Purpose of the Study: To find out why individuals choose to engage, disengage, or not to engage in care coordination programs that are meant to improve their health and better navigate the medical care system.
Primary Practice Setting: Care coordination program designed for individuals with an AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.
Methodology and Sample: A 2-phase study was used involving insureds eligible for disease, depression, or case management programs. The study focused on those who participated in these programs (i.e., the engaged group), those who left the programs after starting their participation (the disengaged group), and those who never engaged in these programs. A telephone survey was conducted first, followed by focus groups and in-depth telephone interviews to address interesting findings from the survey.
Results: The top reasons for program engagement included believing that the program would be helpful (39%), liking its convenience (14%), and because participation was at no additional cost (9%). The top reasons for not engaging included not seeing potential benefit from engagement (28%) and being comfortable with current health care processes (19%). Reasons given for disengaging included lack of time (15%), not believing the program was helpful (13%), not understanding what the program provided (13%), or being unaware of the program (11%). Among the key findings from the focus groups were that individuals who felt they were not getting sufficient support from their medical providers or those needing a sounding board were more likely to engage.
Implications for Case Management Practice: This study provides valuable insight regarding how to best engage individuals with such a plan and who are qualified for care coordination programs. These results suggest that those most motivated to engage are those who are well informed of the program benefits and have a perceived need, such as living alone and needing a sounding board.