3 Ways Health Risk Assessments (HRA's) Influence Member Behavior

January 26, 2016

 

Many health plans are configured to include a strong emphasis on health risk assessments.

Why is this the case?

The reasons are twofold:

(1) Health Risk Assessments provide real and lasting benefit to members

(2) Health Risk Assessments ultimately bend the cost curve for health coverage overall by influencing member behavior in a positive way

How do HRA's influence behavior?

Consider the following ways:

1) Education

Appropriate education about healthcare issues is perhaps the most valuable tool available to impact the health and well-being of members. An increased understanding of health risk factors will, in essence, arm a member with the vital knowledge needed to take steps to better his or her health.

During a health risk assessment, a member is free to ask questions about their health, and what the results mean in simple terms. Since the assessment is done at a time and place convenient to the member, the HRA is an appropriate setting to educate members about steps that can be taken to minimize or even eliminate areas of concern.

 

2) Follow Up

HRA's identify potential areas of concern. Often, it is through a health risk assessment that a member learns of a significant health issue that must be addressed before it becomes a serious, life-threatening condition.

Since many major medical conditions present with no apparent physical symptoms in initial stages, HRA's serve as an early detection system that enables a member to receive appropriate care during the beginning stages of a health issue.

For instance, a member may have hypertension with little or no overt symptoms. If an HRA is performed, the condition will be identified and the member will be advised to make a follow-up appointment with his or her primary care physician.

Similarly, an HRA can reveal conditions such as pre-diabetes, enabling a member to seek appropriate care to mitigate risk factors and gain control over the health issue before it progresses to a more serious condition.

In this way, the member can receive appropriate care in a timely manner and head off many major medical issues before they occur. Thus, HRA's promote better health among member populations overall.

 

3) Care Management

For members with chronic health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, health risk assessments provide another step in their overall care management.

It is often difficult for members with ongoing medical issues to maintain the level of care needed for their specific conditions. HRA's provide a measure of support for these members by helping them spot problem areas and educating them about appropriate steps to take to stay on track with their ongoing care management.

The more a member knows about his or her condition, the more likely it is that the member will make appropriate decisions regarding their care management. HRA's boost the level of compliance among members, helping to ensure that members are taking an active role in their own healthcare management.

 

Conclusion

Member engagement is essential to lower the overall health risks for member populations and to lower the costs of healthcare as well. Because HRA's prompt member engagement with education, an early detection system for serious medical conditions, and appropriate direction regarding follow-up with a primary care physician if needed, HRA's offer multi-faceted advantages both to members and plan administrators.

For more information about health risk assessments, please contact us. MedXM believes in comprehensive healthcare that completes the circle of care by providing a personal connection between members, their health plans, and providers. Let us show you what a difference personal care makes today.

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