Health Plan Challenge

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

So far this year I’ve seen web-based healthy lifestyle “Challenges” from magazines, newspapers, TV shows and my health club, but not my health plan.

Curious to the sophistication and real-life applicability of these challenges, I registered this past weekend for one that caught my eye. After a quick registration, I provided some healthy lifestyle indicators to the one I chose – my weight and height, along with my waist, hip and thigh circumference.

I can now track my workouts and my food journals on this site. I also had the option to receive some healthy reminders via email each week.

Not a whole lot to it, but to me, very engaging. And now this site has an indicator of potential health risks for me.

Why did I take this “Challenge” when I have not completed a health risk assessment from my own health plan? It’s really just a matter of positioning. First of all, it was a “Challenge” that promises to deliver results. Secondly, there was a promise of prizes awarded throughout the length of the challenge.

Consumer engagement is one of the key elements in a successful health risk assessment (HRA), but an element that HRAs struggle to meet. Perhaps there are some lessons that healthcare organizations can take from the magazines, newspapers and TV shows on how to position the collection of this data.

I’ll keep you up-to-date on how my challenge progresses, but in the meantime, I challenge health plans to maybe learn a lesson from these web-based initiatives to see how they might possibly integrate with a HRA to maximize the results of these efforts.

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