Jan 05, 2022, 08:35 ET
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Prealize, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled predictive analytics company, today announced the release of its second annual State of Health Report. This year's report explores key medical conditions that payers and healthcare providers should proactively address in 2022.
Nearly two years since COVID-19 first erupted in the United States, the true magnitude of its impact on the health of Americans has become much clearer. The devastating virus has unleashed a domino effect of crises, that, if left unmanaged, will continue to erode population health and increase healthcare spending for years to come.
Prealize's 2022 State of Health – The Domino Effect identifies the top at-risk conditions and utilization spikes that healthcare leaders should try to help patients pre-empt during the year ahead. Based on an in-depth analysis of more than 2 million claims, the report presents predictive findings and explores the top contributing factors, along with practical commentary from industry leaders.
"Our predicted increases in care claims are a by-product of how our society coped with the pandemic combined with the already reactive healthcare system," said Linda Hand, CEO, Prealize Health. "The negative repercussions will extend into 2022 and beyond because, as a country, we've fallen backwards in pushing preventive care. This new normal requires healthcare leaders to redouble efforts to promote proactive health through early detection and better member engagement. It will require a culture shift to regain trust and meet people where they are while providing additional services to communities and cohorts of the population in order to improve health outcomes. And it just may cost more to do so."
The report states that key drivers include the troubling trends of delayed care; ongoing behavioral health challenges for adults (and new ones for children); health inequities, and an overall wellness decline of our population. The report also forecasts conditions that are predicted to be at risk for increased utilization in 2022. These include:
- 17.6% increase in diabetes-related medical encounters. Also of significant concern are patients already diagnosed with diabetes who will present with worsened cases in 2022.
- 22% increase in joint paint medical encounters and a 7% increase in spine-related encounters. The social and physical confinement brought on by the pandemic have decreased levels of physical activity and increased sitting time by about 28%.
- 18% increase in cardiomyopathy, 10% increase in hypertension, and 9% increase in cardiac blocks. Significant contributors to the rise in cardiovascular diseases include the avoidance of hospitals over the past 24 months for fear of virus exposure, increased strains on healthcare systems, and deferred outpatient and procedural care.
- 14% increase in obesity. Lifestyle changes enforced during the pandemic have been linked to physical inactivity, overeating, and emotional eating—which has spiked during the pandemic stay-at-home orders.
- 4% increase in substance use. Social isolation and pandemic-related stress are likely contributing factors to increases in substance use and poor substance use outcomes. In addition, research has shown that job loss can lead to adverse behavioral health outcomes, including substance use disorder.
"While inequitable access to healthcare has always been pervasive within the American healthcare system, the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted and exacerbated these disparities rendering this issue impossible to ignore," said Gordon Norman, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Prealize Health. "Payers and providers need to ensure that they are dedicating adequate attention and resources to address these 2022 predictions and continue to connect with patients in the most effective and meaningful ways."
The 2022 predictions included in the report are based on Prealize's analysis of claims data from more than 2 million members between September 2017 through August 2021, the latest month for which claims data was available at press time. To ensure that the sample reflected the broader U.S. population, the analysis included patients of all ages across all lines of business including commercial, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid managed care. To predict future healthcare costs and utilization at the patient level, Prealize uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence trained on four years of medical claims, prescription claims, and lab data.
Prealize marries state-of-the-art AI-enabled data science with "next-best action" health insights. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company was founded by two industry thought leaders from Stanford University. Committed to transforming healthcare from reactive to proactive, reducing healthcare costs and enabling more people to live healthier lives, Prealize partners with health plans, employers, and providers across the nation to positively influence the health trajectory of millions of people. For more information, visit www.prealizehealth.com or email [email protected].
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