Gesundes Kinzigtal: Improved Life Expectancy for Integrated Care (IC) members
Targeted interventions, more patient-centered healthcare and linking the different sectors had a positive influence on life expectancy, as indicated in a study of the OptiMedis AG on the effects of the Gesundes Kinzigtal Integrated Care (IC) system. The research issue was: How many years of life have policyholders gained, or lost, when individually compared to their statistical life expectancy?
An intervention group (enrolled members of the Gesundes Kinzigtal IC) and a control group (not enrolled insured persons) were examined over a period of five years after the date of enrollment of the IC member. “Compared to our older studies, the recent one has the longest follow-up-time and a larger study group which means that we can expect the most meaningful results so far” stresses Timo Schulte, Head of Health Data Analytics & IT. The results of the study were significant: when comparing the individual life expectancy, the participants in the intervention group lived an average of 1.2 years longer than those in the control group. Especially for female enrollees, the effect was significantly higher. On average they died 1.8 years older, as opposed to men, where the difference to the control group was only 0.6 years (see figure below). Women, therefore, seem to benefit considerably more from integrated healthcare, and/or are possibly more open to it. The second hypothesis is strengthened by the participation rates in integrated care programmes of primary or secondary prevention for patients with specific diseases (e.g. “Strong Heart” to better monitor patients with heart failure or “Healthy Weight” to prevent the development of a metabolic syndrome for patients at risk). Taken together about 75% of all patients which are not only rather passive members of the integrated care system, but have actively participated in one of the sixteen current integrated health care programmes are female.
The results substantiate the results of previous studies as presented in „Evaluating the Impact of an Accountable Care Organization on Population Health: the Quasi-Experimental Design of the German Gesundes Kinzigtal“ (Population Health Management 2016) and „Drei Dimensionen im internen Vergleich“ (2012, only in german), an internal Comparison of Triple Aim Dimensions, in which amongst others also mortality rates were studied over a shorter period of time. Mortality is considered to be an outstanding outcome for medical interventions and patient-oriented benefits, as it is relatively resistant to manipulation, can be reliably measured and is rather easy to interpret.