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Updated October 29, 2007

Healthcare Trends in 2008: Wellness Coaching an Investment in Prevention

In this excerpt from an October 10, 2007 webinar on Healthcare Trends and Forecasts in 2008, Elizabeth Opland, director of product development and deployment at Gordian Health Solutions, predicts the impact that health coaching will have on the wellness sector in the year ahead:

Wellness is an active, lifelong process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is so much more than being physically healthy and avoiding disease. We see it as being based on strength rather than deficit. There’s a whole new area of psychology called positive psychology that is being embraced across the nation, in both industry terminology and pop terminology.

Also, wellness is proactive, not reactive. Twenty-five percent of all health costs are preventable. By addressing unhealthy lifestyle choices and behaviors, then we are able to avoid ongoing factors that lead to chronic illness.

The opportunity to impact modifiable health risks is growing as the prevalence of these risks is growing, and obesity is one example. Since 1980, there has been an upward trend. The decision to engage in healthier behavior upstream, such as getting nutrition and exercise, could have seriously moderated the obesity epidemic. In a study of factors contributing to premature mortality, it wasn’t access to care, genetics, or environment that pose the greatest barriers to health, but behaviors. Thus, the wellness or lifestyle coaching industry was born to help people change behaviors.

Another way of framing this is to argue that wellness coaching is an investment in prevention. By identifying and managing the at-risk and acute care users, we can identify about 60 percent of next year’s high-cost group. That moves again to upstream prevention and reduction of costs associated with the development and care of chronic illness.

Source: Healthcare Trends and Forecasts in 2008, October 10, 2007

Healthcare Trends and Forecasts in 2008, October 2007 Webinar

During this 90-minute webinar on CD-ROM, experts from key areas of healthcare examined the trends that are shaping today's healthcare industry. You'll hear from Dr. Peter Kongstvedt, a partner in the health and managed care consulting services division of Accenture, on health plan trends, Nathan Kaufman, managing director for Kaufman Strategic Advisors, on hospital trends, Dr. Joel Diamond, partner, with Diamond, Fera & Associates and chief medical officer at dbMotion Inc., on trends impacting physician groups and Elizabeth Opland, director of product development and deployment at Gordian Health Solutions, on trends impacting the wellness and health promotion sector.

Healthcare Trends and Forecasts in 2008, October 2007 audio conference is available from the Healthcare Intelligence Network for $277 by visiting our Online Bookstore or by calling toll-free (888) 446-3530.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the business of healthcare. It is distributed with the understanding that Healthcare Intelligence Network is not engaged in rendering legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be retained.

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