Archive for the ‘Obesity’ Category

Infographic: Weighing in on Obesity

December 12th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

Three in five adults agree that obesity is a significant problem in the United States, according to a new infographic by TeleVox.

The infographic looks at the growing obesity rates among males in the United States and how to address obesity.

Since its passage, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has sent major ripples across the healthcare landscape. ACA has also underscored the value of disease management in population health as a strategy to improve health outcomes and slam the brakes on healthcare spend.

38 Disease Management Metrics: Population Health Benchmarks to Drive Accountable CareTo illustrate the contributions of disease management across the care continuum, the Healthcare Intelligence Network has compiled 38 Disease Management Metrics: Population Health Benchmarks to Drive Accountable Care. Through a series of 38 graphs and charts, this 35-page resource dives deep into several years of market research to document the role and outcomes of disease management in 11 key areas, as well as the high-focus diseases and health conditions.

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Infographic: New Mobile Health Technology in 2024

February 28th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Technology is evolving at a fast pace, and healthcare is evolving with it. In 2024, mobile health (mHealth) technology will include contact lenses that monitor symptoms of diabetes, socks that track movement and monitor weight, and much more, according to a new infographic from BUPA.

This infographic looks at nine mHealth technologies that will monitor patients and aid in health management by 2024.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Integrating Mobile Health Remote Patient Monitoring with Telephonic Care Management for Improved Care Coordination Results. Want to know more about mHealth? During a March 19th webinar at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana's care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge, will share details of Humana's telephonic care management program and how these remote monitoring pilots will enhance their care coordination efforts.


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Infographic: Top Public Health Risks

December 11th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Obesity and smoking are among the top public health risks, according to an infographic from MPHOnline.org. In fact, the infographic shows that obese adults cost $1,429 more per year in medical costs than healthy weight adults. In addition, smoking causes serious illness in approximately 8.6 million people.

This infographic also identifies other public health risks, accompanied by statistics and information regarding causes and at-risk populations.

Top Public Health Risks

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You may also be interested in this related resource: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health Coaching.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Childhood Obesity, Dual Eligibles, ACOs, Patient Activation Measures

November 1st, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Last year at this time we watched with disbelief as Hurricane Sandy pummeled our East coastline. Schools closed, power shut down, and Halloween was officially postponed until early November when it was considered safe for children to trick or treat.

Our own town is still recovering from the storm; scarred, vacant houses share the same block as rehabbed homes on stilt-like platforms; trailers double for once elegant restaurants and broken docks and abandoned boats patiently ride the crests of ocean waves.

It was a rocky year for healthcare as well, from an early surge in Medicare ACOs, to the embattled introduction of ACA-mandated health insurance exchanges during a government shutdown.

But many things remained the same; childhood obesity rates continued to climb , as did public health efforts to control it, including counseling and nutritional guidance, according to a new trends report from NCQA. Poverty continued to plague many Americans, particularly dual eligibles, but companies like Wellcare did their best to help them by closing social gaps with health-oriented community connections looking to “give back,” as its vice president of advocacy and community-based programs executive director Pamme Taylor demonstrates in this week’s featured book excerpt.

Organizations like HealthEast and Mercy utilized clinical analytics technologies from Optum to better understand and manage treatment for patients with chronic conditions, and advance performance for its newly formed accountable care organization (ACO).

And doctors’ policies toward accepting new Medicaid patients in the wake of expanded coverage will most likely stay the same, according to a study from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. The decade-plus study found that physicians might be more likely to stop accepting those patients who remain uninsured, however, as our story details.

And lastly, self-management continues to result in better patient outcomes, according to researchers from the Boston Medical Center. Patient activation, or having the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to manage one’s health, leads to better health following hospital discharge, and lower readmission rates. Screening for patient activation could not only help hospitals identify patients at risk for readmission, but also inform the development of tailored, cost-effective intervention plans.

How did your healthcare organization fare in 2013? And what plans do you have the future? Tell us by completing our ninth annual survey on Healthcare Trends for 2014 and you’ll receive a free executive summary of the results. One respondent will win a training DVD of the "2014 Healthcare Trends and Forecasts" webinar recorded on October 30, 2013.

