Kitchen table health assessments improve outcomes of Medicare Advantage members
Published on February 15, 2013 at 7:25 AM
A study by Matrix Medical Network and MVP Heath Care indicates that Medicare Advantage members who receive "kitchen table" health assessments have improved outcomes, including fewer hospital admissions, lower cost of claims and a higher level of satisfaction with their health plans.
MVP, which offers several Medicare Advantage health plans, and Matrix Medical Network, a national leader in prospective health assessment services for Medicare Advantage members, are reporting positive results from the year-long study measuring the effects of Matrix's prospective health assessments.
The two companies partnered to investigate the degree to which Matrix's assessment program benefits MVP's Medicare Advantage members. The matched control study evaluated the results of assessments that were conducted in members' homes and while members were in nursing facilities. The analysis was done using de-identified data covering the experiences of more than 10,000 MVP Medicare Advantage members.
The analysis found that in comparison to their matched counterparts in the control group, those Medicare beneficiaries who received a Matrix assessment had:
•Lower medical expenditures
•Lower hospital admissions
•Higher plan loyalty
One suggestion for the efficacy of the hour-long health assessments, which are conducted by nurse practitioners who are Matrix employees, is that the setting for the health assessment may have an effect on how well members process the resulting information. This "kitchen table" hypothesis suggests that comprehension is improved when members are in the familiar and relaxed setting of their homes.
"We suspected that having nurse practitioners talk individually with members-discussing their health, medications and needed health services-would lead to better outcomes, but it's critical to measure just how much of a difference such a visit can make," said Dr. Allen Hinkle, MVP's Chief Medical Officer. "This study suggests how valuable these kinds of 'kitchen table' interactions can be for members."
Noted Matrix CEO Randy Dobbs, "We believe that the consistency and continuity that comes from our business model of hiring, training and investing in our nurse practitioners is key to the very positive outcome of this and two similar studies. We are attracting clinicians of the highest caliber who are able to make a measurable difference during their one-on-one time with members."