Barriers to member engagement in health

October 1, 2009

State of the Industry survey results

In fact, in a separate survey question, 30.3% of respondents indicated that members are apathetic toward the current trend of health and wellness behaviors. An additional 7.8% believe members have become less interested in health. Considering the staggering prevalence of obesity and heart disease in the United States, managed care has a significant challenge with engagement.

Yet another big issue surrounding engagement is time and access to services, according to Paula Sauer, vice president of care management at Medical Mutual of Ohio. For example, scheduling a mammogram in some cases can take as long as nine months because of high demand for the service or long delays in obtaining a doctor's order.

The solution to engaging patients and members is incentives and education, she says.

"In today's market, you have so many employers incenting wellness activities that it's to [the members'] financial advantage to be engaged," says Sauer.