[WHITE PAPER] Finding the Uncommon: Revealing Disparities in Care & Prescribing for Common Condition

 

February 18, 2021

Since most of us will suffer at least one chronic health condition in our lifetime, it’s important that employers know how programs aimed at education and prevention can help control healthcare costs.

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That’s the upshot of a recent white paper by the Health Action Council and UnitedHealthcare, which finds that companies that implement deliberate strategies around their employees’ most common chronic health conditions may improve overall employee health and yield cost savings over the long term.  

The white paper was unveiled today at the 2021 IN-VALUE-ABLE Conference & Expo hosted by Health Action Council by Angela Whaley, Advanced Analytics Consultant at UnitedHealth Group and Craig Kurtzweil, VP of Analytic Innovations at UnitedHealth Group.



The findings are based on a study of five chronic health conditions – hypertension, diabetes, back disorders, mental health and substance use, and asthma – across more than 280,000 Health Action Council members insured with UnitedHealthcare. 

The study also revealed important disparities in care:

  • African Americans are 63% more likely to have hypertension.

  • Men over 50 in lower income groups have the highest prevalence of diabetes.

  • Typically, employees with back disorders skew older and are from lower income brackets. 

  • Those with mental health and substance use challenges tend to be female, younger and in lower-income Caucasian groups.

  • African Americans have a 20% higher prevalence of asthma than other races and are more likely to experience a flare-up that requires treatment – yet they are less likely to have been prescribed asthma steroids.  

These are alarming statistics, but the white paper suggests there is plenty that employers can do to help chip away at them.

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About Health Action Council
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid- and large-size employers that enhances human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. 

Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community. For more information, please visit www.healthactioncouncil.org.

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