Member Engagement: A “Must-Have” for Health Plans Today

As Health Reform continues to unfold, the pace of change is picking up speed, as new models of reimbursement, care delivery and access are taking shape.

These shifts on the provider side should represent good news for millions of Americans that need better support from the healthcare system, especially since many of those with chronic disease aren’t currently getting recommended care. Coupled with the fact that most patients do not adhere to their medication and treatment regimens or recommended lifestyle and health behavior changes, and it’s easy to spot some of the challenges ahead.

Here’s where the payer side, particularly health plans, can really help.

Health plans have ready access to claims data and other relevant clinical information plus a direct line to their members for targeted messaging and clinical interventions. While not a traditional strategic imperative, health plans do have a significant opportunity to help drive behavior change, reduce risk, and produce positive health outcomes for their members.

Most plans already provide member portals and other helpful resources, and many have begun to focus on enhancing these activities and initiatives to enhance their value and impact. But, to compete effectively, in this rapidly shifting market, they will need to re-orient their mindset and approach to be far more consumer-centric.

Consumer Power

After a decade of slow growth, Healthcare Consumerism has begun to take hold. Participation in high deductible health plans (HDHPs) is at a record level with 23% of all those with employer-sponsored insurance now enrolled in an HDHP. Other emerging factors such as price comparison tools, quality ratings, and retail health alternatives will continue to put more power into the hands of consumers.

Health plans need to respond to this trend and design strategic solutions or partner with best-in-class service providers for their member populations. This puts a greater burden on member engagement outreach and interactions that are positive, relevant and trust-building.

This will not be easy. Recent surveys reveal a deep trust gap between insurance companies and their members. The KMB Group survey of 34,000 consumers, find that only 22% of members identify their health plans as a “trusted source.” This compares to 80% for physicians.

And this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) report indicates that customer satisfaction with health plans declined between 2013 and 2014, stating, “There is no area where health insurance companies offer an outstanding experience.”

Member Engagement

Member engagement is new territory for most health plans, and with Medicaid expansion, the influx of age-in Medicare members and the newly insured, it is increasingly important to provide consumer-oriented communications interactions, and interventions.

As Star Ratings and other quality metrics rise in prominence, and consumer brand preference and loyalty begin to become important factors, health plans will find themselves striving for excellence in consumer experience, though outstanding member engagement.

We see a number of areas that need to be addressed in developing an effective member engagement strategy:

1. Understand how consumers think and operate in their own health and healthcare world.

Health plans need to conduct a thorough and honest review of the outreach that goes to members, along with any and all on-going interactions, the customer service function, and related areas. This is the essential starting point for meaningful change and can help uncover insights about the consumer decision process. Additionally, areas such as behavioral economics provides many important learnings and can be a good guide for creating a messaging strategy to members.

2. Adopt a member-centric marketing system designed around their concerns and interests.

Using a consumer marketing mindset in establishing the communications strategy and identifying measurable actions, health plans need to become be a valued partner. Strategic messaging needs to be incorporated into all member touch points and aspects of outreach. Too many health plans still rely on dated letters from their Chief Medical Officer as the introduction to any number of health enhancement initiatives. Scrap them and find ways to make the content meaningful, relevant, and credible to the recipient.

3. Strategically align and integrate all health improvement service offerings.

Most health plans can check all the boxes relative to their service offerings in wellness, care management, disease management, pharmacy coordination, and an array of other services – but bringing them all together in a seamless solution is what members truly want and need. And by providing an overlay of measurement and feedback, plans can help ensure members receive what is most meaningful to them.

These are ways health plans can think about advancing their capabilities toward being member-focused and engagement-oriented. There’s a lot they can do to actually change member behavior, lower risk and contribute to better overall health outcomes – which should produce stronger margins and returns.

Health plans can learn and adopt many consumer marketing strategies from other industries, all of which can more create positive experiences in healthcare. In a consumer health plan market, the winners that emerge will likely be those that excel in member engagement.

Frank Hone is Chief Engagement Officer of Healthcentric Partners ( http://www.healthcentricpartners.com ), the first and only engagement strategy and marketing consultancy for employee health and well-being improvement. The firm supports companies committed to encouraging health behavior change in their workforce. Our strategic frameworks and consumer marketing orientation help increase participation in your programs. “We don’t create health and well-being improvement programs, we help ensure they connect and perform better.” Contact Frank at frank.hone@healthcentricpartners.com or call 917 375-7716.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Frank_Hone/270405

 

What Is The Focus of Worksite Wellness Today? – A Series – What Is Health? (Does It Matter?)

