Integrated Health Benefits Result in Improved Patient Well-Being, Affordability

October 31, 2018

Patients with connected medical, behavioral, and pharmacy health benefits are better engaged in their health and well-being compared with patients whose benefits are not fully integrated, according to a recent study by Cigna Corporation.

“A person’s physical and mental health are connected, and health care is best delivered—and produces the best outcomes—when it is connected as well,” Scott Josephs, MD, national medical officer at Cigna, said in a statement. “The results of this study demonstrate the value of our integrated, holistic approach to health care, and we’ll continue to advocate for more integration on behalf of the people we serve.”

The researchers of the study observed positive health outcomes for patients and lower medical costs for employers who offer integrated medical, comprehensive behavioral, and pharmacy benefits. Most notably, Cigna found that employers saw an average medical savings of $193 annually for each covered person and $645 annually for each person with a known health improvement opportunity. Further, employers experienced an annual medical cost savings of $9,792 for engaged customers with a specialty condition, such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers noted that engaged patents being treated for diabetes resulted in $5900 in savings.

Aside from employer savings, the researchers also found that 22% more people engage in health coaching and case management programs when they receive integrated health benefits. The researchers also observed a 9% reduction in high cost medical claims for customers with integrated benefits, and patients with these integrated benefits also had a 10% reduction in out-of-network claims.  

“When people are actively engaged in their health and well-being, we see improvement across all metrics,” Jon Maesner, PharmD, chief pharmacy officer at Cigna, expressed. “Offering a fully-connected pharmacy benefit allows us to maximize every opportunity available to engage the people we serve, and we’re encouraged by the consistent value shown by connecting medical, behavioral and pharmacy benefits.”

Julie Gould

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