-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who take an active
role in their health care have lower medical costs, according to a
Researchers analyzed data from about 33,000 patients in
Minnesota and found that the average health care costs of those
with the highest levels of motivation, knowledge, skills and
confidence to manage their own health care were 8 percent to 21
percent lower than those with the lowest levels.
"The study highlights the important role that patients play in determining outcomes," study leader Judith Hibbard, a professor emerita in the planning, public policy and management department at the University of Oregon, said in a university news release.
"We found that patients who were more knowledgeable, skilled and confident about managing their day-to-day health and health care -- also called patient activation -- had health care costs that were substantially lower than patients who lacked this type of confidence and skill," she explained.
The findings appear in the February issue of the journal
Even among patients with the same type of chronic illness, those
who were more "activated" had lower health care costs than those
who were less activated.
Health care systems should consider assessing patients' levels
of involvement and motivation, and support patients who wish to
become more engaged in their health and health care, as a way to
improve patient health and lower costs, the researchers said.
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality explains how
patients can be
more involved in their health care.
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