The field and practice of worksite wellness today basically revolves around three terms – health, wellness and wellbeing. Other terms also seen used include: thriving, flourishing, health promotion, optimal living and quality of life. But the big three are health, wellness and wellbeing.

Since these terms are used interchangeably or as synonyms, I have wondered just how different or the same these terms are? When I framed out this question in my mind, I thought it would be simple enough to just look-up their definitions and I would have my answer.

But, boy was I wrong. Definitions only got me so far and not very far at that. It appears that a clearer picture requires understanding the term’s concept and context, as well as its definition.

What Is Health?

Probably, the most commonly cited definition of health is the 1948 definition by the World Health Organization (WHO). “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The 1994 Mosby, 4th Edition, Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Dictionary defines health as: “A condition of physical, mental and social wellbeing and the absence of disease or other abnormal condition. It is not a static condition.”

Rice University defines health as being “a multi-dimensional concept that is usually and measured in terms of: l) absence of physical pain, physical disability, or a condition that is likely to cause death, 2) emotional well-being, and 3) satisfactory social functioning.”

Wikipedia sees health as being “the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental or social challenges.”

Fritjof Capra and Pier Luisi in their 2014 book, The Systems View of Life, define health as “a state of well-being, resulting from a dynamic balance that involves the physical and psychological aspects of the organism, as well as its interactions with its natural and social environment.”

The 2013 Edition 22 of Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines health as “a condition in which all functions of the body and mind are normally active.”

In Merriam – Webster’s 2006 Medical Dictionary, health is “(1) the condition of an organism or one of its parts in which it performs its vital functions normally or properly; the state of being sound in body or mind; freedom from physical disease and pain. (2) the condition of an organism with respect to the performance of its vital functions, especially as evaluated subjectively (How’s your health today?).”

Stedman’s 7th Edition Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing, 2012, has defined health as “(1) the state of an organism when it functions optimally without evidence of disease or abnormality; (2) a state characterized by anatomic, physiologic and psychological integrity; ability to perform personally valued family, work and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biologic psychological and social stress; a feeling of wellbeing; freedom from the risk of disease and untimely death.

Unlike health status which is a fixed state at any one specific point in time, health is a much larger concept. “Health is largely a subjective experience whose quality can be known intuitively but can never be exhaustively defined or quantified.” (Capra and Luisi, 2014) Health is therefore relative, subjective and multi-dimensional. How we define life will determine how we define health. Since life depends on the natural and social environments, so does our health.

When examining and considering definitions, it is important from a conceptual perspective to remember that definitions are only part of the perspective. For conceptual clarity, one also needs to consider context and relevancy as being equally important as areas to focus on as well.

Understanding health in relationship to worksite wellness is not as simple as defining the term.

Program Focus

What is the focus of your worksite wellness program? I invite you to let me help you create your own effective, successful and sustainable program. I specialize in mentoring worksite program coordinators and creating Done With You worksite employee health and well-being programs. You can contact me at williammcpeck@gmail.com.

Brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. Dedicated to helping employers and worksite program coordinators create successful, sustainable employee health and well-being programs, especially in both large and small employer settings.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_McPeck/1737577

 

What Is The Focus of Worksite Wellness Today? – A Series – Health As A Concept (Think About This!)

Health is certainly the focus of worksite wellness programs today. And you do want your program to have clarity of focus, right?

A look at the definitions of health doesn’t really help us to establish what health really is. Beyond the definitions, there are two ways to view health:

• The reductionist/mechanistic view

• The health creation or production view

The difference in these views can be seen in both the different definitions of health and how health as a concept is implemented or executed. These two different views see health as being either a personal choice, or as a social responsibility.

Health, when viewed through the reductionist/mechanistic lens, is considered to be either personal or individually determined. This view is about a link between health and the body. The reductionist/mechanistic view is a medical view of health. Health is seen as being a medical problem with medical solutions delivered by medical care.

In this view, health is medicalized. Medicalization is a process whereby non-medical problems and issues become defined and treated as medical problems, usually in terms of illnesses and disorders.

