Featured Articles                                                   January 2010, Vol. II, No. 9
Online Enrollment Boosts Participation in Telephonic Coaching

More than half of Nationwide Better Health's disease management participants and more than a third of its lifestyle management participants used an online scheduling tool to enroll in the programs and schedule coaching appointments at their convenience during the last month, reports the provider of health and productivity management solutions.

Claire Rossé, chief health and productivity officer for Nationwide Better HealthSM, says the online tool has made it easier for participants to enroll in the company’s telephonic coaching programs and to schedule their first call with their dedicated health coach. The enhanced on-line enrollment allows participants to automatically schedule appointments at their convenience, choosing the language, time zone and time of day that works best for them and indicating the telephone number they prefer their coach uses to contact them — all factors that are improving enrollment, said Rossé.

New enrollees take an online health risk assessment that uses a two-tier stratification process to place employees into the right programs based on their needs. Participants receive instant results, including a profile that calculates “heart age” and wellness score, recommended lifestyle health management options, a personalized dashboard to access their information and on-line programs, and a year-by-year comparison to track progress and signal areas for improvement.

Dedicated lifestyle health coaches create a customized clinically driven action plan for every participant, viewing each employee holistically and considering all of the participant’s risks, personal barriers and health goals.

Nationwide Better Health also offers disease management coaching for more than 20 different chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, along with maternity, medical, absence and disability management.

Get more information here.

Quotable: Motivational Interviewing

"Motivational interviewing is a technique used in behavioral change coaching. Motivational interviewing is defined as a directive client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. The resolution of ambivalence toward behavior change is a central purpose, and the counselor is intentionally directive. Compared with nondirective counseling, it is more focused and goal-directed. Both the RN coach and the behavioral health team member may have training in this technique.”
                                        — Barbara Wall is president and CEO of Hagen Wall Consulting.

Learn more about patient education and outreach.

Next-Generation Health Assessment

RedBrick Health has launched its own next generation, highly interactive health assessment. Integral to RedBrick’s Health Earnings System, the company’s new health assessment is compact, conversational and graphical, all significant departures from conventional health assessments.

“Traditional health assessment questionnaires feel like you’re taking a test,” said Kyle Rolfing, chief executive officer for RedBrick Health. “We believe that’s simply the wrong approach to engaging the majority of consumers in understanding and improving their health. Instead, we’ve taken a different angle and created a modern Web experience that has the feel of a conversation with a trusted coach. From start to finish, the health management experience has to be easy and fun for consumers.”

Once an employee completes the health assessment, RedBrick’s Health Earnings System combines the results with biometric screening data and medical/pharmacy claims data to provide participants with a real-time, personalized recommendations and program enrollment options. Employees can then immediately get started with the help of a “live” health coach by phone or alternatively use an online digital coaching option. At each point along the way, employees have multiple opportunities to earn financial rewards, such as reduced health insurance premiums.

Read the full article here.

Health Coaching Resolution: Measure the ROI
The dismal economy of 2009 has been a bright spot for health coaching and other health improvement programs, notes Dr. Jim Reynolds, chief medical officer for Health Fitness Corporation. Dr. Reynolds also compares early results from a Massachusetts smoking cessation program for Medicaid beneficiaries with outcomes in commercial populations, and describes what Year 1 of a coaching program for improved medication adherence might yield in the way of behavior change and cost impacts.

Listen to podcast here.

Integrating Patient Activation into Telephonic Coaching

Question: What is the best way to integrate the 13-question Patient Activation Measure™ (PAM) into telephonic programs?

Response: Besides the 13-question version of the PAM, there are also 10-item and two-item versions. The 10-item version loses some reliability; it is not a strong measurement, but it is still an acceptable measurement. The two-item version is more like a screener. From the two items, you can see with about 85 percent accuracy if the person is in the top half or bottom half of the activation scale. Since the two-item version does not give you a score, you cannot use it for tracking progress. However, it can help with triaging or segmenting. Eventually, you do want to do the full 13-item PAM.

(Judith Hibbard, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., is a professor of health policy at the University of Oregon and the lead developer of the Patient Activation Measure.)

Learn more about coaching tools to elicit behavior change, including the Patient Activation Measure.

HCH Readers Save 10% on Coaching Resource

To increase and maximize revenue, many health plans are focusing on the health risk assessment scores of the elderly population they serve, including Medicare members. Managing these risks can have a bottom line impact by reducing healthcare resource utilization through early identification and management of potentially high expense conditions. During Assessing and Predicting Health Risk in the Elderly, a 45-minute webinar on February 10, 2010, a senior medical director from Aetna will describe what to assess in the elderly population, how to match interventions based on risk score and the impact of this type of initiative.

HealthCoach Huddle subscribers should use ordering code HCH to register for this webinar at a special price!

Get more information on evaluating and assessing health risk in the elderly.

2009 Telehealth Benchmarks: Wired for Access and Efficiency

Telehealth is poised for growth in 2010. How are healthcare organizations utilizing telehealth and telemedicine? How prevalent is remote monitoring, and which medical conditions are most often monitored? How has telehealth impacted levels of healthcare access, efficiency, cost and patient compliance? The Healthcare Intelligence Network set out to answer these questions and others during its 2009 Telehealth e-survey. This executive summary of responses from 134 healthcare organizations identifies emerging trends in the use of telehealth and telemedicine and offers a glimpse into a healthcare future where no patient is left behind because of a lack of access.

Download complimentary white paper here.

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