Virtual Health Plan Results from UnitedHealthcare
In the May edition we reported on key statistics from BHCG Virtual Health Plan results for 2019 from UnitedHealthcare. In this edition we share some key statistics for the first half of 2020. These results were likely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the period of time from January through June 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019, BHCG member employers in aggregate saw the following results:
- Paid Per Member Per Month (PMPM) costs were down 10.5 percent
- Emergency room visits were down 13 percent
- Outpatient surgeries were down 25 percent
- Primary care visits were down 18 percent, while wellness visits decreased 21 percent
Medically Homeless Campaign: Phase One Results
Based on research which clearly demonstrates the medically homeless – those without an established relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) – tend to seek care from higher cost options and are less likely to have recommended health care screenings, BHCG embarked on a medically homeless campaign in the fourth quarter of 2019. The campaign’s goal was to encourage members’ employees and spouses to schedule primary care (PCP) visits.
Adults continuously enrolled for two years that had either zero PCP visits or only one PCP visit that was not wellness related (i.e. illness or injury) were targeted with an email and mailing campaign. Results were measured through June 2020.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which severely curtailed overall health care utilization, the campaign achieved significant positive results. Of the members targeted, 23 percent saw a PCP for a wellness-related visit. This compares favorably with other wellness campaigns conducted by UnitedHealthcare which saw a 10-15 percent increase in PCP visits.
BHCG put on hold phase two of this campaign in light of the pandemic, but intends to revisit it in the future based on the results of phase one. Clearly an increase in PCP utilization can positively impact both the health of employees and health care costs for employees and employers.