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WHY FOCUS ON PREVENTIVE CARE?

Encouraging employees to connect with their primary care physician is one of USI’s key pillars in our approach to population health management. Studies have shown that regular visits with a primary care provider results in biometric marker improvement (e.g., total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, A1c and weight) compared to onsite biometric screenings, which often yield similar results year after year. Employers also witness reduced emergency room visits and inpatient stays when preventive care use is high.1

  • Under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), non-grandfathered group health plans must provide certain no-cost-share, in-network preventive services and benefits. This means there are no cost barriers to participants receiving certain age- and gender-recommended preventive care. The current guidelines include: screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, cancers and diabetes; immunizations; and counseling for issues like alcohol misuse and diet.2
  • There are significant opportunities to improve preventive screening rates:
    • Despite research that shows colorectal cancer screening tests save lives, screening rates remain low. About one in three adults aged 50 to 75 years have not been tested for colorectal cancer.3
    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 42% of adults received flu vaccinations in 2013.4
    • In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. Of the 29.1 million, 8.1 million were undiagnosed.5

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE PREVENTIVE CARE AWARENESS

  • Use insurance premium differentials, health savings account deposits or gift cards to incentivize employees (and their spouses) to complete a preventive medical visit or annual physical with their primary care provider, including the recommended biometric screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
  • Distribute carrier documents that focus on selecting a physician, how to make the most of physician appointments, the importance of maintaining a health record, etc.
  • Provide employees with booklets for tracking immunizations, biometric values and health history:
  • Schedule a nurse practitioner or physician assistant to explain a routine physical, what to expect at a physical and how to prepare for it.
  • Promote community flu shots or schedule onsite flu shot clinics:    
    • Find a vendor that can submit flu shot claims through the employee medical plan.


RESOURCES

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SOURCE USI Southeast Newsletter- September 2015

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