Consumer Accountability project – an update

In the Winter 2011 edition of the newsletter we shared with you information about the Consumer Accountability project. Here is a brief recap of the project and the progress we have made in the past few months.

It is commonly understood that behavior is a significant determinant of overall health. Behavior accounts for up to 50 percent of one’s overall health. Up to 75 percent of costs are driven by changeable “lifestyle” behaviors. With an individual’s overall health and the health care costs they incur driven substantially by behavior, it makes sense that employers should focus on measuring and increasing individual accountability.

The BHCG engaged Towers Watson to develop a consumer accountability best practices and measurement strategy with the goal of providing consumer accountability benchmarks to member companies. The following activities have been accomplished:

  • In the fourth quarter Towers Watson finalized and distributed a comprehensive questionnaire to 36 self-employers (including Humana, representing our fully insured members). The questionnaire was designed to gather comprehensive information on employer consumer accountability initiatives and to assess and deliver an evaluation of current practices against best practices.
  • Twenty-three employers (including Humana, responding on behalf of the fully insured) returned the questionnaire.
  • Follow-up interviews were conducted with responding employers to clarify responses.

Presently, Towers Watson is conducting data analysis based on survey results and is developing reports for the BHCG and responding employers. Each responding employer will receive a custom report showing how their consumer accountability initiatives and supportive benefit program structure compares with their BHCG counterparts. Follow-up consultations with individual employers will be conducted as requested for a reduced Towers Watson fee.

The ultimate goal is to move consumers along the continuum of increasing consumer responsibility – from awareness to participation to outcomes. This initiative will create an opportunity to further differentiate the BHCG in the marketplace, assist member companies in driving behavior change and positively impact employees.

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