Posts Tagged ‘preventive care’

Infographic: The Case for Preventive Care

May 4th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Counseling, screenings, wellness visits. These are a just a few avenues that employers take to help employees improve health, increase productivity and reduce costs, according to a new infographic by osWell Health Management.

The infographic provides background data on the impact of chronic conditions on healthcare costs and employee productivity and the potential impact of preventive interventions.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care ManagementThe desire to improve health outcomes for individuals with serious illness coupled with opportunities to generate additional revenue have prompted healthcare providers to step up chronic care management initiatives. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now reimburses physician practices for select chronic care management (CCM) services for Medicare beneficiaries, with more private payors likely to follow suit.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care Management captures tools, practices and lessons learned by the healthcare industry related to the management of chronic disease. Click here for more information.

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Infographic: Opportunities for Wearables in Preventative Healthcare

October 10th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

An estimated 25.1 percent of U.S. adults use a fitness tracker or smart phone app to track their health, weight or exercise, according to a new study by TechnologyAdvice.

Highlights from the survey are depicted in a new infographic, which also examines the reasons why people don’t use apps or trackers and factors that would drive adoption.

Wearable Technology and Preventative Healthcare

E-Healthcare Systems and Wireless Communications: Current and Future Challenges The goal of E-Healthcare Systems and Wireless Communications: Current and Future Challenges is to explore the developments and current/future challenges in the successful deployment of future e-Healthcare Systems. The book combines the research efforts in different disciplines from pervasive wireless communications, wearable computing, context-awareness, sensor data fusion, artificial intelligence, neural networks, expert systems, databases, security and privacy. E-Healthcare Systems and Wireless Communications: Current and Future Challenges will be a pioneer reference in this field and will resonate sharply with researchers who have been craving a unified reference in the field of e-Healthcare Systems.

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Infographic: Large Employers Lead the Way With Worksite Wellness

September 10th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

As a growing number of employers realize the impact that employees’ health has on the bottom line, the number of employer-sponsored wellness programs has increased with larger employers leading the way.

An infographic by MBA Healthcare examines the types of wellness programs that employers are offering and the impact the programs have on employee health.

Big Companies Leading the Way in Preventive Care

7 Patient-Centered Strategies to Generate Value-Based ReimbursementHealthcare companies seeking a roadmap to richer reimbursement should begin with the seven value-based healthcare priorities for 2014 identified by the healthcare C-suite: population health management, care coordination, integrated care delivery, e-health and telehealth, access to care, health and wellness, and dual eligibles. 7 Patient-Centered Strategies to Generate Value-Based Reimbursement explores the seven healthcare areas ripest for development in 2014, prioritized by 136 respondents to HIN’s ninth annual Trends & Forecasts survey.

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Infographic: Bridging the Income Divide in Healthcare

October 31st, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Although healthcare reform promises to make healthcare more affordable for lower-income families, there is still a noticeable gap in care between economic groups.

If healthcare for low-income populations in all states met benchmarks set by higher-income groups in the best-performing states, 30,000 low-income adults and children would have health insurance, according to a new infographic from the Commonwealth Fund. This infographic also presents several other outcomes of bridging the healthcare income divide.

Bridging the Income Divide in Healthcare

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Metrics, Models and Engagement.

Infographic: Health Reform and Women

October 21st, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

The January 1, 2014 ACA individual mandate deadline is approaching. Many women will reap the benefits of this legislation, according to a new infographic from Geisinger Health Plan.

The law prohibits health insurance companies who sell individual and small group health policies from charging women higher rates than men for coverage, which 92 percent of health plans currently do. This infographic also outlines the benefits the ACA will provide women regarding extended coverage, pre-existing conditions, preventive care, Medicare, maternity coverage and more.

Health Reform and Women

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Accountable Care: Bridging the Health Information Divide, First Edition.

6 Data Analytics Driving Successful Population Health Management

April 2nd, 2013 by Jessica Fornarotto

population health data analytics

Webinar Replay: Achieving Population Health Management Results in Value-Based Healthcare

The development of a successful population health management (PHM) effort starts with the data and the data analysis, states Patricia Curran, principal in Buck Consultants’ National Clinical Practice. Curran describes the role of data and data analysis, the six critical PHM data areas, and the “influences” and the “influencers” that affect a population’s road to better health.

