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UnitedHealth: Reminder Readers Get More Preventive Care

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Consumers who log in to personalized Web health sites and read health messages also tend to be conscientious about getting mammograms and cholesterol screenings.

Researchers at UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., have discovered the correlation between Web reminder reading and use of preventive care services while analyzing the effects of the company’s personal health message system.

UnitedHealth makes the system available to members of large employer groups and to participants in health reimbursement arrangement and health savings account programs.

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UnitedHealth uses database technology to tailor the messages to reflect the plan members’ age, gender and claims activity.

Women who logged onto their personal UnitedHealth Web pages and opened the personalized messages were 68% more likely to get mammograms and 63% more likely to get cervical cancer screenings than comparable women who did not log on or open the messages, UnitedHealth researchers report.

Plan members who opened a personalized health reminder message on their 50th birthday anniversaries were 82% more likely to get cervical cancer screenings, 71% more likely to have their blood pressure checked during a physician office visit and 31% more likely to get cholesterol screenings than comparable members who did not open the reminder messages, the researchers say.