Patient engagement is an invitation to participate in shared decision-making, and to "take on" aspects of the management of their own health under the care of their physician or other member of the healthcare team. As a number of studies show, an activated or engaged patient can become a healthier patient.
"Ultimately, better engagement means better value—better outcomes with lower cost," says Brian Eastwood, patient engagement analyst at Chilmark Research, a health IT research and consultancy based in Boston. Knowledge is power and in this new environment, means revenue, he says.
Here's what Eastwood wants clinicians to know about how engagement affects value-based reimbursement.
1. The engagement processes are separated.
A person is a patient, a consumer and may be a member of an insurance provider and an employee, and may receive different information in each category. Typically, a patient receives care in a healthcare setting, while a consumer takes care of themselves outside the care setting, he says.
Given those parameters, here is how Eastwood sees better engagement and better value resulting for the following populations:
· Better adherence and compliance
· Fewer no-shows
· Improved outcomes
· Better response to marketing and outreach
"Smaller, independent practices may actually do it better because they've built more of a relationship with their patients, when compared to larger academic medical centers," he says.
· Understanding of conditions and treatments
· Understanding of what they're paying for
· Motivation to become part of the care team and process
· Improved quality of life