Award-winning research showed a lower mortality rate for Medicare Advantage members; demonstrated that medication adherence is associated with more Healthy Days
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two researchers from Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) have been recognized for their research by the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Tristan Cordier, MPH, Manager on the Clinical Insights and Outcomes team in Humana’s Clinical Analytics department, won the award for Outstanding Oral Presentation at the group’s annual conference in February for his work on the impact of medication adherence on self-reported mental and physical health.
At the same conference, Sean Mendes, a Senior Actuarial Analyst on Humana’s Medicare Actuarial team, won Best Poster Presentation for work that assessed mortality rates among Medicare recipients. Mendes showed that members of Humana’s Medicare Advantage plan had a mortality rate that was 20 percent lower than they would be expected to if they were on traditional Medicare.
Medication adherence leads to more healthy days
Cordier was recognized for his presentation, Do People Who are Adherent to Their Medications Have Fewer Unhealthy Days? The research he shared broke new ground by measuring the impact not taking medication as prescribed has on population health by using a survey tool called Healthy Days.
Healthy Days is a four-question survey developed and validated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It asks people how they perceive their recent health and how many days over the previous month they felt physically or mentally unwell.
A team of Humana researchers led by Cordier assessed whether Medicare members over the age of 65 had taken medication as prescribed in 2013 and 2014. They then compared that data to the group’s Healthy Days reports over the same period.
“We found that medication adherence was associated with reports of more healthy days, both physically and mentally,” Cordier said of the team’s analysis, which also took into account factors such as age, sex, and Medicaid eligibility.
“There is already evidence that Healthy Days is tied to clinical outcomes like lowering blood glucose levels and avoiding heart attacks,” said Todd Prewitt, MD, Humana’s Director of Clinical Best Practices and a co-author of the presentation. “The results show that Healthy Days may be an indicator of health behaviors, like medication adherence.”
The presentation was also co-authored by Humana associates Lane Slabaugh, PharmD, MBA; Peinie Young, PharmD; Eric Havens, MA; and Humana’s Enterprise Vice President for Clinical Analytics, Vipin Gopal, PhD.
A unique assessment of Medicare Advantage
Mendes won his award for the poster presentation Disparities in Mortality Outcomes in Medicare.
His work shows that those who were covered by Humana’s Medicare Advantage plan had a lower mortality rate when compared to a similar sample of people in traditional Medicare.
“Overall we’re seeing a reduction in mortality of 20 percent,” Mendes said. “In areas where we usually see large disparities in member health, such as income level and race, we see an even greater reduction in mortality, which suggests that we’re closing some gaps in care.”
Mendes used a sample of 1.5 million members of traditional Medicare, obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to develop a model that predicts mortality rates.
He then applied that model to 5.5 million people in the Humana Medicare Advantage plan to predict their estimated mortality rate under traditional Medicare for that group. The mortality rate should have been 3.7 percent had the group been part of traditional Medicare, but on Humana’s Medicare Advantage program, the group actually had a mortality rate of only 2.9 percent, a statistically significant difference.
Ariel Caplan, a Strategic Consultant from Humana’s Medicare Actuarial team, Vanessa Olson, Chief Medicare Actuary, and Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer, also co-authored the poster.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.
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