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A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Educational and Motivational Intervention to Enhance Consumers Use of Health Plan and Medical Group Quality Data Patrick.

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Presentation on theme: "A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Educational and Motivational Intervention to Enhance Consumers Use of Health Plan and Medical Group Quality Data Patrick."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Educational and Motivational Intervention to Enhance Consumers Use of Health Plan and Medical Group Quality Data Patrick S. Romano, MD MPH Julie A. Rainwater, PhD Jorge A. Garcia, MD MS Debora A. Paterniti, PhD Daniel J. Tancredi, MS PhD Geeta Mahendra, MS Jason A. Talavera, MD student AcademyHealth 2006 ARM June 27, 2006 Seattle, WA

2 Background to INQUIRE ( INformation about QUality In a Randomized Evaluation) u Most previous studies of how consumers use report cards were conducted in laboratory settings, relied entirely on survey data, or did not randomly allocate participants. u We planned a prospective study with 3 components: Focus group discussions of consumer choice and quality of care A prospective cohort study of factors associated with using a quality report card and switching health plans/medical groups A randomized controlled trial of two interventions designed to improve the use of quality information, under the Health Belief Model. u Funding from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

3 Health Belief Model

4 Phase II – Overview of Methods u Partnership between UC Davis and Pacific Health Advantage u Population: 76,000 employees of small businesses (with eligible workers) in CA, excluding guaranteed associations u Setting: Open Enrollment 2003; members were offered a choice of 4 statewide and 4 regional HMOs (each with 3 copayment levels), 1 PPO (with 3 copayment levels), 1 point-of-service plan u Study design: Randomized controlled trial u Unit of randomization: Health insurance brokers (with their contracted employers and their employees) u Measures: Observed behavior, post-Open Enrollment survey

5 Phase II – Control group u Control group received usual care: Open Enrollment booklets on program rules and benefit options were mailed to employers (no quality information) No information went directly to employees PacPlan Chooser web site allowed members to compare plans on cost, features, and quality (overall rating) Insurance brokers provided limited support

6 Phase II – Interventions u Intervention group 1 received educational/motivational treatment: A special mailing to each employee, employer, and broker included a motivational letter (with negative framing), the California HMO Report Card, and the California HMO Guide A toll-free telephone line and address were offered for counseling and advice (during business hours) u Intervention group 2 was delayed

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12 Phase II – Sample design u Stratified random sample of brokers with eligible employees scheduled for Open Enrollment in May-July 2003, after excluding employers intending to leave (N=1,579 with 26,249 EEs) u Excluded 16 brokers with large number of eligible employees (to increase efficiency) u Oversampled small brokers (4 strata), brokers for whom at least 40% of EEs were <39 yrs, and brokers for whom at least 50% of EEs had 3 or more HMO options (total 10 sampling strata) u Brokers allocated in two stages

13 Phase II – Analytic methods and hypotheses u All analyses were (or will be) weighted to account for the cluster sampling design, using robust methods to correct CIs u Hypotheses: Intervention would increase overall switching across health plans and medical groups Intervention would promote switching toward better health plans and medical groups, among those who switch Intervention would enhance perceived threat, enhance self-efficacy, promote migration from pre-contemplation to contemplation, and promote use of quality information in decision-making

14 Phase II – Process results u 292 brokers with 1,835 eligible employees (EEs) were randomized to the intervention group u 246 brokers with 1,578 eligible employees (EEs) were randomized to the control group u 30.2% of EEs in the intervention group, and 37.1% of EEs in the control group, dropped out of Pacific Health Advantage u 22 intervention group members used the toll-free advice line u 3 intervention group members used the address u Broad array of questions and concerns

15 Phase II – Primary outcome results (all weighted and nonsignificant) u 9.2% of intervention group versus 7.0% of control group switched plans. u 21% of intervention group switchers versus 35% of control group switchers moved to a plan with more stars. u 27-28% in both groups moved to a plan with fewer stars.

