By Brian Brus
Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services has engaged Oklahoma City-based MedEncentive to pilot the agency’s mutual accountability study program with HealthChoice beneficiaries, officials said.
The three-year project will involve measuring clinical and economic outcomes of selected school districts, state agencies and municipal governments covered by the MedEncentive Information Therapy Program and weighing them against the rest of the HealthChoice population.
Frank Wilson, administrator of the employee group insurance division in the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said the project is an evidence-based, unbiased evaluation of health care-related costs. MedEncentive’s cost-containment program rewards both sides of the stakeholder equation – doctors and patients – for adopting best practices in treatment plans.
The patented, Internet-based program has proven its efficacy in several trial installations and has been evaluated by independent studies, MedEncentive Chief Executive Jeff Greene said. The privately held company approaches health care industry efficiency from multiple directions simultaneously, which Greene referred to as a triple-aim of better health, better health care systems and lower costs.
The balance between stakeholders, which creates mutual accountability, also helps to prevent artificial inflation driven by a single force. Both parties must agree to allow each other to confirm or acknowledge adherence to best practices.
The program also focuses on what Greene called information therapy, which aims to improve patient health literacy and improve the economic relationship with health care providers.
Greene said that if the program succeeds as MedEncentive’s other studies have, the improved efficacy of the system could save the state millions of dollars. The pilot was initiated by legislative action with the support of the State Chamber of Oklahoma and the medical community.
“This experiment will also afford the state of Oklahoma the opportunity to show the rest of the country how to control health care costs in an innovative manner that aligns the interests of patients, providers, and insurers,” Greene said. “We’ve been leading up to this over the last eight years. Taking a proof-of-concept approach takes time to do it correctly. … You have to test and measure a concept and effect.
“If you look at HMOs as an example, on the surface they made a lot of sense and billions of dollars were spent developing that concept during the ‘90s, only to realize that – oops! – there are unintended consequences of prepaying for health care, leading to the rationing of care,” he said.
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