Early results on CT’s state employee wellness program encouraging

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Early lessons from CT Health Enhancement Program (HEP) for state employees and retirees found primary care visits are up, specialty care is down, ER visits are down, and adherence to maintenance medications for chronic illness is up. HEP is administered by the Comptroller’s Office. There is also early evidence that HEP is slowing the increase in health costs for state employees. Medical trend in the program fell from 13% in FY 2011 (pre-HEP) to 3.8% in FY 2012 and, despite higher use of maintenance medications, pharmacy costs were flat. Under HEP, state employees who commit to wellness responsibilities pay lower premiums, deductibles, copayments and may qualify for incentive payments. The results are part of an early report from a long-term evaluation of HEP by the University of Michigan’s Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. According to the researchers, “Connecticut’s experience demonstrates the ability of management and labor to reach consensus on significant changes to ‘business as usual’ in health plan design, even in challenging fiscal environments.”