Study Documents Plan Efforts to Cope with Heart Disease

July 22, 2009 ( - Employer health care programs have widespread efforts in place to deal with members who suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) report.

An NBCH news release said100% of health plans surveyed offer a Web based personal health assessment and most offer other options such as telephone or personalized versions. More than half of the plans are capable of offering incentives for patients to complete health risk assessments, including cash payments (36%), discounts on health and wellness services (44%), and co-pay or deductible reductions (38%), according to the announcement.

In addition, the study found that for individuals with chronic diseases, about 40% of plans have the capability to reduce co-pays and deductibles on essential medications to encourage adherence to treatment. For patients on CVD medications, 85% of plans are capable of alerting the patient when a medication needs to be refilled, 76% can notify the physician, and 52% can notify the pharmacist to intervene.

The group used data from the eValue8 Request for Information (RFI) tool, and received funding for the study from drugmaker AstraZeneca.

“eValue8 is a tool that helps health plans understand the urgent need of employers,” said Andrew Webber, president and CEO of NBCH. “We simply must find a way to prevent chronic disease and manage risks more effectively. Employers expect health plans to adopt value based practices to improve care, and to innovate in new ways to reach patients and providers to improve the health status of employers and their families.”

In 2008 more than 150 HMO and PPO health plans responded to the eValue8 request for information and 103 of the responses were validated by local business coalitions.

More information is available here .