Press Release

Embargoed Until Contact

February 15, 2013

Sue Ducat
Director of Communications
(301) 841-9962


Patient Engagement


Bethesda, MD --A new Health Policy Brief summarizes the key findings in the field of patient engagement and draws on the February 2013 issue of Health Affairs, entitled "New Era Of Patient Engagement."

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that patients who are more actively involved in their health care have better outcomes and incur lower medical costs. This finding is motivating health care organizations to better inform patients about their conditions and care choices, so they can be more fully involved in maintaining their health and making decisions about their care.


Topics covered in this brief include:


  • What's the issue? The brief describes what patient engagement and patient activation are and why they matter. It also describes various components of patient engagement, such as shared decision making.

  • Policy implications: The Affordable Care Act identifies patient engagement as an integral component of quality, and is reflected in several sections of that law.

  • What's next? There is wide agreement among experts that more research is needed to identify best practices and demonstrate more definitively the links between patient engagement and cost savings. There are also many barriers to patient engagement needing addressing, such as insufficient provider training, lack of incentives, time constraints, and better measurement tools.

Health Policy Briefs are produced by Health Affairs with ongoing support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This policy brief on patient engagement is also supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published periodically and health policy briefs published twice monthly at Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download weekly Narrative Matters podcasts on iTunes.