It’s all About Relationships: How Care Managers Can Increase Patient Activation, Lower Healthcare CostsCommunication, trust and mutual respect are important in any relationship, and that’s certainly true in healthcare. Patients with complex needs or chronic illness who feel heard, valued and respected by their care managers are more likely to take an active role in their own care, leading to improved outcomes and lower costs, research shows.
The authenticity of the care manager-client relationship—how genuine and consistent the patient perceives the provider to be—also makes a difference, some studies have found. And though learning how to build relationships takes time and training, the investment pays off in several ways.
For instance, a 2013 study published in Health Affairs looked at 33,000 clients in a large healthcare system and found that costs were 8-21 percent higher for clients with very low activation levels compared to costs for clients with the highest activation levels. What leads to higher activation? Relationships.