Chronic Disease Management

Do your employees have a Primary Care Physician who manages their chronic conditions?

How many of your employees suffer from Diabetes?

How many of your employees suffer from Hypertension?

How many of your employees are battling Cancer?

The answer to each of these questions may surprise you and lead to catastrophic claims on your group insurance. An even more important question is: Do the employees who are suffering from these ailments or may suffer in the future have a primary care physician to help them manage the chronic disease? Obviously, having a primary care physician helps the employee learn how to take medicine and monitor the disease along with tracking lifestyle changes that need to be made in order to control the progression of the disease. What percentage of your employees actually has a primary care physician? A nationwide worksite clinic study found that 21% of employees have not seen a doctor in 10 years and 50% have not been in 2.5 years. Employees who have not seen a doctor in so long may not realize if they have a chronic condition and will not know how to manage it. There is also a cost associated with employees who may be aware of a condition but do not have a physician to manage it. According to a Health Management Associates Study from November 2008, most of the cost associated with chronic disease management comes from hospitalizations, re-admissions, emergency room use (Jack Meyer PHD, 2008). Having a primary care physician who can manage a program of intervention will help reduce these costs dramatically. By putting together a program for the employee to adhere to, the primary care physician can have an impact on the health of the employee and the bottom line of the company. When the employee does not go to the doctor or uses the retail market where they see different doctors each time they go, they risk getting sicker and using the hospital and emergency room more often.

Having an on-site primary care clinic at your business allows your employees to have a primary care physician who is accessible and has time to work on a personal plan for disease management. The clinic also has a tool that provides a report which stratifies the population into risk groups that can be targeted by the clinic for group preventative education and behavioral change initiatives. That tool is a proprietary 28 panel Health Risk Assessment. Many clinics see an 80-20 acute-chronic split in the first year of appointments but an 80-20 chronic-acute split in the second year of appointments which tells you that employees come to the physician with acute issues until they get comfortable with the physician and ask them to manage their chronic conditions. Managing chronic diseases on the front end allows the employee to live a healthier life and allows the company to save money on catastrophic claims.