Chronic diseases like diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drive a significant percentage of your healthcare costs. Preventative care and sound disease management make an enormous difference when it comes to your employees’ well-being as well as your costs. Unfortunately, high-risk patients are less likely than their healthy peers to seek preventative care and comply with recommendations.
According to Montague, Gogovor and Krelenbaum, health costs, health strategy, and quality of care should focus on people with chronic or multiple diseases. The strategy should address issues of care gaps, meaning the difference between “best care,” which is refers to the outcomes suggested by large clinical trials and “usual care,” which reflects the realities of diagnoses and compliance. The broad strategy should also include partnerships with doctors, pharmacists and nurses as well as other patients in the community. The network would share resources, allowing system managers to establish a well-informed long-term care policy and uncover previously hidden gaps.
zakipoint Health, working with one of its clients, learned that among a group of employees there was a certain percentage of patients that were not compliant with the established treatment protocols specific to their particular chronic illness. For example, these employees were not visiting their physicians on a regular basis or were not following the prescribed medication required to improve their health. Using its z5 platform, zakipoint Health also found out that one of the main issues employees were struggling with was access, possibly due to lack of transportation or conflicts with an employee’s work schedule. Other factors that lead to such gaps include moving to a new place, lack of in-depth knowledge of the condition, insufficient health insurance coverage and lack of specialty healthcare clinics.
The following table was presented to the client by its carrier to show the outcomes of well-informed gaps in care. It lists the number of open protocols at the beginning of the year, showing all of them closed at the end of the year.
However, our z5 platform demonstrated that this information was not inclusive and that the client could save money by closing additional gaps in care. Specifically, our analysis, in the chart below, shows the percentage of employees who were compliant with all of their treatment protocols (blue bar) versus the employees who were not compliant with their treatment protocols (black bar). The black bars represent the open care gaps as opposed to the 0 remaining shown by the carrier.
Since gaps in care are related to evidence-based treatments, closing these gaps reduce risk factors, which ultimately lowers per-patient per-month and aggregate costs.
z5 provides real-time tracking of your data and analysis and our dashboard provides comprehensive analysis that can help you pinpoint a problem so that it can be eliminated.
As an example, the above table gives a breakdown of patients meeting the metric vs. the non-compliant ones in different categories under asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Looking at a couple more examples in the table below, the company has 30 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) who are not taking their blood pressure medication, and a whopping 465 patients who have not had their routine wellness checkup. The chart also shows additional gaps among older citizens with a chronic disease.
The above graph shows that other than flu shots and medical and dental checkups, employees largely neglect the remaining routine checkups. Based on this analysis, zakipoint Health recommended corrective measures to close the gaps in the use of preventative care and prescription drugs as needed—saving money for the client company and delivering better care to end users.