'Activated' Patients Incur Lower Costs: Study

Commonwealth Fund

According to a Commonwealth Fund–supported study in Health Affairs, patients at a large care delivery system in Minnesota who were identified as the most "activated" ,--that is, participated in treatment decisions and took part in managing their own care--had significantly lower costs than those who were the least activated.

“Patients who have more knowledge, skill, and confidence in managing their health, and who are more adept at navigating and using the health care system, appear to incur lower costs,” said the researchers, who were led by
Judith H. Hibbard, Dr.P.H., of the University of Oregon. They note that the finding held even after controlling for variables like demographics and severity of condition, indicating that “even sicker patients can make a difference in their costs of care through their own actions and choices.”

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