Published: Jun 25, 2013

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Ongoing Study Evaluates Efficacy of Financial Incentives to Encourage Healthy Behaviors Among Vulnerable Populations; Results to be Presented by Mathematica Researcher at AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

 

June 25, 2013 – Reston, VA – Altruista Health, Inc., an innovative provider of care and disease management technology for health plans, providers and coordinated care organizations, will have the results of a research study it has co-sponsored presented at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting on June 25th, 2013 in Baltimore, MD. Keith Kranker of Mathematica Policy Research, a national leader in research performance measurement and analysis to improve public policy, will present the research study results.

The research study, titled Advancing Health for Uninsured Residents in the Mississippi Delta through a Technology-Enabled, Patient-Empowering Care Management and Rewards Program, was conducted through a partnership between Altruista Health and Aaron E. Henry Community Health Centers (AEH), a clinic serving the health care needs of the uninsured and other under-served residents in the Mississippi Delta region. Funding for the study was made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Providing cost-effective care for the uninsured, chronically ill and other vulnerable populations is the tip of the spear of our nation’s efforts to control healthcare spending,” said Ashish Kachru, CEO of Altruista Health. “We are honored to have the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for this important study.”

AEH implemented Altruista Health’s GuidingCare platform as the basis for a patient-centric care management program for Mississippi Delta residents with diabetes and hypertension. Through appropriate education and self-management tools (including health report cards, medication tracking cards and personalized care plans), AEH seeks to empower patients to improve their health status.

“With some of the worst outcomes and mortality rates in the U.S. for Diabetes and Hypertension, this study allowed for the testing of creative programs for care management and financial incentives to improve health outcomes,” said Aurelia Jones-Taylor, CEO of AEH. “Altruista is an ideal partner for this study, as their GuidingCare system provides us with a comprehensive technology platform that was used to track both care management efforts and the impact of the incentives on health outcomes.”

The GuidingCare system includes several modules that inform and optimize the daily care management workflow for AEH. Predictive modeling and gaps-in-care analytics engines allow AEH care managers to stratify patients by risk and identify health improvement opportunities. Clinically-sound care guidelines and culturally-sensitive health scripts and educational materials embedded within GuidingCare enabled AEH staff to optimally guide every patient interaction.

A key feature of the study was a performance incentive program that AEH staff managed through the GuidingCare system. Through this program, high-risk uninsured patients were rewarded for pursuing healthy behaviors and improving key health indicators. A magnetic strip card is given to target patients and through data links to the care management system, health indicator status and opportunities for improvement are identified as soon as the patient presents the card at AEH. The cards are also redeemable for purchases at local retailers.