HIP Table Top Recap: Opportunities for Advancing Chronic Disease Prevention and Management

On May 18, Leavitt Partners Health Intelligence Partners hosted over 25 health care leaders from both the public and private sectors to discuss opportunities for advancing chronic disease prevention and management. Ursula Bauer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, former Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Karen DeSalvo, Dr. Michael Cryer of Aon Hewitt, and Dr. Mary Mason of Centene presented. The discussion was moderated by Susan Winckler, President of Leavitt Partners Consulting.

The multi-sector group met to surface strategies for promoting chronic disease prevention and management in the face of changing market and regulatory forces, including diminishing federal funding for disease prevention, and the transition towards value-based payment contracting among payers and providers. The discussion touched on numerous real-world interventions, including the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program, and interventions for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Themes that emerged during the day-long discussion included the need to engage non-traditional stakeholders in order to treat patients holistically and before the onset of acute illness or incident (i.e., “the pre-medical model”). A language divide between the public health sector and the medical sector was highlighted as a barrier to effective integration and collaboration. Limited and/or inaccessible funding was also identified as a barrier to effective multi-sector collaboration. Many around the table agreed that effectively engaging employers (e.g., through employer-specific return-on-investment (ROI) calculations for health promotion programs) will help to shift dollars toward illness prevention and disease management, and help to better integrate community-based service providers. The conversation also repeatedly touched on the increased use of high-deductible health plans and the financial strain that these plans place on those suffering from chronic illness.

Towards the end of the day, the group documented key challenges facing sustainable and effective prevention and management, as well as potential solutions that included leveraging investment in innovative technology across the continuum of care to help fill gaps. Improved integration, transparency, and availability of clinical and non-clinical data were also identified as effective tools for targeting high-need individuals. Other themes included forming partnerships within and outside of the medical arena and treating patients, rather than treating a single disease. Participants also agreed that identifying a means of disseminating best practices and/or information about new or existing programs will help to advance the adoption of evidence-based prevention programs and strategies. One example is the CDC’s 6|18 initiative.

Leavitt Partners Health Intelligence Partners hosted the event as part of its Table Top discussion series. Leavitt Partners Public Health practice area advises public agencies, states, and commercial entities as they assess, design, and implement public health programs and investments. Areas of focus include disease prevention, behavior modification, and evidence-based interventions that constrict future medical spend. Leavitt Partners has experience supporting national and state-level organizations to promote behavioral change program adoption, develop coverage and decision-support tools, and forge relationships with health care stakeholders.