Improving Population Health Management Strategies: Identifying Likely Users of Avoidable Costly Care

Judith Hibbard
Jessica Greene
Rebecca M. Sacks
Valerie Overton
Carmen Parrotta
Peer-Reviewed Article
August 2016

This resource explores how measuring patients’ activation levels can help identify those individuals at higher risk for poor health outcomes and utilization of avoidable costly care.

  • Population health management strategies include tailoring interventions to patients based on their levels of risk and likelihood of being responsive to an intervention, which is described as “impactability.”
  • One indication of impactability is a patient’s activation level, which can be assessed by the Patient Activation Measure.
  • When controlling for baseline chronic disease status, a patient’s activation level can predict future progression of disease burden and use of costly, avoidable care.
  • For patients with low activation levels who may already feel overwhelmed, providers can suggest small steps toward making behavioral changes.
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