Nationwide, patients are being encouraged to take a greater role in their own health care, leading to better outcomes and lower costs. To assess the health engagement levels of individuals and populations, Altarum’s Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care (CCCHC) has created the Altarum Consumer Engagement (ACE) Measure™, a 21-item survey that assesses four domains of health engagement: commitment, ownership, informed choice, and navigation.

Payers, providers, and other organizations need a reliable, affordable measure that assesses engagement quickly and compre­hensively. CCCHC has spent the last 2 years investigating this topic, with support from Safeway, Inc., and discovered some unique dimensions that describe how people think about their health. These dimensions also predict some important health outcomes.

Levels of health engagement vary greatly. Knowledge and insight about a population or individual’s health engagement level are critical for effectively designing or targeting new programs. The ACE Measure covers areas not included in other surveys and is a good predictor of current health status, lifestyle health behaviors, medication adherence, and how likely it is that people will use tools to support their decisions.

Safeway uses the ACE Measure as part of its employee health strategy. Employees answer survey questions online and receive a personalized summary of their results, with customized tools, tips, and resources to help them become more engaged in their own health. Safeway uses the survey results to understand the health care preferences and behaviors of its employees, helping them adapt and monitor its employee health programs over time.

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Uses of the ACE Measure include the following:

  • Developing a Strategy. The measure provides insight into a population’s health engagement level so that you can design an effective consumer engagement strategy and spend limited resources wisely.
  • Benchmarking and Monitoring Engagement. The measure provides a simple metric to assess the impact of interventions designed to increase engagement and monitor changes over time.
  • Improving the Impact and Adoption of Health Programs. The measure identifies sub-segments of the population to target health interventions and allows specific communication strategies based on engagement level.

Altarum provides the ACE Measure free of charge to organizations that sign a license agreement and agree to share de-identified survey results with Altarum in our standard format. Altarum also provides a number of related services to the ACE Measure, including survey hosting, analytic reporting, benchmarking, and consulting.

Want to use the ACE Measure? It’s simple. We welcome interest from health plans, employers, provid­ers, public agencies, and health vendors who want to use this measure in new populations or assess its association with different outcomes. Contact us at ace.measure@altarum.org.

About the Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care

The Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care is making it possible for every health care decision to be informed by individual preferences on benefits, risks, and price. The Center bridges the payer, provider, research, and policy communities to measure, moni­tor, and investigate dynamic changes in consumer involvement in their own health care. Learn more at www.altarum.org/ccchc.