Physician’s Money Digest explores progress and promise of Engaged Benefit Design
Decisions, decisions, decisions. We make them by the second without a lot of focus on the process. The stakes are typically higher, however, when the decision is about your health. Why, then, do patients often follow a less-than-adequate decision-making process when it comes to choosing a health treatment or procedure?
The Institute of Medicine, which is studying that question and the culture of the patient decision process, came out a few months ago with ideas on improving the care experience. “A meaningful care experience is when the patient is fully informed and the provider has elicited the patient’s preferences and goals,” says the report. It found:
- Patients want to be partners in their health.
- Strong and visionary leadership promotes culture change.
- Training can help patients and clinicians engage in shared decisions.
- Various incentives promote data sharing.
- Patients want to be asked about using their data.
- Cost and quality information is more useful to patients when it is readily available, transparent, and presented in a meaningful way.
- Patients choose care tailored to their individual preferences.
- Patients want to weigh in on the incentive structures and trade-offs involved in their healthcare choices.
So what role does health insurance benefit design play in improving the patient decision-making culture and patient satisfaction?
Engaged Public Medical Director Dr. Dave Downs, in a recent Physician’s Money Digest article, describes how incorporating Engaged Benefit Design can increase the likelihood of patients making the best possible decisions for their health care needs.
Engaged Benefit Design, developed over the past 12 years by Engaged Public, modifies or overlays existing insurance health benefits with new features that promote more effective healthcare decision making based on patient preferences and medical evidence.
The goal of Engaged Benefit Design is to empower patients and change the culture of health care decision making. A hoped-for additional benefit is cost reduction.
“The intent is not so much to reduce cost of care as it is to improve the value of insurance benefit, so that for every dollar you put in, you’re actually purchasing more health for the population that’s insured,” Downs explains. “I think there are a lot of reasons to think that it may very well save money.”
You can read the Physician’s Money Digest article by Ed Rabinowitz in its entirety here.
13 Dec 2013