16 Secondary outcome, use of resources Did you read or review…? Did you call or contact…? Ed/MotControl Comparison of health plan benefits 60%57% PacPlan Chooser web site 15%14% CA HMO Guide (p<0.001) 40%10% CA HMO Report Card (p<0.001) 38%8% Health plan member services (p=0.02) 7%9% OPA, HMO Help Center, Health Rights Hotline <2%

17 Secondary outcome, reason for switch Stated reason for switching in intervention group vs. control group, respectively (all p>0.10 unless stated): u Change in geographic coverage of plan (10% vs. 2%, p=0.03) u Cost (34% vs. 25%) u Continuity of MD (1% vs. 5%) u Better network of MDs (8% vs. 7%) u Concern over poor report card scores (6% vs. 1%, p=0.099) u Concern over poor access to care (6% vs. 5%) u Poor service from previous plan (6% vs. 3%) u Better benefits (5% vs. 3%) u Other reason (7% vs. 1%, p=0.06)

18 Secondary outcome, expected outcome of switch (NS) Do you expect that quality of care will be better, the same, or worse with your new health plan? Ed/Mot (N=88) Control (N=87) Better16%9% Same17%20% Worse (p=0.07)8%1% Uncertain or did not respond59%70%

19 Secondary outcome, considered switch u 35% of intervention group respondents who did not actually switch considered switching u 28% of control group respondents who did not actually switch considered switching (p=0.07) u Of those who considered switching, 31% of intervention group respondents and 30% of control group respondents seriously considered it (rating=6 on 1-6 scale)

20 Secondary outcome, reason for considering switch Stated reason for considering switching in intervention group vs. control group, respectively: u Cost (69% vs. 74%) u Continuity of MD (6% vs. 11%) u Better network of MDs (16% vs. 23%) u Concern over poor report card scores (15% vs. 7%, p=0.08) u Concern over poor access to care (17% vs. 17%) u Poor service from previous plan (10% vs. 10%) u Better benefits (25% vs. 25%) u Other reason (14% vs. 7%) – need to review comment fields

21 Secondary outcome, perceived differences in quality among plans (NS) Size of perceived differenceEd/MotControl Big47%48% Small31%30% None7%4% Dont know15%18%

22 Secondary outcome, perceived differences in quality among medical groups (NS) Size of perceived differenceEd/MotControl Big31%35% Small35%34% None7%5% Dont know27%

23 Secondary outcome, self-efficacy (NS) Agree or strongly agree… Ed/MotControl Confident in my ability to choose a health plan 78%81% Confident in my ability to choose a medical group 80% I felt well informed about my health plan choices 71%69% I felt well informed about my medical group choices 66%65% I used what I know…to make the best possible choice for me during Open Enrollment 77%78%

24 Secondary outcome, perceived benefits and barriers (NS) Agree or strongly agree… Ed/MotControl Using the information in…, I was able to choose the best health plan for my family and me 58%57% Looking at the information about health plans was a waste of time for me (p=0.05) 16%20% The materials… helped me better understand my health plan choices 67%65% I guess my health plan has some drawbacks, but none of the others is really better 52%54%

25 Secondary outcome, Difficulty of selecting plan (p=0.003) How much of a problem, if any, was it to find a health plan that suited you…? Ed/MotControl Not a problem (p=0.01)58%66% A small problem27%25% A big problem (p=0.002)15%9%

26 Limitations u Primary outcome (actual choice of health plan) may be difficult to change because of competing concerns (e.g., price, convenience) and information from other sources (e.g., friends and family) u Analysis of secondary outcomes limited by poor response to post-OE survey despite two mailings, financial incentive, and follow-up abbreviated web- based survey (est. 41% excluding ineligibles)

27 Policy implications u Educational/motivational interventions designed to increase perceived benefits and decrease perceived barriers, with negative framing, may increase use of quality information but are unlikely to affect actual choices in the health care market. u Quality data with negative framing may make decision-making more difficult for price-sensitive consumers (especially if there is a perceived cost-quality tradeoff). u Many other signals affect consumers behavior during Open Enrollment; cost is the dominant factor in the small business market in the USA.


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