Risk Assessment

A new approach to risk assessment

The Affordable Care Act is changing the health care landscape in the United States by extending coverage to millions of uninsured, removing pre-existing condition clauses and implementing health insurance exchanges.  This means that health plans are now preparing for an unprecedented influx of new members.

One of the biggest challenges facing insurers is that these new populations are not very well understood. A priority for insurers will be to learn as much about these new members as soon as possible so that they can understand future risk and manage their new membership’s care proactively.  

Optum has developed a next generation Health Risk Assessment that combines the best of traditional HRAs with the world’s most widely-used health status measure. Called the About My Health™ risk assessment, it combines the SF-12v2® Health Survey with an HRA to create a powerful new tool that can help you screen and stratify populations in entirely new ways.

Traditional HRAs are great at identifying lifestyle and behaviors that impact future wellbeing (i.e. weight loss, seat belt usage), but offer little information about an individual’s current health status. By adding the SF-12 and other population-specific data we can offer a better near-term assessment of risk.

Timely and relevant

The About My Health tool puts timely and relevant information in the hands of health plans and ACOs, allowing them to better understand which individuals are currently having health problems and those who are at risk for future problems. By identifying these individuals sooner, population health professionals can proactively reach out with educational programs and other interventions to better manage their populations. This tool has the added benefit of allowing health plans and ACOs to track progress over time and measure outcomes.

About My Health can be used in conjunction with existing claims data to provide more relevant and actionable patient data, or it can be used in the absence of claims data to offer valuable insight into newly acquired populations. Here are just a few of the ways these assessments can be used:

  • Identify high risk individuals
  • Predict future medical expenses
  • Assess treatment effectiveness
  • Measure health improvement or decline
  • Compare burden of disease across populations
  • Facilitate better communication between patients and providers