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The Commonwealth Fund: Segmentation in Healthcare and an Interview with c2b solutions


Note: This post draws, and includes verbatim excerpts, from The Commonwealth Fund’s Quality Matters articles, “In Focus:  Segmenting Populations to Tailor Services, Improve Care,” and “Q&A: Using Market Research to Improve Health Care,” italicized for clarification.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children and elderly adults.

The Fund publishes Quality Matters, a quarterly Health Care Delivery System Reform program publication that offers reports on emerging models and trends in health care quality improvement, as well as interviews with leaders in the field, news, and round-ups of the medical and health policy literature.

The June 2015 issue of Quality Matters focuses on using consumer segmentation to improve care, and features an interview with c2b solutions regarding its psychographic segmentation model.

Moving Beyond Risk Prediction with Segmentation

In the article, “In Focus: Segmenting Populations to Tailor Services, Improve Care,” Quality Matters shares several cases where progressive health systems are employing various forms of patient segmentation to augment predictive analytics to improve outcomes.

Warren Wong, M.D., of Kaiser Permanente, realized that Kaiser’s prior methods of assigning risk using likelihood of hospitalization scores, diagnoses, and utilization did not take advantage of physicians’ knowledge of their patients’ health through empirical observation.  Working with primary care physicians and analytical experts, Kaiser developed a segmentation algorithm based on clinical classifications that is now used system-wide.  The segmentation algorithm informs care plans, most commonly to help determine which patients might benefit from team-based care and case management services.

c2b solutions is working with the TriHealth system of Greater Cincinnati to use its psychographic segmentation model and insights to guide its health coaches in their interactions with participants in disease management programs for diabetes and musculoskeletal conditions.

Participants are classified according to one of five psychographic segments based on answering a simple 12-question survey.  This classification groups patients according to their motivations, approach to health and wellness, and communication preferences.  TriHealth coaches were trained on segment-specific interaction and are using psychographic insights to help participants reach their health goals.

“We, as health care providers, are used to working with patients in ways that are comfortable for us,” says Terri Hanlon, COO of TriHealth’s Corporate Health program.  “We all want to do the right thing, but to provide patient-centered care we need to make an effort to understand what motivates patients.”

Interview with c2b solutions

Quality Matters sought to gain a deeper understanding of psychographic segmentation and interviewed c2b solutions about the details and application of its model.  The article, “Q&A: Using Market Research to Improve Health Care,” provides background on how the founders’ decades of experience at P&G helped them develop a highly predictive psychographic segmentation model for health care.  The articles overviews the five distinct psychographic segments, and provides insights on influencing each segment toward healthy behaviors.

The article also provides an example of how c2b solutions’ psychographic insights helped a large employer enroll employees who were at risk for metabolic syndrome – blue collar plant workers – into a twelve week intervention program.  Many of these employees fell into the psychographic segment (Willful Endurers) that was the least engaged with health care and most likely to have bad health habits. 72 percent of eligible employees enrolled in the intervention program. (Note:  This pilot was further detailed in the article:  Psychographic Segmentation Can Improve Employer Wellness Programs.)

Quality Matters asked whether training providers to be aware of psychographic differences helps them in their communication approaches. “The feedback that we are getting from providers is that these insights not only help them understand and interact with their patients better, but it helps them be introspective about themselves,” I answered.  “They begin to realize that their own personal lens biases how they communicate with patients and interpret their behaviors.”

If you would like to learn more about psychographic segmentation, please download our whitepaper, or contact us to discuss c2b solutions capabilities. 


Psychographic Segmentation and its Practical Application in Patient Engagement and Behavior Change


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