Featured Articles                                                                                     July 2009, Vol. II, No. 3
Coaching Through Graduated Levels of Care

Participants in HealthScreen Disease Management's innovative chronic disease management (DM) programs now have the opportunity to “graduate” as they progress and demonstrate improvement in their condition state. Several benefit consultants see this trend as a future industry standard. Each program participant has their own personal nurse care manager who coaches and educates the patient about their condition, gauges medical compliance and assists with behavior modification toward a healthier lifestyle. The patient’s physician always remains in charge of the treatment plan. Waived and/or reduced prescription drug co-payments are used as an incentive. Participants also receive free condition monitoring devices. HealthScreen's Chairman and Medical Director Melvin Deese, M.D., notes that "personalized health coaching is more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach. As a participant improves, so should the employer’s cost to manage.” When the nurse care manager has evaluated a participant as being stable, the participant will move into the next appropriate level of care, which reduces the call/encounter frequency. This usually occurs anywhere from six to 12 months after a first round of constant, consistent coaching.

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Quotable: Multimodal Coaching

"Health coaching companies are seeing a lot of demand in the marketplace for multimodal coaching. People want it served up to them in the way that they want it. Some will want telephone, some will want Web, some will want e-mail-based, some will want complete self-service. That’s part of a new generation of coaching. We’ve got to be able to serve it up to the individual in the way that they want it.”
                                        — Roger Reed, Ph.D., chief consumer engagement architect for Gordian Health Solutions

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Coaching for Diabetes Care

Roche, the maker of ACCU-CHEK blood glucose monitoring systems and insulin pumps, has announced Creative Coaching, the latest component of its Behavior Change through Patient Engagement(SM) program. The program is an advanced educational program that fights the growing epidemic of diabetes by improving dialogue between diabetes educators and their patients. The program helps diabetes educators better engage and motivate their patients with the goal of more positive outcomes. Recent participants in the program say they value the foundation of adult learning styles and coaching skills. Other elements of Roche's Behavior Change through Patient Engagement program include education to healthcare professionals on psychological barriers to self-care, direct-to-patient education that helps adults, children and teens make self-management easier; and simple, paper-based tools that help patients discover how the actions they take every day matter.

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Finding Success in Health Behavior Change
A move backward in readiness to change should not be perceived as a failure on the client's part but rather as an opportunity to readjust behavior goals, observes Kate Larsen, president of Winning LifeStyles, Inc., an ICF-certified professional coach and a WellCoaches® faculty member and mentor coach. There's value in reminding clients that health coaching is a journey and in checking coaching egos at the door to improve listening skills and allow clients to own their behavior change goals, notes the author of "Progress, Not Perfection."

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Engaging Clients and Sustaining Motivation

Question: How do you engage your clients and keep them motivated to change their behavior?

Response: (Dr. Ruth Wolever) The first thing to do is to assess where they are in the stages of change. The way in which you would engage somebody differs according to the stage of change they are in. One of the things that’s fun and rewarding to be able to work with clients from a broad definition of health is that if an individual is not ready from a stages of change perspective, if they are not ready to work on a certain thing that might be helpful to them from a medical side, there are still other places that an individual can work in getting there. For example, we often find that individuals are unable, resistant or overwhelmed by the idea of adding an exercise program, until they have explored where they’re going to create space in their life for it. Many individuals need to figure out a way to clear their plates before they add another thing to it.

(Ruth Wolever, Ph.D., clinical health psychologist and director of research at Duke Integrative Medicine.)

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Health Coaching Focuses on Behavior, Motivation and Readiness to Change

Health coaches are at the heart of today's healthcare continuum, reflecting an industry shift from simply targeting chronic conditions to addressing all conditions within the disease management spectrum, with an emphasis on wellness and prevention. With data from real-life coaching initiatives, this white paper provides an overview of health coaching, the behavioral theories and training that support it and commentary from organizations that have implemented health coaching to reduce healthcare costs and improve population outcomes.

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