46% of Consumers with a Chronic Condition Say it Was Discovered by Their Wellness Program

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, July 31st, 2015

An April 2015 HealthMine survey of 750 consumers enrolled in sponsored wellness programs revealed that 28% of respondents have been diagnosed with a chronic condition in the past two years. Approximately half--46%--discovered their chronic illness through a wellness program. Chronic conditions afflict nearly half of all Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and three out of four dollars spent on healthcare are for people with one or more chronic diseases.  

While diagnosis of many chronic diseases is on the rise in the US, a significant number of chronic conditions go undiagnosed. For example, one third of people with diabetes do not know they have it, according to the CDC. Other cases of chronic disease are diagnosed, but not well controlled; 34% of adults with hypertension treat but do not control their condition, and another 11% are aware of their hypertension, but do not receive treatment.

Consumers want help to know their health risk. A May HealthMine survey of 1,200 consumers with health insurance found that nearly three quarters--74%--believe wellness programs should include genetic testing as a way to identify risk for chronic conditions. Some large insurers have already begun to incorporate genetic testing into their wellness programs, even as program sponsors await pending regulation over privacy and other protections.

Most consumers also want plan sponsors to offer health screenings, which can detect risk factors and uncover chronic illness. In fact, 74% of respondents said they would participate in vision screenings; 73% would complete a blood pressure screening; and 69% want a cholesterol screening.

Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine said, "Plan sponsors can and do utilize wellness programs to beat the numbers – one member at a time." He continued, "To succeed, wellness programs must enable people to learn their key health facts, and connect individuals to their personal clinical data anytime, anywhere. When consumers and plans are empowered with knowledge, wellness programs can make recommendations meaningful to individuals, and help to prevent and manage chronic disease."