™, 71 percent of emergency room visits made by patients with employer-sponsored insurance coverage are for causes that do not require immediate attention in the emergency room, or are preventable with proper outpatient care. Twenty-four percent did not require immediate attention, 41 percent received care that could have safely been provided in a primary care setting, and 6 percent received care that would have been preventable or avoidable with proper primary care.
Only One in Five Adults Meet Overall Physical Activity Guidelines
About 20 percent of U.S. adults are meeting both the aerobic and muscle strengthening components of the federal government's physical activity recommendations, according to a report published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity as well as muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups on two or more days per week.
A cadre of social platforms aims to disrupt the way consumers share information about personal health, physicians, and treatments. What the upstarts lack in scale (for now), they more than make up for in utility. Imagine joining an online global community of people with the same rare disorder, or finding a doctor on the basis of detailed patient reviews. Facebook may provide its fans with tools they love, but this new wave of social networks offers tools that its users can't live without -- in some cases literally.