For years, the health system has grappled with a daunting challenge: how to effectively identify, engage, and support people struggling to achieve their health goals, so that they can live happier lives. For some people, the culprit is a matter of access—but for others, they’re accessing healthcare at a high rate, seeing doctors and specialists one or more times a month, and still not making progress.
So, why aren’t they getting better? And how can we engage them to move them on the path to optimal health outcomes?
New research suggests that there’s a disconnect between the conversations taking place during doctor’s appointments and the support people need to make health-related changes in their daily lives—and this is especially true for people with complex, chronic health concerns.
The 2020 Chronic Care Action Index shines a light on the barriers people face when it comes to reaching the health goals that people set out to pursue with the support of their doctors and care teams. The Index surveyed 2,000+ consumers and 200+ healthcare professionals across the U.S. to build a roadmap to what can help people get happier and healthier.
The overwhelming majority of people with multiple chronic conditions (76%) reported that their health hadn’t improved in the past year. Yet, health care professionals reported seeing patients with chronic health concerns at least bi-monthly. That’s a red flag that a piece of the puzzle is missing. Technology holds great potential to help us connect more frequently, far beyond the four walls of the clinic. But, even as telehealth cements its role in mainstream care, survey findings told us that it was already the new normal for people with chronic conditions—51% of people with multiple chronic conditions had used telehealth services in the past year, compared to 23% of those with none. Virtual healthcare alone will not solve this problem.
Digging deeper past experiences and perceptions, we asked people about barriers to implementing their doctor’s guidance at home. More than half (53%) of all respondents didn’t feel additional steps to improve their health (i.e., diet, exercise, sleep habits) were easy to understand after talking with their doctor. Providers and policymakers frequently raise concern for cost as a barrier—and rightfully so—and indeed, 26% of consumers cited cost as a barrier to following their doctor’s guidance. However, strikingly, nearly 38% of people with multiple chronic conditions reported that motivation was actually the biggest barrier to their health.
When reflecting on new health obstacles posed during the coronavirus pandemic, consumers cited mental health and sleep issues the most. For people with multiple chronic conditions, these concerns were significantly heightened. Yet, they aren’t regularly discussed with doctors—when asked which topics they discuss most frequently with their patients, sleep (33%), and mental health (37%) were among the topics health care providers called out discussing the least.
These findings are pieces to a puzzle—and that puzzle is the roadmap to improved health outcomes that I mentioned earlier. These are the three main findings that we must act upon to create meaningful and lasting changes:
The data show us that there’s a need and a demand for personalized, holistic health guidance to support medical care — and people are eager to get the health guidance they need. Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to take action. The details of how we make it happen are up to us.
To read more about the 2020 Chronic Care Action Index, click here.
As remote work has become part of our “new normal,” employers are taking a fresh approach to supporting employee well-being. The secret may seem obvious – taking a whole-person approach and providing 1-to-1 guidance can reduce costs for individuals and employers alike while increasing productivity. ThinkAdvisor recently featured insights from our Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Eric Hamborg, on the factors that make employer wellness programs more effective.
MINNEAPOLIS, August 3, 2020 — New research has shed light on a longstanding healthcare system challenge that affects more than 1 in 3 Americans: Health outcomes are not improving for those with complex, chronic health concerns, even though they see their doctor frequently and take multiple medications.
The way that healthcare is accessed and delivered is in the spotlight. Thanks to technology -- and our recent, collective experiences with stay-at-home orders and social distancing-- healthcare as we know it now extends far beyond the walls of a doctor’s office or hospital. As a nation, stresses on our healthcare system have required us to take a critical eye to how people receive the care they need. But for some people, improving their health isn’t necessarily a question of access.
Chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and mental health affect more people than ever before – despite medical advances and readily available technology that can help. What’s needed to tackle such a large public health challenge? Population Health News recently featured insights from our CEO, Chris Cronin, on how data and predictive analytics, combined with personalized guidance, can improve outcomes.
At the core of healthcare is human connection. Whether in-person or virtual, mental or physical, chronic or urgent, good health guidance is facilitated by the trust and personal attention between patient and provider. And although it might have seemed counterintuitive just a few months ago, telehealth is a great enabler of this one-to-one connection – if we use it wisely.
MOBE’s unparalleled approach shows improved outcomes and reduced costs for Americans with persistent health care needs.