Health Program ROI Won’t Happen Overnight

Monday, March 23rd, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

When times are tight — and even when they’re not — the promise of ROI gets people’s attention. That appears to be the case even when substantial ROI may be years away. In preparing separate webinars on achieving ROI from health coaching and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), respectively, it seems that a certain amount of organizational patience is required in each case. In this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update podcast, StayWell Health Management’s Paul Terry explains that a health coaching program might increase costs the first year and break even the second year before returning substantial savings during its third year.

And in a separate interview to be featured in a future issue, Aetna’s mid-Atlantic regional medical director Dr. Don Liss told me that while an overall reduction in healthcare costs resulting from medical home adoption may take three to five years, some leading indicators — such as reduced hospital readmissions, non-urgent ER use and duplication of services — can be assessed in the shorter term.

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