"We are reaching out in a very proactive way to assist patients with diabetes, asthma, COPD, weight management, smoking cessation," says Hoover. We're learning to identify risk factors around heart failure, because heart failure patients are likely to be readmission."
Cost is Only One Factor
A side benefit of testing population health with employees is the residual effect on morale. That's not been studied yet, however Hoover says the job satisfaction rate among the health coaches is very high.
As for bending the cost curve for caring for these patients, Hoover says the expenses are not as much as originally thought and patient satisfaction is steady.
"Across our clinics, our patient satisfaction scores have been continued to be high; they haven't decreased," he says, cautiously pointing out that cost is not the only factor to consider when measuring success.
"My compass point is around the triple aim – improving the help of populations, in this case, our covered employees and their family members, decreasing per capita costs, and improving patient satisfaction. The goal is to branch out for other populations, whether it's in an ACO model, or state Medicaid model, or large employers."