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March 18, 2016

Most physicians support the efforts of employers to help patients, with 59% agreeing that employers should let doctors know about efforts to help a patient manage chronic diseaseFor medications, 46% agree employers have a role in helping patients improve their complianceOnly 32% of surveyed physicians felt that employers and health plans should play no role in the health of their patients, citing concerns such as "the employer doesn't know the patient" and "I don't want to lose control of my patient's care"Regarding employer and health plan incentives, 82% of physicians support the use of incentives to motivate employees to manage their chronic disease and stay healthyJust over 70% support the use of reduced or waived co-pays to increase medication compliance, with 62% supporting reduced or waived co-pays for medical care to increase medical visitsOn the key question of what an employer or health plan would need to do to get a physician to encourage his/her patients to participate in employer health improvement activities: 61% of physicians wanted information on what the employer is offering to the patient so the doctor can counsel them on the value of participation; 49% asked to be sent patient clinical results collected at the worksite to reduce redundancies; 48% want actionable reports related to patients to assist them in treatment; and 47% believe that employer programs should be designed as an extension of the physician's treatment regimen which leave them in control of their patientsPhysician recommendations for employers and health plans to increase engagement of employees included: communicating to physicians what their patients are doing in the company program; sharing lab data; offering programs, such as weight control, smoking cessation and healthier cafeteria food that don't invade privacy or practice medicine; and working directly with local chapters of primary care specialty societies to seek input and promote employer programs ?? not just health plan programs

"An increasing number of physicians understand that employers can be supportive in impacting employee health," said Jan Berger, MD, president of Health Intelligence Partners and medical director for MBGH. "That being said they do believe that any support given be coordinated with physician activity and that there be active communication between the employee, employer and the physician. This request is reasonable as it assures appropriate use of health resources and diminishes confusion. Communication is the foundation of good health."

The online survey, which was sponsored through funding from sanofi-aventis, was sent to over 1,000 physicians nationwide by cooperating medical associations, health plans and medical centers. More than 200 physicians participated in the survey.

SOURCE Midwest Business Group on Health