NovuHealth Research Confirms that Engagement Drives Healthy Activities among Low-Income Consumers

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NovuHealth, the healthcare industry’s leading consumer engagement company, has released new research that illustrates the effectiveness of engagement and incentive programs to motivate consumers to manage chronic conditions and live healthier lives. Proprietary data taken from a sample of diabetic Medicaid members living in New York City show that when members were encouraged to take advantage of incentives for performing healthy activities, their engagement rose 92%.

Engaging NY diabetes patients to complete healthy activities
Despite misperceptions that it can be difficult to engage low-income consumers in their own healthcare, new data shows that one Medicaid plan in New York City increased member engagement with a targeted incentive program.

Research has found that people living in poor neighborhoods in U.S. cities are generally less healthy than those living in affluent areas, creating a perception that it’s difficult to get low-income people to engage in their own healthcare. To take a deeper look at the issue, NovuHealth examined data on Medicaid members living in nine low-income zip codes in the Brooklyn area.

The Medicaid members were offered incentives by their health plan to complete high-value activities, such as A1c testing, diabetic eye exams, and annual wellness visits. Members who received communication promoting the incentives were 92% more likely to complete those activities. A full 41.4% percent of the members who participated in the program, all of whom previously had open healthcare gaps, attested to completing at least one or more of the activities.

The NovuHealth results illustrate how engaging and incenting low-income consumers can help close gaps in care, improving the health of individuals, and eventually, overall population health.

“This data from a small slice of New York City—specifically a low-income area of Brooklyn—illustrates the power of consumer engagement in getting people to take action to improve their healthcare,” said Jordan Mauer, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Member Engagement at NovuHealth. “While more research needs to be done, it’s clear from this study that the idea that it’s difficult to engage low-income consumers in their own healthcare is actually a misperception. Our research shows that consumers can be motivated to engage in their own healthcare. When they do, they improve their own health, they enhance the overall health of the community, and they help reduce long-term healthcare costs.”

This research is the result of one Medicaid plan’s engagement program. But based on NovuHealth’s experience designing engagement programs for nearly 40 health plans and 15 million members across the U.S., the results are no surprise. “When we apply proven consumer loyalty and data science strategies, we can help plans effectively motivate members to take an active role in their healthcare – even hard-to-reach or low-income members,” Mauer said. “This is just one example that foreshadows the volumes of data NovuHealth has access to. Taking a deep dive into diabetic patients in a single market is just scratching the surface of the many other areas we plan to explore.”

Low-income patients often face social determinants that affect their ability to look after their own health. Unstable employment conditions and limited access to healthy foods are just two of the social challenges these patients face that can negatively impact their healthcare. Overcoming each of these social determinants is a challenge in itself, but the NovuHealth research illustrates one major trend that generally holds true: When consumers, even low-income consumers, are engaged, they are more likely to take an active role in their healthcare. NovuHealth previously released a three-part whitepaper examining social determinants of health.

Methodology: NovuHealth examined data on New York Medicaid members with diabetes in nine impoverished zip codes originating in Brooklyn, then validated several economic data points on these members using third-party census-level data. Members were then separated into two groups: targeted (members who received marketing materials encouraging engagement) and non-targeted.

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. On average, NovuHealth’s engagement products deliver a 4:1 ROI for clients. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth works with nearly 40 health plans serving more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at

Nathaniel Hawthorne

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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