A new focus on patient well being and quality-of-life issues could improve health-care outcomes and reduce costs, as WSJ explains in today’s special report on innovation in health care.
Well-being and quality of life may seem like fairly vague concepts for doctors, compared to say, blood-pressure readings and cholesterol levels. But researchers are finding links between well being and health-care expenditures.
According to a study in the latest issue of Population Health Management, respondents from one health plan with low scores in well-being assessment had 2.7 times the median annual health expenditures of individuals with high-well being. Prescriptions-drug costs were three times higher for individuals with low well-being compared with the high-well-being group.