The Well-Being Journal

Select Communities in Florida, California, Colorado and Texas Excel in Gallup-Healthways Rankings

Cameron Bowman

The importance of promoting well-being within a community cannot be overstated. While higher well-being not only has a tangible impact on lowering healthcare costs and improving job performance, it also signifies better quality of life, greater sense of purpose and closer relationships within a community setting. A new report from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® indicates that while many communities nationwide have high well-being, there is still room for improvement even at the highest levels. The report, entitled “State of American Well-Being: 2015 Community Well-Being Rankings and Access to Care,” examines the comparative well-being of 190 communities across the nation.

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida was the nation’s highest well-being community, followed closely by Salinas, California. Naples scores very highly in both purpose (4th) and social (6th) well-being and is particularly strong in community well-being, with a No. 1 placement in this element. Another Florida community, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, ranks No. 3 overall and is No. 1 in financial well-being. Corpus Christi, Texas is the No. 1 community for both purpose and social well-being, although lower rankings in other elements leave it at No. 35 overall. Boulder, Colorado, a community with the lowest level of obesity in the nation, is the No. 1 community for physical well-being. These and other select communities in Florida, California, Colorado and Texas are among the communities that lead in well-being, and communities from these four states account for 14 of the top 20 in the rankings.

On the other end of the spectrum, low well-being communities are spread out across a more geographically diverse group of states. However, Ohio claims five of the lowest 20 well-being communities. The lowest overall well-being community in the rankings, Charleston, West Virginia, also has the lowest physical well-being.

To discover where other communities — including yours —are ranked, download a copy of the report today. You can also subscribe to content from the Well-Being Index; by subscribing, we’ll let you know when we release new reports and insights from the Well-Being Index.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index uses a holistic definition of well-being and self-reported data from individuals across the globe to create a uniquely comprehensive view of societal progress on the elements that matter most to well-being: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. Previous Gallup and Healthways research shows that high well-being closely relates to key health outcomes such as lower rates of healthcare utilization, lower workplace absenteeism and better workplace performance, change in obesity status and new onset disease burden.

 

Topics: Basic Access Community Rankings

New Study Demonstrates Impact of Care Transitions in Preventing Hospital Readmissions

Cameron Bowman

To circumvent the $17 billion in preventable readmissions costs paid by Medicare each year, financial incentives imposed by the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) now penalize hospital and healthcare providers for unnecessary or excessive readmissions for several common diagnoses. These conditions include heart failure, pneumonia, heart attack, COPD, elective hip or knee replacement procedures and, beginning in October 2016, coronary artery bypass grafting.

In the past year, over 2,500 hospitals nationwide received penalties amounting to $420 million because they did not meet HRRP requirements, and of those, 38 hospitals accrued the maximum possible penalty. In order to avoid punitive measures, healthcare providers are increasingly concerned with improving overall quality of care and reducing the rate of preventable hospital readmissions. A recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care highlights the effectiveness of one solution aimed at lowering preventable readmissions through a comprehensive, patient-centric approach.

The Healthways Care Transitions Solution® demonstrated impressive results in real world analysis, reducing 30-day readmission risk by 25% overall and the odds of any readmission within six months by over half among program participants with readmission penalty conditions, including heart failure, heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or pneumonia. By addressing the underlying causes of preventable readmissions, rather than just managing the primary diagnosis, the program improved the overall health of patients and allowed hospitals to efficiently implement an effective approach to reduce the number of preventable hospital readmissions.

Through the use of science-based predictive modeling, the program is able to selectively deliver care to those patients at the highest risk of readmission prior to discharge. Additionally, trained clinicians complete follow-up interventions with patients telephonically to prevent readmissions post-discharge. The Healthways Care Transitions Solution represents the type of innovation that is increasingly in demand by health systems, physicians and patients.

Earning the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association, the acute and post-acute care transitions management solutions provided by Healthways succeed not only in effectively navigating the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, but also supports the interdisciplinary management of patients across the continuum of care.

For more information on the Healthways Care Transitions Solution, view our webinar or download our fact sheet.

To read the full study, click here.

Topics: Healthcare Trends in Healthcare Science and Research Care Transitions Solution

New Research Reveals State Rankings of Well-Being Nationwide

Cameron Bowman

Emphasis on well-being by community leaders, government, employers and other population health stakeholders has never been more prominent. Well-being captures how people feel about and experience their daily lives. It is directly correlated with important business and community metrics, such as healthcare utilization and cost, and productivity measures such as absenteeism and job performance. It is an effective gauge to assess and acknowledge environments where people can live their best lives and do their best work.

With the release of a new report from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, you can gain new insight into the state of well-being across the nation.

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The report, “State of American Well-Being: 2015 State Rankings”, provides an overview of well-being trends within the United States. As in prior years, well-being in the U.S. exhibits regional patterns. The northern plains and mountain west are higher well-being areas, along with some western states and pockets of the northeast and Atlantic.  The lowest well-being states are in the south and move north through the industrial Midwest.

Hawaii reclaimed the top well-being spot among all states in the U.S. with Alaska, 2014’s top state, claiming the second spot. Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Arizona and California rounded out the rest of the top 10. Kentucky and West Virginia continued to have the lowest well-being in the nation, ranking 49th and 50th, respectively, and have so for the past seven straight years.

To discover where other states — including yours — fall within the rankings, download a copy of the report today. You can also subscribe to content from the Well-Being Index. By subscribing, we’ll let you know when we release new research and insights from the Well-Being Index.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index uses a holistic definition of well-being and collects self-reported data from individuals across the globe to create a unique view of societies’ progress on the elements that matter most to well-being: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. It is the most proven, mature and comprehensive measure of well-being in populations.

Topics: Well-Being Index State Rankings

Well-being vs. the Traditional HRA: Who Wins?

Cameron Bowman

A productive workforce is a profitable workforce. Whether through management initiatives, outside consulting or wellness programs, employers are increasingly invested in understanding, quantifying, and ultimately improving productivity. The multi-billion dollar wellness industry claims to be able to achieve all three objectives, through identifying and mitigating health risks that may negatively impact productivity. However, while the venerable health risk assessment (HRA) remains a staple in the majority of workplace wellness programs, new research suggests that it may not be the most effective measure to guide efforts aimed at improving productivity.

Since the traditional HRA focuses almost exclusively on physical risk, many barriers to high individual performance, such as financial troubles and a disengaged work life, may be overlooked. By contrast, taking into account an individual’s well-being – which includes factors like emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, basic access to care, community quality and safety, and life evaluation in addition to physical health – gives a much more accurate picture of both current and future productivity levels. A new study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, verifies the distinct advantage of individual well-being measurement over an HRA in predicting changes in employee productivity over a two-year period.

The study found that change in well-being was the most significant independent predictor of productivity change across three measures: self-reported job performance, self-reported on-the-job productivity loss, and employer-reported unscheduled PTO use. The well-being assessment performed four times better than the HRA in explaining variances in job performance and nearly three times better for presenteeism. Even after removing the physical health aspects (physical health and healthy behavior domains) of the well-being score – aspects on which HRAs typically focus – well-being maintained its advantage over the HRA, confirming the importance of non-physical factors to workplace productivity.

With the amount of money spent on workplace wellness continuing to rise, investing in the correct tool to identify the factors that most affect productivity change over time can maximize not only your employee performance and well-being, but your bottom line.

To read more about the study, click here.

Topics: Well-Being Well-being Assessment