The Importance of Patient Motivation in Population Health Management


Post by Steve Shihadeh


Chief Commercial Officer, Caradigm

As healthcare organizations take on more financial risk for patient populations, they must gain a much deeper understanding of their patient population in order to drive better outcomes. Realizing the full potential of population health management is limited by finite care management resources as well as each patient’s willingness to participate in his or her own outcomes. By stratifying your patient population based upon predicted future risk that considers patient motivation, providers can identify and prioritize patients most likely to be positively impacted by targeted care planning and interventions.

Factoring patient motivation into the risk stratification of a patient population is one of the exciting ways that Caradigm is helping innovate population health management. Consider the following example of two patients that I have a deep understanding of – my mom and my dad.  Both have chronic conditions, and would be identified by most providers as patients that are high risk or could potentially move to a high risk stratification. Inside of an EMR, the two patients look very similar, but the truth is they should be viewed very differently by providers.

My mom is the ideal patient. She follows her physician’s instructions, fills her prescriptions promptly, schedules her follow-ups, and takes exercise classes as recommended. On the other hand, my dad presents as a more problematic patient because he doesn’t follow his doctor’s recommendations. He’s the opposite of my mom in terms of participating in self-care even though he also has a chronic condition that needs ongoing management.

For a provider, it is extremely valuable to factor in patient motivation when stratifying populations to identify and prioritize patients like my parents. Providers are more likely to have much better outcomes from interventions with motivated patients. Care teams can better assess which patients will benefit most from certain types of interventions, so that they can manage their limited time in order to receive the highest return on intervention.  I am not saying “only focus on motivated patients” but I am saying “working with motivated patients can have the biggest positive impact for all”.

I have been asked, “How in the world do you measure patient motivation?” It starts with being able to aggregate and leverage all of a provider’s data (e.g. clinical, claims, financial). Next, Caradigm applies sophisticated analytics to that data with help of our partner LexisNexis with MEDai Science who has been refining and perfecting the accuracy of how they calculate patient motivation for many years. The data plus analytics then enables deep population stratification and providers can use that information to streamline care management workflows as well as surface it at the point-of-care to guide decisions.

I’ll be participating on the Data Analytics and Practical Uses panel at the Becker’s Hospital Review CEO Strategy Roundtable on November 4th in Chicago, and would happy to continue the discussion at the event or after.