Where are we today and where do we want to be in the future? All of the data that you can gather is carefully evaluated to consider several points: the culture of the company and the employees, the business objectives, the health literacy of the population, compliance and risk scores and the utilization trends.

Data is essential to understanding the population you wish to manage and designing programs to meet the needs of a specific population. Buck Consultants takes all the raw data that we can gather, analyzes it, and transforms it into knowledge. The ‘aha’ moment is when it all comes together and we use it to build a strategy for an organization’s PHM program. It’s important to use your own data to identify the population’s specific needs and target your program to those needs. There are six areas that form the foundation for a successful PHM program:

  • Clinical data is biometric data or lab data, and possibly health risk assessment (HRA) data, that helps identify risks and cost drivers and is used to monitor the program’s success.
  • Utilization data would be the utilization patterns. For example, how are people accessing their healthcare?
  • Adherence is beginning to replace the word ‘compliance.’ This refers to how well members and providers are adhering to evidence-based medicine guidelines. Are they filling their prescriptions consistently? Are they getting preventive care?
  • Operational data is participation data, productivity data, disability data and other information that helps to monitor and develop the programs.
  • Financial data shows how this healthcare activity that you’re offering translates to dollars and opportunities for real hard dollar savings. This data is key in order to get senior management support and finances to continue the program.
  • Satisfaction data is necessary to monitor how participants and your key stakeholders view your efforts.

Part of the data analysis also includes identifying all the things that influence the decisions people are making and the influencers that are affecting what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, influencers might be spouses, family members, friends, healthcare providers, and employer management staff. Influences might be a fear of financial issues, ignorance, indifference, and inconvenience.

Take this scenario as an example: an employer may have a goal to increase the level of mammogram participation or people getting mammograms on a regular basis. They bring in a mobile unit to provide on site mammograms. But after they do this, they find that there is still no change with mammogram compliance. They will then go back to their employee population and discover that the reason they didn’t have any improvement was because the supervisors on the line didn’t allow people off the line to participate. The line supervisor is the influencer that needs to be identified and rectified before there’s going to be any change.

Meet Embedded Health Coach Dr. Bud Harris – Engaging Truckers’ Heads, Hearts and Hamstrings in Triathlons

October 12th, 2012 by Cheryl Miller

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

Dr. Bud Harris, cWC, cPT, Senior Wellness Coach, Wellness Coaches USA

HIN: Can you tell us a little about your background after high school and how you got into health coaching?

After high school I joined the United States Air Force (USAF) as an electronic technician. I lived and worked in Turkey, Sicily, Morocco, Greece and Germany. After 10 years of USAF service I became a licensed electrician; I’d developed an interest in safety and health and began running shop safety committees. I remained in the safety and health field while pursuing my master’s degree and eventually completed a doctorate in safety engineering with an emphasis on health and wellness promotion in the safety role. It was my doctoral research that led me to wellness coaching and to the WellCoaches organization. I have now been preventing injuries for the past four years instead of investigating them.

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

I am a certified WellCoach (cWC), and I recently became WELCOA faculty, having completed five of their workplace university certifications.

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

You bet! When I was managing the Health and Safety program at Tyco Electronics PI, I volunteered to take over the wellness role from a short-staffed human resources department, believing that a fit workforce was a safer workforce. I developed stretch breaks, started an indoor walking program, organized plant sports leagues and increased membership in the on-site gym from 200 to 500. My “Self Matters” initiative was nominated for the Tyco International Safety and Health Excellence Award.

In brief, describe your organization.

I work for Wellness Coaches USA (WCUSA), an on-site face-to-face wellness coaching company in the United States. I am embedded in the workplace and have an office in a trucking terminal in Portland, Ore. WCUSA can be found in all industries. For example, They have five coaches in the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas and 45 coaches in trucking terminals across the United States for my client alone.

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

  • My belief is that nobody is broken and that we are all on a path, and that some need more guidance than others to stay on a healthier path.
  • While being a good listener is paramount, my goal and role is to inspire my clients to develop their own wellness vision by taking baby steps towards their best self. My motto is: Engage the head, then the heart and finally the hamstrings.
  • Unless there is a strong reason against it, procrastination, mediocrity and complacency have a tendency to creep back into one’s life.

