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EGEMS (Wash DC). 2016 Jul 12;4(1):1258. doi: 10.13063/2327-9214.1258. eCollection 2016.

Applying Sequential Analytic Methods to Self-Reported Information to Anticipate Care Needs.

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Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research; Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Department of Complete Health Solutions.



Identifying care needs for newly enrolled or newly insured individuals is important under the Affordable Care Act. Systematically collected patient-reported information can potentially identify subgroups with specific care needs prior to service use.


We conducted a retrospective cohort investigation of 6,047 individuals who completed a 10-question needs assessment upon initial enrollment in Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO), a not-for-profit integrated delivery system, through the Colorado State Individual Exchange. We used responses from the Brief Health Questionnaire (BHQ), to develop a predictive model for cost for receiving care in the top 25 percent, then applied cluster analytic techniques to identify different high-cost subpopulations. Per-member, per-month cost was measured from 6 to 12 months following BHQ response.


BHQ responses significantly predictive of high-cost care included self-reported health status, functional limitations, medication use, presence of 0-4 chronic conditions, self-reported emergency department (ED) use during the prior year, and lack of prior insurance. Age, gender, and deductible-based insurance product were also predictive. The largest possible range of predicted probabilities of being in the top 25 percent of cost was 3.5 percent to 96.4 percent. Within the top cost quartile, examples of potentially actionable clusters of patients included those with high morbidity, prior utilization, depression risk and financial constraints; those with high morbidity, previously uninsured individuals with few financial constraints; and relatively healthy, previously insured individuals with medication needs.


Applying sequential predictive modeling and cluster analytic techniques to patient-reported information can identify subgroups of individuals within heterogeneous populations who may benefit from specific interventions to optimize initial care delivery.


Health Care Operations (HCO); Learning Health System; Methods

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