The conceptualization of health in this view is having a healthy body. Health as a goal is achieved by deliberate and intentional action. Health maintenance involves will-power, self-control, self-discipline and self-denial. Health is achieved through body maintenance in accordance with physical standards.

Worksite wellness programs today, with their focus on employee health status management, typically view health through the reductionist/mechanistic lens based on the medical model which focuses on organ related pathology within the individual. Health is viewed in medical and technical terms. This view fits right in with the individualistic and hard work core values of the American culture.

The creating or producing view of health looks at health as being more than just about illness. This view considers the role of social, environmental, economics and behavior as determinants and moderators of health. In this view, health is more than about the individual and is seen in human social and cultural terms.

When it comes to the creating or producing view of health, all the following matter:

• How we are treated in society

• How equitable society is

• How clean the environment is

• Living and working conditions

• How much control individuals have over their work and personal lives

In this view, health is a social responsibility and the belief is that socioeconomic circumstances are more powerful in creating or producing health than medical care. As seen through this view, the main determinants of health are:

• Factors unique to the individual

• Individual behavior/lifestyle factors

• Social and community networks

• Material living and working conditions

• General socioeconomic, cultural and environmental conditions

How many of these determinants is your current program addressing?

From a worksite wellness perspective, it is important to understand what causes ill-health and what is needed to create or produce good health. This understanding will help you determine a purpose for your program, along with making sure the programming and interventions are aligned with both the purpose and the organization’s culture.

The workplace is the ideal venue to unite these two disparate views of health. Worksite wellness should address both individual responsibility, as well as the socioeconomic and cultural viewpoints through the creation and support of healthy organizations with their positive, supportive workplace environments, climates and culture.

While recognizing and acknowledging conceptual differences, effectiveness and success in worksite wellness comes down to implementation, execution, programming, interventions and how the concepts of health are practiced in the workplace setting.

Execution Matters More

While concepts matter, execution of concepts matters more. I invite you to let me help you create your own effective, successful and sustainable program. I specialize in mentoring worksite program coordinators and creating Done With You worksite employee health and well-being programs. You can contact me at williammcpeck@gmail.com.

Brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. Dedicated to helping employers and worksite program coordinators create successful, sustainable employee health and well-being programs, especially in both large and small employer settings.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_McPeck/1737577

 

What Is Worksite Wellness All About? – A Series – What Is Health Status? (Consider This!)

The field and practice of worksite wellness today basically revolves around three terms – health, wellness and wellbeing. Other terms also seen used include: thriving, flourishing, health promotion, optimal living and quality of life. But the big three are health, wellness and wellbeing.

Since these terms are used interchangeably or as synonyms, I have wondered just how different or the same are these terms? When I framed out this question in my mind, I thought it would be simple enough to just look-up their definitions and I would have my answer.

But, boy was I wrong. Definitions only got me so far and not very far at that. As I was reviewing definitions, it occurred to me that worksite wellness programs today are not even necessarily about health, but more about employee health status. These two terms differ. So how do they differ? Based on the definitions and reading I have done health status is a state at a fixed point in time, as opposed to the more global, encompassing concept of health.

What Is Health Status?

The Stedman’s 7th Edition Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing (2012) definition is: “The level of health of an individual person, group or population as assessed by that individual or by objective measures.”

The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine (2001) defines the state of health as being the “degree to which physical and mental functioning are in equilibrium with the physical, biological and social environment.”

In his 1997 article titled Health Status Assessment, Stephen Wright uses the definition: “A focus on function and somatic sensation at a particular point in time.”

In the Segen’s Medical Dictionary (2012), the definition is: “A generic term referring to the health (good or poor) of a person, group or population in a particular area, especially when compared to other areas or with national data.”

The Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing (2012) definition is: “The level of health of an individual person, a group, or a population as assessed by that individual or by objective measures.”

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, their definition is: “The level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.”

The American Thoracic Society definitions are: “Health status is an individual’s relative level of wellness and illness by taking into account the presence of biological or physiological dysfunction, symptoms, and functional impairment. Health perceptions (or perceived health status) are subjective ratings by the affected individual of his or her health status. Some people perceive themselves as healthy despite suffering from one or more chronic diseases, while others perceive themselves as ill when no objective evidence of disease can be found.”

