Alert

Better care for chronic conditions

Chronic conditions are the leading drivers of employer health care costs.1 Our approach to proactive prevention, early detection, and effective treatment can help protect your business — and improve your employees’ health and wellness overall.

Most Americans live with at least 1 chronic condition.2

And 42% have 2 or more. The question isn’t whether or not these health issues are impacting employee health — but to what degree. Each year, chronic conditions account for $1.1 trillion in health care costs and $2.6 trillion in lost productivity — with $36.4 billion in employee absences alone.3,4

The high cost of 4 common chronic conditions. When combining direct and indirect health care costs per employee, per year, diabetes costs $19,740; depression costs $15,702; high blood pressure costs $13,264; and heart disease costs $11,825.

Reducing risk with prevention and early intervention

Our primary care physicians have access to unparalleled support and resources designed to help them manage the full spectrum of each patient’s care. And our integrated approach helps ensure continuity of care and enables seamless collaboration among caregivers who have direct access to your employees’ health information. That helps Kaiser Permanente members with chronic conditions receive earlier detection — and more effective treatment.

Proactive outreach
We intervene with many members early — even before they have symptoms or get diagnosed with a disease — using health status, risk factors, and family history to assess their risk status for a chronic condition. And our electronic health record triggers automatic reminders for screenings, so it’s not up to the member to initiate every care encounter. We stay in touch to help your employees stay up to date.

Data-driven best practices
Using decades of health data gathered through our electronic health record system, we’ve developed decision support tools that help identify members at risk for preventable events like hospital readmissions. Doctors use these predictive modeling tools to make informed and effective clinical recommendations and protocols.

Better outcomes and superior cost savings
Our electronic health record system enables us to quickly identify the most effective ways to prevent, manage, and treat chronic conditions — and maximize cost-savings. It
typically takes about 17 years before a new best practice becomes the standard for care.5 However, in Kaiser Permanente’s connected system, we can implement new and better ways of delivering care much faster.

Automatic enrollment in disease management programs
Employees with, or at risk for, chronic conditions don’t have to opt-in to our disease management programs, and there are no additional costs for employers. Conditions are continuously managed over time — even after the immediate health issue is under control — so members receive automatic interventions if they need them.

In-home support through remote patient monitoring
Many of our members with chronic conditions share real-time health updates with their doctors through weight scales, glucose monitors, and blood pressure cuffs that sync with mobile apps. This technology enables their care teams to track changes over time and detect treatment needs early on.

A proven approach to preventing serious heart problems: 72% reduction in severe heart attacks over 15 years; 48% reduction in heart disease mortality for Northern California members ages 45 to 64.
Effectively managing high blood pressure – Kaiser Permanente Members: 80%; National average: 55%.

A leader in chronic condition care

In 2019, Kaiser Permanente led the nation in 26 effectiveness-of-care measures, including:6

  • Prevention and screening
  • Cardiovascular care
  • Comprehensive diabetes care
  • Mental health care

360-degree chronic condition support

Employees with chronic conditions get better care at Kaiser Permanente because we offer comprehensive support across the care continuum. Mental health support is built into primary care, so employees with chronic conditions — who have increased risk for depression — are regularly screened to help facilitate early detection and access to treatment. Addressing comorbidities, providing support for healthy lifestyle changes, tracking treatment adherence, and monitoring symptoms over time helps us prevent and manage chronic conditions more effectively.

For you, that means not having to deal with — or pay extra for — third-party disease management vendors. For your employees, it means better results and convenient care.

Did you know? Most Americans have at least 1 chronic condition. 3 in 5 Americans have a chronic condition, and 2 in 5 have multiple chronic conditions. Disease management companies typically provide care that focuses on just one chronic condition at a time. Patients with 2 or more conditions could be dealing with multiple care teams who don’t know their complete health history – an expensive and inefficient approach.

Leveraging personalized data to help your employees thrive

Strategic choices to improve the health of your workforce will pay dividends on your balance sheet. Our electronic health record system enables comprehensive reporting — so we can show you exactly how chronic conditions are impacting your employees and adding to your health care costs, including:7

  • Prevalence by chronic condition
  • Percentage of your costs driven by each condition
  • Your group’s biggest health risk factors

We’ll partner with you to create tailored wellness initiatives for your business.

Chronic conditions and COVID-19 risk

Many chronic conditions also put employees at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, keeping these conditions well-managed — or even better, preventing them altogether — is more essential than ever. At Kaiser Permanente, our telehealth capabilities have enabled us to continue helping members manage chronic conditions while minimizing risk for exposure by limiting in-person appointments.

COVID-19 is especially dangerous for employees with chronic conditions. For employees with heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung diseases, the hospitalization rate is 6 times higher, and the mortality rate is 12 times higher.

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For more information

  • “Workplace Health Promotion,” National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, cdc.gov, accessed September 3, 2020.

  • Christine Buttorff, et al., “Multiple Chronic Conditions in the United States,” RAND Corporation, 2017.

  • Hugh Waters, et al., “Chronic Diseases are Taxing Our Health Care System and Our Economy,” Stat News, May 31, 2018.

  • “Workplace Health Promotion,” National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, cdc.gov, accessed September 3, 2020.

  • Margaret M. Luciano et al., “4 Ways to Make Evidence-Based Practice the Norm in Health Care,” Harvard Business Review, August 2, 2019.

  • Kaiser Permanente 2019 HEDIS® scores. Benchmarks provided by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Quality Compass® and represent all lines of business. Kaiser Permanente combined region scores were provided by the Kaiser Permanente Department of Care and Service Quality. The source for data contained in this publication is Quality Compass 2019 and is used with the permission of NCQA. Quality Compass 2019 includes certain CAHPS data. Any data display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion based on these data is solely that of the authors, and NCQA specifically disclaims responsibility for any such display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion. Quality Compass® and HEDIS® are registered trademarks of NCQA. CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • Available data and reports may vary by your region and group size.