Health Company: CDHPs Work

June 18, 2004 ( - A health plan provider's study of its consumer-directed plan product found that enrolled employees were making more selective use of health services.

A news release from UnitedHealth Group about its study of 20,000 enrolled workers in the company’s iPlan and its comparison to 25,000 consumers in a traditional health plan found a decrease in total emergency room visits.

The company said its study also found:

  • significantly less-than-expected medical cost trends (per member/per month) than for traditional health plans; when iPlan was the only option, the annual cost trend was less than 1%
  • reductions in specialist visits, outpatient surgeries and radiology and lab services
  • higher utilization of preventive services among iPlan participants.

“This study clearly reveals that consumers are becoming more selective about the services they receive and the health care dollars they spend,” Tom Policelli, president of iPlan said in a statement. “The whole theory behind consumer engagement is that people will be more prudent if they have the right information and the necessary financial incentives to enable them to play a more active role in making decisions about their care.”