Featured Articles                                                                                     Dec. 2008, Vol. I, No. 8
Benefits Coach Offering Underscores the Value of Staying Healthy

Healthcare consumerism is on the rise, as 47 percent of employers now have CDHPs in place for their employees. The upward trend puts individuals in a position to take responsibility for their personal healthcare choices, yet 93 percent of Americans report they are not well prepared to deal with their future healthcare costs. Enter Nationwide Better Health, a leading provider of health and productivity management solutions, that launched its new benefits coaching program. The first-of-its-kind program is designed to help individuals optimize their use of all of the benefits offered by their employer, resulting in higher satisfaction with the benefits available. The Nationwide Better Health benefits coaching program was created to help employees receive education about the employer-sponsored benefits available to them and determine which benefits are best matched to their lifestyle, personal and family needs. Additionally, the program educates employees about how to minimize their current and future healthcare costs, helping them secure a healthy future both physically and fiscally.

Read full article here

Quotable: Health Coaching & the Economic Climate

"Despite the financial downturn, companies are still looking for ways to cut on their healthcare costs. Health coaching is one of the solutions that they're looking to instill, and so I think that the job market for health coaches is just going to keep expanding as more and more employer groups and health plans look to health coaching as a solution for their members and employees."
                                        — Darcy Hurlbert, health and wellness product specialist, Ceridian Lifeworks.

Get more information on how to hire and train health coaches.

Health Information Site Provides Tools to Live Life to the Fullest

UnitedHealth Group launched myOptumHealth.com, a free consumer health and wellness Web site designed to assist the 76 million Internet consumers who look for health information online each month. While myOptumHealth.com is a free, public Web site, it also serves as a template for private health portals and consumer tools, including wellness coaching programs and incentive and communications services. The wide range of content that myOptumHealth.com offers provides users access to the same high-quality medical information used by OptumHealth’s care managers and wellness professionals, yet it is written in way that is easy for an average person to understand.

Read full article here.

Exploring Alternative Coaching Therapies

The definition of community in an individual's change process is unique to that individual, explains Dr. Karen Lawson, program director for the health coaching track at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In this interview, Dr. Lawson discusses healing and spirituality within the framework of a health coaching exchange and the appropriate moments for a coach to broach these subjects. While a health coach cannot be an expert in all available therapies, the coach can be a "curious explorer" who "dips their toes" into alternative health therapies and systems along with the client.

Listen to podcast here.

Health Coach Calls: Engaging Coaching Participants Via Web 2.0

Question: What tools do you employ when training your coaches?

Response: We use many tools. We’re not purists, we’re pragmatists. We do use a trans-theoretical model of change as our foundation, but we have constructed a 10-story building on top of that. There’s great utility to what Dr. James O. Prochaska has put together in the stages of change and being able to standardize training and semantics. We use many different influencing strategies that we teach our coaches. It’s not linear.

(Ted Borgstadt is founder and chairman of TrestleTree Inc.)

Get more information on evaluating and measuring coaching performance.

Health & Wellness Coaching in 2008

Health coaching — with its focus on wellness, prevention and healthy lifestyle choices — has established its value to the healthcare industry. HIN conducted an e-survey on health and wellness coaching programs and received responses from 235 organizations, many of whom have implemented successful coaching programs. This white paper discusses patient outcomes, factors that contribute to a successful program and the challenges of calculating ROI in a fledgling program.

Download complimentary white paper here.

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