The Value of Lifestyle Questionnaires to Get Good Data

Attention physicians interested in accountable care organizations and data analytics to support population health management: Do you have your patients complete a comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire?

John McDaniel, national practice leader for the provider market at data storage and management vendor NetApp completed a questionnaire and his physician learned that McDaniel consumed six two-liter bottles of diet cola a day. The body metabolizes artificial sweeteners as sugar, and the result of all that soda was that McDaniel had active diabetes. His level of triglycerides—a fat in the blood—was 475 compared with a normal reading of 150. He went cold turkey and improved his diet, the reading dropped to 150 within three months and the diabetes now is inactive, McDaniel said at Health Data Management’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium in Chicago.

A physician that manages the individual and avoid serious health issues in the future can take $5 million in spending out of the health system, McDaniel noted. If the physician works with an accountable care organization, that’s $5 million in profit.

But to succeed in individual-focused care requires physician adoption and change of culture, McDaniel says, with data that shows results. “You’ve really got to prove to them that it works. And you have to engage patients and figure out how to fund it.”

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