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

The Certified Stretch Leader program is a peer based stretch program I developed in 2010, and modeled after the one I was involved with at Intel Corporation. In the freight industry, many truckers experience lower back issues and soft tissue injuries. Besides teaching proper lifting techniques, I instruct all of my trucker clients to engage their core and increase their range of motion in order to decrease the risk of injury. We do a series of eight stretches that target and prevent the top three injuries, which are lower back, shoulders and hands and wrists. I have certified 21 peer stretch leaders (including truckers, mechanics, and supervisors) who lead stretching at all of the shift safety start-up meetings. I have documented this program and it has spread across our clients’ trucking network and many of my peer wellness coaches for this client are using it to prevent injuries.

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

Each month, a health promotion topic is hand delivered to all clients, at which time clients can ask questions about the topic or anything else they are interested in: gym membership, diets or some muscle pain they may be having. Oftentimes, it is during these brief meetings that formal consultations and eventual coaching conversations are initiated.

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2012/2013?

Oh yes! Out of pocket healthcare costs are a big concern for many of my clients. So digging deeper into the Affordable Healthcare Act is on my short list. In addition, gaining the coaching skills to lead people to the obvious conclusion that taking preventive care of themselves is wiser than focusing on the current sick care industry is another priority.

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

When my clients move from the contemplation phase to the action phase. I have inspired many clients to complete either a full sprint triathlon or part of one on co-worker teams. We are in our fourth year of Truckers to Triathletes (T2T), a program I developed in 2009. It started with one trucker and on July 29, 2012, we entered seven T2T teams at the Amica Mid Summer Triathlon and took home five team medals.

In fact, the T2T program received national and company exposure. On October 15, 2012 I flew to our WCUSA headquarters in Pennsylvania and received the first annual WCUSA Coaches Excellence Award for Innovation and Creativity. Pilot Flying J, the largest truck fueling stop in the United States, sponsored me and four of my T2T trucker athletes to fly to Anderson, S.C. to race in the S.C. Rev3 Triathlon, competing against the best triathletes in the world. It really has taken me by surprise. It all started with coaching one trucker to do a triathlon. Trucker John lost 50 pounds, and (the better story) his son also lost 50 pounds as they trained together for triathlons.

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

The time constraints for sure. Most of my coaching sessions last two to five minutes as trucking is a fast-paced business. Our company has an internal coach training program and all of the coaches are enrolled in the CoachWell program. We get detailed training on what they call Laser Coaching which oftentimes leads to longer consults off the clock.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Hemet, Calif. but grew up in a small town in the Sierra Nevada high desert on Lake Isabella, Calif. in Kern County.

What college(s) did you attend?

I spent 20 years in night college and university while working full-time with a family. After I dropped out of Bakersfield Junior College in 1979 I joined the USAF. After five years I started night school and received my AAS in electronics systems technology through the community college of the Air Force. My BAS in managerial leadership is from Northwest Christian College and my master’s degree in organizational management is from the University of Phoenix online campus. My Ph.D. in safety engineering is from Kennedy-Western University.

Is there a moment from that time that stands out?

Yes, when I made the decision to focus my doctoral dissertation on workplace wellness and its affect on worker safety. That decision alone is what shaped my destiny and led me to WellCoaches and WCUSA. I love what I do now.

Are you married? Do you have children?

Yes, I married a beautiful Danish girl, then Marie Christine Hansen. I met Marie while I was stationed on the Isle of Crete, Greece. I was in the USAF and she was on vacation. We met at a disco and were married 18 months later on the USAF base in Crete and later with both families and friends attending in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have two daughters, Erika (24), who was born in Denmark, and Elisia (21). Erika is a dental hygienist and Elisia is mom to my granddaughter Payton (18 months) and will give birth to twin boys shortly.

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

Biking! When I was very young, about five years old, I would visit my grandfather over the summer. He would go to the wrecking yard and bring home piles of old bikes. He would then take my little brother Donie and me to the Thrifty Drugstore to buy tubes and tires and we would fix the bikes up and put them out on the street to sell for $5. Then when I was 13, a local bike shop went bankrupt and my brother and I bought out their spare parts for $300 and started B&D Bike Shop. We then followed what my gramps had taught us. My dad took us to the junkyard and we bought a pile of used bikes and refurbished them and sold them out of our garage. That was fun and kept us busy on weekends while earning spending money.

