Prevention: Wellness Incentives Article
Wellness rewards as incentives
It paid Humana MA individual members to take part in critical wellness activities in 2021. With the ability to earn rewards for staying active in their well-being, members cared for by value-based physicians did so in record numbers.
Members collectively earned $163 million through Humana’s Go365 program, the bulk of the rewards tied to receiving preventive screenings that totaled nearly 9.2 million.
The percentage of Humana’s MA membership enrolled in the wellness program who received preventive screenings increased from 8.9% in 2020 to 74% in 2021. Members received an average of 3.9 preventive screenings in 2021 compared to 1.2 in 2020.
Besides preventive screenings, they also earned Go365 rewards for social and health education activities and fitness events and workouts.
While the increases may be partially attributed to more patients going back into the doctors’ office to receive the care that they had perhaps deferred during the pandemic, the fact remains that prevention and wellness are foundational for patient long-term well-being in value-based care. Physicians and health plans are finding new and innovative ways to encourage patients to play an active role in their health.
“Our practices currently struggle on this measure,” says Heidi Hittner, agilon’s Chief Experience Officer. Because patient experience is part of the overall Medicare Advantage and direct contracting quality scores, the organization sought to improve the experience of patients by creating an incentive for them to engage in education around physical activity.
Piggybacking off its wellness success in 2021, agilon partnered with Humana and Go365 earlier this year to pilot a 12-week video campaign in three of agilon’s markets: Dayton and Akron in Ohio and Pittsburgh. The videos educated patients on the importance of physical activity to their health. Such topics included building an exercise routine, increasing flexibility, managing arthritis pain and even the proper ways to use a cane or walker.
“We believe developing a communications campaign focused on physical activity and led by physical therapists, positioned as an extension of our PCPs, could help us improve our patient experience scores while not burdening our PCPs with additional ‘to dos,’” Hittner says.
Members earned $5 in Go365 rewards for each video they watched. Together, agilon and Humana developed a submission process for patients, which made it easy for them to attest to their participation and earn rewards.
At the end of the pilot, Humana members treated at those agilon clinics collectively earned more than $2,800 in rewards and patient experience scores improved compared to groups outside of the pilot markets. Because of its success, the group plans to offer this video campaign through all of its provider in Humana markets in the first quarter of 2023.
“Going further, the rewards submission process that was developed can be replicated and expanded to other provider groups nationwide that also wish to develop personalized rewards for their own patients who participate in Go365,” says Ashely DeStefano, consumer engagement lead at Humana. “Because health is personal, providers can tailor programs and rewards based on the gaps they see in their own patient population, potentially resulting in better outcomes and increased patient engagement.”
- Internal Humana data.
- agilon health 2021 data,