Rice University points out that “there is no single standard measurement of health status for individuals or population groups. Individual health status may be measured by an observer who performs an examination and rates the individual along any of several dimensions, including presence or absence of life-threatening illness, risk factors for premature death, severity of disease, and overall health. Individual health status may also be assessed by asking the person to report his/her health perceptions in the domains of interest, such as physical functioning, emotional well-being, pain or discomfort, and overall perception of health.”

On the Biology Online Website, “the level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.” is their listed definition.

When examining and considering definitions, it is important from a conceptual perspective to remember that definitions are only part of the perspective. For conceptual clarity, one also needs to consider context and relevancy as being equally important as areas to focus on as well.

How health status is determined is an important perspective when applied in a worksite wellness setting.

Health or Health Status

Is the focus of your worksite wellness program on employee health status, health, wellness or wellbeing? I invite you to let me help you create your own effective, successful and sustainable program. I specialize in mentoring worksite program coordinators and creating Done with You worksite employee health and well-being programs. You can contact me at williammcpeck@gmail.com.

This article is brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. I am dedicated to helping employers and worksite program coordinators create successful, sustainable employee health and well-being programs, especially in both large and small employer settings.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_McPeck/1737577

 

What Is Worksite Wellness All About? – A Series – The Health Status Concept (Today’s Approach)

The various definitions of health status indicate that it can be determined on the basis of both objective and subjective measures. Typically, in the workplace, it is determined on the basis of clinical biometric measures such as BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels and blood sugar level. These objective measures are derived through a process commonly known as biometric screening.

Since health status can involve both objective and subjective data, knowing these different data points is important.

Subjective Data Sources

• Biographical information

• Physical symptoms

• Past health history

• Family history

• Health beliefs and values

• Lifestyle

Objective Data Sources

• Physical characteristics

• Appearance

• Health, lifestyle and other behaviors

• Body systems functioning

• Measurements and screening results

• Results from lab testing

Since there is no standard for health status, it can be based on either objective or subjective data. Generally though, current approaches are focused almost exclusively on the effects of illness and the varying states of ill-health.

How individuals conceptualize their health has been shown to vary as a function of:

• Age and gender

• Social class

• Culture

This means that how they view their health status will vary as well. Given that the conceptualization can vary, it is important to make the assessment about the individual employee as a whole person and not just about their current biometric data. This means that the employee needs to be viewed in the various contexts that can and will influence their health and not just as an isolated individual. An effective health assessment requires a contextual awareness and understanding in addition to observing and understanding any objective measurement and test results.

Despite the worksite wellness community’s heavy reliance on objective measures as indicators of health, I found it interesting to read that “self-assessed health contributed significantly to the prediction of mortality, even after controlling for a wide array of objective health indicators.” (Wright, 1977)

In his book, Healing Beyond the Body, Dr. Larry Dossey wrote: “Our own opinion about the state of our health is a better predictor than physical symptoms and objective factors such as extensive exams, laboratory tests or behaviors.” Dr. Dossey also wrote that how people answer the question “Is your health excellent, good, fair, or poor is a better predictor of who will live or die over the next decade than in-depth physical examinations, and extensive laboratory tests.”

The quotes by Wright and Dossey are particularly note-worthy given the worksite wellness community’s heavy promotion of workplace biometric screening results as being indicators of an employee’s health status. Given that health can be defined in very broad conceptual terms and health status can be very subjective as well, it might behoove the worksite wellness community to take a look at its current approach to wellness being limited to just individual employee health status that is based on biometrics and health risk assessments.

When it comes to the status of an employee’s health, the worksite wellness community would be wise to look beyond just the results of biometric screenings.

Resources

Dossey, Larry. MD. 2001. Healing Beyond The Body. Boston: Shambhala Publications.

Wright, Stephen. 1997. Health Status Assessment in Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine. Baum, Andre. Newman, Stanton. Weinman, John. West, Robert. McManus, Chris. (Eds.) New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wellness or Health Status

Employee wellness and wellbeing programs can deliver considerable value to an employer. I invite you to let me help you create your own effective, successful and sustainable program. I specialize in mentoring worksite program coordinators and creating DWY (done with you) employee health and well-being programs. You can contact me at williammcpeck@gmail.com.

This article is brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. I am dedicated to helping employers and worksite program coordinators create successful, sustainable employee health and well-being programs, especially in both large and small employer settings.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_McPeck/1737577

 

Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

We recommend : HotAngels , VipZone , JadePalace , ThaiPassion

After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.