Infographic: Obesity in America and Beyond

September 26th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

More than one billion people worldwide are overweight and 500 million are obese, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

The United States currently spends $147 billion annually on medical costs related to obesity, according to a new infographic from HealthcareColleges. This infographic explains the extent of global obesity, projects future obesity statistics, and identifies what might be done to improve the current state of affairs.

Obesity in America and Beyond

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Obesity - Behavioral, Medical & Surgical Management, 3rd Edition.

Infographic: America, Land of the Obese

September 3rd, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Obesity is officially an epidemic, and it costs the healthcare system approximately $90 billion per year, according to the surgeon general.

In the United States, one in three adults and one in six children are considered obese, according to a new infographic presented by PhentermineWars.com. This infographic also identifies factors and risks, health concerns and deaths associated with obesity, current obesity rates, the top 10 obese states and more.

America the Obese

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You may also be interested in this related resource: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health Coaching.

Infographic: Sick! Epidemic of Chronic Diseases

August 29th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of deaths every year, which translates to higher healthcare costs and utilization rates.

Heart disease has been the leading cause of mortality for Americans every year since 1920, costing an annual $108.9 billion in healthcare and lost productivity, according to a new infographic from Best Master of Science in Nursing Degrees. This infographic identifies the top chronic illnesses, their costs and possible preventative measures.

Sick! Epidemic of Chronic Diseases

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Chronic Care Professional Manual 5.0 .

Healthcare Business Week in Review: High Cost of Smoking; 4 Healthy Habits; Expanding Medicaid

June 13th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

The High Cost of Smoking: Smokers cost more. That’s the bottom line from a new report from Ohio State University, the first study to take a comprehensive look at the financial burden for companies that employ smokers.

According to the study, U.S. businesses pay almost $6,000 per year extra for each employee who smokes, compared to the costs for employing workers who never smoked. Broken down, researchers estimated the following:

  • Lost productivity from smoke breaks cost employers more than $3,000 a year, by far, the largest drain on resources;
  • Extra healthcare costs for self-insured smokers came to $2,056;
  • Absenteeism from smoking cost $517 a year; and
  • Presenteeism, or reduced productivity related to the effects of nicotine addition, cost $462 annually.

The study focuses solely on economics and does not address ethical and privacy issues related to the adoption of workplace policies covering employee smoking. Increasingly, businesses have adopted tobacco-related policies that include requiring smokers to pay premium surcharges for their healthcare benefits or simply refusing to hire people who identify themselves as smokers. And while researchers acknowledge that providing smoking-cessation programs is an added cost for employers, they stress that employers recognize how difficult it is to quit smoking.

4 Healthy Habits to Reduce Heart Risk, Death: More bad news for smokers: those who otherwise maintain a healthy lifestyle will die sooner than those who do not.

According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University, exercising regularly, eating a healthy Mediterranean-style diet, maintaining a normal weight and, most importantly, not smoking can help improve heart health and reduce the risk of death.

Researchers found that adopting those four lifestyle behaviors protected against coronary heart disease as well as the early buildup of calcium deposits in heart arteries, and reduced the chance of death from all causes by 80 percent over an eight-year period.

Of all the lifestyle factors, researchers found that smoking avoidance played the largest role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and mortality. Smokers who adopted two or more of the healthy behaviors still had lower survival rates after 7.6 years than did nonsmokers who were sedentary and obese.

The findings corroborate recent recommendations by the American Heart Association, which call for maintaining a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and fish, keeping a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 25, being physically active and not smoking, researchers note.

Expanding Medicaid Best Option for States: Some bad news, or food for thought, for those policymakers not planning on expanding Medicaid in their states: they will leave millions of their residents without health insurance and increase spending, at least in the short term, on the cost of treating uninsured residents, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

If 14 states decide not to expand Medicaid under the ACA as intended by their governors, those state governments collectively will spend $1 billion more on uncompensated care in 2016 than they would if Medicaid is expanded, researchers say. In addition, those 14 state governments would forgo $8.4 billion annually in federal payments and an additional 3.6 million people will be left uninsured.

States that do not expand Medicaid will not receive the full benefit of the savings that will result from providing less uncompensated care, researchers note. But they will be subject to taxes, fees and other revenue provisions of the ACA.

Commercial Payors Lag Behind Medicare in Offering ACOs: And lastly, commercial payors aren’t offering as many upside-only payment structures that are most popular among early accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to an analysis by the Premier Healthcare Alliance.

