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March 9, 2010

Contact: Carl Graziano
Vice President, Strategic Communications
(202) 737-5781

Employer Support for Population Health, Wellness Remains Strong, Survey Finds

New market analysis by DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance provides insight on keys to program success. Report details purchaser and program provider perspectives on industry trends, purchasing expectations, program measures, physician collaboration and other metrics.

WASHINGTON—A challenging economy has not lessened the commitment of employers and other health care purchasers to population health and wellness programs, which they view as essential to their financial management strategy, a new survey shows.

"Population Health Improvement: A Market Survey Report," from DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance, also finds a trend toward population-based programs, rather than interventions focused on individuals, and shows most purchasers consider incentives, such as premium discounts, critical to program success.

The DMAA market analysis collected responses from 135 purchasers and providers of health and wellness services and explores a variety of metrics, such as intervention types, use of incentives and measures of success. The comprehensive analysis also examines market trends, including purchasing expectations, insourcing vs. outsourcing of services and use of integrated data platforms.

The survey projects that 73 percent of purchasers will offer population health improvement programs over the next 12 months and that 76 percent will do so by the end of 2011. Of those who currently purchase programs, 84 percent expect additional purchases, signaling strong purchaser commitment to population health interventions.

"This survey shows employers view workplace health promotion programs as key contributors to financial well-being, as well as to employee health and productivity," DMAA President and CEO Tracey Moorhead says. "The continued strength of these programs in the face of a challenging economy demonstrates their value to purchasers."

The survey report, which includes more than two dozen charts and figures of key industry data, found strong support among purchasers and providers for ensuring physician integration in health and wellness programs. Nearly all purchasers view population health improvement as supporting the physician-patient relationship, and both groups ranked physician engagement highly as a critical component of program success.

"Population health improvement programs are valuable contributors to the health care team and improve the quality and value of care," Moorhead said.

In other findings:

  • When asked how they measure program value, purchasers most often cite improved program participation and reduced annual care expenses.
  • A majority of purchasers expect to see a financial return on investment in one to two years.

The report, in electronic format, is available through the DMAA Web site. It may be purchased alone or, for a nominal additional fee, in combination with a CD-ROM copy of the association's 2008 market analysis.

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About DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance
DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance convenes all stakeholders providing services along the care continuum toward the goal of population health improvement. These care continuum services include strategies such as health and wellness promotion, disease management, and care coordination. DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance promotes the role of population health improvement in raising the quality of care, improving health outcomes and reducing preventable health care costs for individuals with chronic conditions and those at risk for developing chronic conditions. DMAA's activities in support of these efforts include advocacy, research and the promotion of best practices in care management.

DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance represents more than 200 corporate and individual stakeholders—including wellness, disease and care management organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers and benefit managers, health information technology innovators, biotechnology innovators, employers, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, and researchers and academicians. Visit DMAA on the Web at www.dmaa.org.

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