UnitedHealth Group Inc. saved more than $100 million in medical costs over three years by using incentives to persuade its employees to get healthier.
Nearly 80 percent of its employees reduced their family insurance premiums by losing weight and meeting certain other health goals in just the first year of the program. Twenty-seven percent achieved the highest possible savings, cutting their premiums by $1,200.
HealthNotes: Launched in 2009, it is a health alert messaging system designed to address and close gaps in a patient’s health regimen. UnitedHealth reviews patient data from a variety of sources, analyzes them for potential gaps such as missed screenings opportunities, and “reaches out to patients via mail, phone, text message, an online portal, or some other means of the patients’ choosing.” HealthNotes is used with 14 million UnitedHealth customers. “When compared to a control population, consumers and their physicians who receive these messages closed 64 percent more gaps related to medical management and 30 percent more gaps related to missed therapy over a three-month period.”
Baby Blocks: “A reminder system that engages low-income pregnant women during their pregnancy and in the first 15 months after delivery. Under this program, which began in 2011, women receive personalized reminders via cell phone along with incentives to encourage prenatal and well-child visits in alignment with professional standards. The program is operating in nine states served by UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid plans.”