The study of 85 payor arrangements found that more than one-third were for upside-only shared savings, most of which fall within the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) or Medicare Advantage (57 percent).

Other upside-only options were reported with Medicaid (7 percent), provider-owned plans (7 percent) and self-insured employers (7 percent).

However, upside arrangements are lacking in commercial markets. Among the ACOs analyzed, only 21 percent of commercial arrangements offer upside shared savings, and these were clustered in just four markets. In addition, agreements tended to be smaller in scope, usually for 5,000 covered lives or less.

Meet Nurse Turned Health Coach Jeaneen Mullenhard: Moving from Fixing Disease to Preventing it

June 7th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller


This month's inside look at a health coach, the choices she made on the road to success, and the challenges ahead.

Jeaneen Mullenhard, MSN, FNP-BC, CHC, CWC, owner of Fundamentally Healthy Coaching Program, specializing in weight loss and diabetes

HIN: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into health coaching?

(Jeaneen Mullenhard): I was a late bloomer. I got my original nursing diploma from the Maryland General Hospital School of Nursing. My first job after that was at St. Agnes Hospital on a medical surgical unit. I worked as a registered nurse (RN) in a host of different fields for about 20 years before I went back to college. I did inpatient, outpatient, insurance physicals, chart reviews; I was a legal nurse’s consultant, and a school health nurse. I also did pediatrics and ran pediatric free-standing urgent-care centers for a little while.

When I went back to college, at Bowie State University, I did an RN and MSN program, and received my family nurse practitioner (FNP) degree. My first job out of college was officially as an FNP with the Minute Clinic, one of the nationwide retail health clinics owned currently by CVS Pharmacies.

Every job I’ve ever had has taught me something. The one thing that really stood out to me as I progressed and moved forward in my FNP career was that it always seemed like we were chasing the cart. And by that I mean, always running to stamp out disease, never preventing it.

One of my more recent FNP jobs was for a national company that provides onsite healthcare clinics to some major self-insured employers. I was the clinical quality manager, and helped develop guidelines and protocols for the company on a nationwide basis. They were developing a health and wellness program, which is how I got exposed to health coaching. They sent me to Wellcoaches to learn about it, and I helped them develop 17 health and wellness coaching programs for their clinics. I thought, "I’ve only fixed disease, I’ve never prevented it before. That’s an interesting concept.” So it was a real eye opener for me, because I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to learn. I found that there was a tremendous amount to learn. And it actually helped me make changes in my own life.

Have you received any health coaching certifications? If so, please list these certifications

Because of my medical background and FNP degree I received both a Certified Wellness Coach and Certified Health Coach certification.

Has there been a defining moment in your career, perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?

The defining moment would have to be, as far as health coaching is concerned, when I participated in the Coach the Coach program at Wellcoaches. They pair coaches, so I had one of them coach me, and then I coached a different coach. Receiving that coaching has really been very important to me, because it helped me to keep myself well, focused and on track so that I’m better able to help my clients. And I see the difference in my own coaching, in how I approach things.

How has your medical background impacted your coaching?

For one, I don’t have to ask a lot of questions. I understand why people are saying, 'I have this, and my doctor said that.' But one of the drawbacks to having a medical background is, having done it so long, it is very hard not to flip and be the expert as opposed to the coach. I sometimes have to sit on my hands, bite my tongue and not say, “Really, this is how you need to do this.” Coaching is client-focused. Now I’m finding that I don’t want to be the person with all the answers. I want to help other people find their own answers that are going to work for them.

In brief, describe your organization.

I founded Fundamentally Healthy about a year ago. I specialize in helping people with weight loss, weight management and diabetes lifestyle management. It’s a single-person practice, with offices in both Severna Park and Stevensville in Maryland. I do some group coaching in my Diabetes Free Zone program, which is part of Diabetes Free America, where I help serve my diabetic clients and get everybody to share and open up, and it has worked very well. I also offer individual coaching, and some Medicare Wellness services. Now that Medicare has begun to cover those services, this will hopefully lead the way for other insurers to start looking at wellness services and coaching as a covered benefit. I also do independent health coaching for Take Shape for Life, a lifestyle management program focusing primarily on weight loss with some meal replacements, but mostly learning lifestyle changes, dietary changes, eating patterns as well as exercise, sleep and stress management.