Today I have a small fleet of bikes in my garage, do triathlons and enjoy biking with my wife and daughters often. I started the City of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Bike Program in 2005 and in 2008 REI granted me 10 very nice mountain bikes that I haul around in a city trailer and use to teach a youth program I developed called “Ready Riders Rock (R3).” As an Eagle boy scout, I added components of trail stewardship and responsibility, teach proper stretching, hydration and nutrition and bike maintenance. All grads receive a diploma and are expected to mentor these skills within their peer circles. I am also the part-time biking program director for Parks and Recreation and for the third year took the 10 mountain bikes up to our local state park for the international “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” (IMBA) and teach kids the art of trail riding in both a positive and safe way.

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

Yes, both. The 2003 documentary “The Secret” does a great job of simplifying the universal Law of Attraction which says: what we think about we will bring about. So, if we are always thinking about how bad things are, we will attract more of that into our lives. This law or concept is really hard to teach as most people believe their thoughts are on autopilot and that they have no control over them, when in reality we can choose to focus on our goals or upcoming family events. But most people don’t.

The book, “Why our Health Matters” by Dr. Andrew Weil, is my other recommendation. The book details the current sickcare system of medicine practiced in the United States and paints a picture of how integrative medicine is a better way, using low tech strategies like wellness coaching and yoga for those with depression, diabetes, obesity and hypertension instead of costly high tech surgeries and medicine. It is a must read for those that want to hear an MD discuss a better future and show us what that system would look like.

Any additional comments?

I invite you to visit my coaching Web site.

10 Hallmarks of a Health-Literate Organization

August 23rd, 2012 by Jessica Fornarotto

Recorded Webinar: Patient Engagement in the Patient-Centered Medical Home — A Continuum Approach

Leadership committed to health literacy and easy access to health information are two attributes of an organizational environment that fosters health literacy, suggests a new study reported in the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

It is possible for a healthcare system to redesign its services to better educate patients in the handling of immediate health issues and also become more savvy consumers of medicine in the long run, says the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) study. The study identified ten attributes that healthcare organizations should adopt to make it easier for people to better navigate health information, make sense of services and better manage their own health — assistance for which there is a profound societal need.

The ten attributes of a health-literate organization are:

  1. Has leadership that makes health literacy integral to its mission, structure and operations.

  2. Integrates health literacy into planning, evaluation measures, patient safety and quality improvement.
  3. Prepares the workforce to be health-literate and monitors progress.
  4. Includes populations served in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health information and services.
  5. Meets the needs of populations with a range of health literacy skills while avoiding stigmatization.
  6. Uses health literacy strategies in interpersonal communications and confirms understanding at all points of contact.
  7. Provides easy access to health information and services and navigation assistance.
  8. Designs and distributes print, audiovisual, and social media content that is easy to understand and act on.
  9. Addresses health literacy in high-risk situations, including care transitions and communications about medicines.
  10. Communicates clearly what health plans cover and what individuals will have to pay for services.

Some 77 million people in the United States have difficulty understanding very basic health information, which clouds their ability to follow doctors’ recommendations, and millions more lack the skills necessary to make clear, informed decisions about their own healthcare, said senior author Dean Schillinger, MD, a UCSF professor of medicine, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at SFGH, and director of the Health Communications Program the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at SFGH. “Depending on how you define it, nearly half the U.S. population has poor health literacy skills. Over the last two decades, we have focused on what patients can do to improve their health literacy,” said Schillinger. “In this report, we looked at the other side of the health literacy coin, and focused on what healthcare systems can do.”

The importance of enhancing health literacy has been demonstrated by many clinical studies over the years, said Schillinger. Health literacy is linked directly to patient wellness. People who can understand their health information tend to make better choices, are able to self-manage their chronic conditions, and have better outcomes than people who do not.

Adults with low health literacy may find it difficult to navigate the healthcare system, and are more likely to have higher rates of medication errors, more ER visits and hospitalizations, gaps in their preventive care, increased likelihood of dying, and poorer health outcomes for their children.

Many health policy organizations have recognized that health literacy is not only important to people, but it can also benefit society because helping patients help themselves is a way to keep healthcare costs down. Successful self-management reduces disease complications, cuts down on unnecessary ER visits and eliminates other wasteful spending.

Click here for more information and for a complete description of the ten attributes.