Adding a Measure of Self-Management Capability to Risk Assessment Can Improve Prediction of High Costs

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

This resource explores whether individuals’ levels of engagement in their care — referred to as “patient activation” — correlates with their use of services and status as “high need, high cost.” People who are less activated may benefit more than others from care coordination programs.

  • The resource explains the advantages of allocating resources based on individuals’ level of engagement, as measured by their activation scores.
  • Among persons at high risk of high health costs, the least activated individuals were significantly more likely to have an emergency department visit or hospitalization compared with the most activated.
  • Patient activation scores accurately predicted the use of costly services three years later.
  • Patient activation scores can help programs more effectively assess risk for high utilization, manage costs, and tailor outreach to individuals.

The Commonwealth Fund also published a short summary of this resource.

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