What are two or three concepts or rules that you follow in health coaching?

First, that it’s a very safe zone. In order to really explore where your vision lies, and to really get down to basics, you have to be able to be honest with yourself. I tell my clients that it’s okay, no matter what they say, it’s more important to get it out there just so that they can hear or see it.

Second, that it’s also a positive zone. Everything should be focused on the positive. There are negatives that happen in our lives, and it's important to aknowledge them, but it’s more important to focus on the positives.

What is the single most successful thing that your company is doing now?

Right now, my company is doing a lot of community outreach to get the message out about what coaching is and how it can benefit anyone, no matter how young or how old you are. Not a lot of people in our area (rural to suburban on Maryland's Eastern Shore) know about health coaching. It’s a relatively new concept. Most people think it’s personal training. So I’m doing a lot of community outreach and free seminars, going to various community groups and speaking to them about health coaching.

What is the single most effective workflow process, tool or form that you are using in coaching today?

My most effective process is frequent communication. I conduct weekly coaching sessions with most of my clients. And I typically touch base with them via email twice in between sessions just to let them know that the support is there if they need it. If they're feeling challenged, they can email. If it’s an emergency, they can call. I want them to know that it’s not a once a week, one hour thing, it’s something they have to work at all the time and it doesn’t matter if it’s morning, night, there’s a link via email to connect with someone who is there to support them.

Do you see a trend or path you have to lock on for 2013?

With Medicare opening up and offering more wellness services, particularly obesity prevention services, that’s going to be a big impetus to get the wellness initiatives out there. And for 2013 the biggest thing is going to be about the resources available to promote those wellness initiatives.

What is the most satisfying thing about being a health coach?

For me the most satisfying thing is that I have an opportunity to work with people who truly are interested, invested and engaged in improving their health. I work part-time at an urgent care walk-in center and sometimes the only thing those clients are engaged with right then is: 'Make my fever go away, make my head stop hurting, make my ear stop hurting, make the cough go away.' It’s not about the underlying symptoms, how to get there. So it’s very nice to see that people are really interested in prevention, that they’re interested in making changes, that they’re invested in that.

What is the greatest challenge in health coaching and how are you working to overcome this challenge?

The greatest challenge right now is that private health coaching is not covered by insurance. I have recently engaged in dialogue with a physician who is a former deputy state health director. She is working with the state health insurance exchanges about the value of health coaching and having it included as part of those insurance exchange plans. I’m very excited about that.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland. My father was in the military, so we moved around a little bit. But home has always really been in the Maryland area.

What college did you attend?

I got my masters degree from Bowie State University in Bowie Maryland.

Is there a moment from that time that stands out?

Just that I survived, because I was an adult learner when I went to college. I had two teenaged daughters and a full time job.

Are you married and do you have children?

I am married to the same man for the last 30 years and I have two adult daughters. One is a physical therapist and my oldest daughter is married with two little boys, so I have two grandchildren.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?

Recently people have asked me that same question, and I always tell them my hobby is working. I don’t really have a hobby, to be honest. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like the grass to grow under her feet. So I do a lot of volunteer work. I am on the Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Obesity Prevention subcommittee, I am the treasurer for the Maryland Academy of Advanced Practice Clinicians, and I’m a member of various professional and civic organizations that do a lot of volunteer work. So my hobby is working.

Is there a book you recently read or a movie you saw that you would recommend?

The most recent movie that I saw that I would highly recommend was Lincoln. It was very well done and it was very nice to see our forefathers actually taking a few minutes and having some very reflective thoughts.

Any additional comments?

It’s a matter of moving forward. I really enjoy what I do and I love the opportunity to be able to get information out about health coaching, and about the value of it to our communities.

Infographic: The Cost of Obesity

May 15th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

Designed to shed light on the national epidemic of obesity, this infographic from the School of Public Health & Health Services at George Washington University illustrates the financial impact of obesity on U.S. communities and the overall economy, preventive measures the nation can take to positively affect change at a national level, and three key programs that are getting results.

Note: This infographic was the national winner in the 2013 Infographic Contest sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

Cost of Obesity

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You may also be interested in this related resource: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health Coaching.