The Well-Being Journal

Attract Today’s Seniors and Impact Star Ratings

Jennifer Rudloff

Senior Couple on ScooterIn America, more and more people are living into their 80’s, 90’s and beyond. Each day over the next 18 years, 8,000 baby boomers join a population of seniors age 65+ that’s already larger than it’s ever been. And out of this growth, a new kind of senior is born. Gone are the images of rocking chairs and knitting needles. Today’s senior is tech savvy, uses a computer regularly, and seeks information from online sources. This shift in population demographics represents a huge opportunity for those serving this population.

With star ratings raising the profile of quality measure, Medicare Advantage plans can gain a competitive advantage with strategies that recognize the importance and value of proactive health support. Healthways can help. Our proven Senior Well-Being Improvement Solution takes a multifaceted approach to keeping the healthy healthy and managing chronic conditions. Designed to immediately impact star ratings, our senior solution includes the following:

  • Healthways CMS-approved Senior Well-Being Assessment (WBA) explores challenges specific to seniors, and delivers an insightful view of member health history, status, social and emotional health, and health related behaviors.
  • Personalized Well-Being Plans are generated using data from the Senior WBA; plans recommend behaviors for improvement and relevant action steps for individual health risks.
  • Guided online improvement is delivered via Well-Being Connect, an easy to use online tool designed to impact behaviors that directly influence star ratings like self-management, appointment adherence, healthy eating, and weight management.
  • Innergy™ and QuitNet® address obesity and tobacco use, two of the biggest risks for health care and costs, and provide targeted support to at-risk individuals as identified by the Senior WBA.
  • Senior focused telephonic health coaching provides support to drive risk reduction, behavior change, long-term health care savings, and star ratings gains for high-risk seniors.

And when it comes to engagement, we’ll do the legwork for you. Our solution includes built in engagement support from our award-winning marketing engagement team. Our fully developed, easily customized communications campaign drives initial and ongoing participation.

To learn more more about how we can help you drive star ratings and gain competitive advantage, visit our solutions page and choose Medicare/Senior Specific Support, or contact us today.

Topics: CMS Healthcare Seniors Star Ratings Prevention Healthways Medicare Advantage

Four Ways to Make Yourself Happier at Work

Jennifer Rudloff

Even the best jobs can be a drag sometimes — and many of us have far from the best jobs. On April 16, Forbes offered some sage advice on how to make your work life a more pleasurable part of your real life.

  • Ask your boss to make small alterations to your job description. There may be skills you aren’t using to your fullest, and a little bit of variety can stop your job from becoming repetitive and boring.
  • Try to cultivate more opportunities to work with people you get along with, both internally and externally. They’re the ones who make your job less burdensome, after all.
  • Work on office friendships. Having a confidant in the office can be important for managing the day-to-day stress of your job. Don’t be a loner.
  • Treat your body right: On tough days, it can be hard not to sack out after work. But if you maintain your exercise routine, eat healthy, and try to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll not only be a better, more productive worker, but happier and more energetic — and in a better position to negotiate the kind of changes you’d like to make in your job.

Reposted from MeYou Health's Well-Being Wire

(Photo © Victor1558 via Flickr)

Topics: Workplace Well-Being

Avoidable Cost Model Yields Big Savings

Jennifer Rudloff

When it comes to healthcare spending in the United States, there are some shocking facts:

  • By 2020 annual healthcare spending is estimated to reach $4.64 trillion dollars. (That’s a big chunk of change.)
  • In 2009, healthcare spending accounted for 17.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And by 2019, it’s projected to reach 19.3% of GDP.
  • America’s healthcare spending is projected to grow at an annual average rate of 5.8% from 2010 to 2020. (That’s a growth rate 1.1% faster than the expected growth in GDP.)

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the help of timely interventions, a significant portion of this burden could be avoided. By taking a holistic approach to health and well-being, monitoring the entire population (both diseased and non-diseased members) we can deliver impactful, personalized interventions to members in the greatest need. That’s the philosophy behind Total Population Health, but it hasn’t always worked out that way in practice.

Historically, organizations have relied on risk assessments, age/sex demographics, and pharmacy based models designed and used in disease management to identify members in the greatest need of these programs. But these models are flawed – they often rely on cost triggers to target individuals who exceed a certain cost threshold. But we know that low cost doesn’t necessarily mean low risk – they may be a “ticking time bomb” as a result of not maintaining their health.

There had to be a better way. Our Healthways Center for Health Research went to work developing a predictive model that would bridge the gap between the conception of the total population health approach and reality.

The result? The Avoidable Cost Model. Designed to identify the high-risk segments of the population who are likely to have near term, costly (but avoidable) in patient events, the avoidable cost model allows for proactive care management tailor fit to meet the needs of your population using member claim data.

And unlike standard, disease-specific models that are frequently used to predict future health risks, our model allows for early interventions for members with whom there is the greatest opportunity to have an impact and helps to optimize the use of intervention resources. It also produces greater healthcare savings; in fact, when compared with a model developed to predict high-cost members in a diseased population, the avoidable cost model captured an additional $15 million dollars in total savings.

To find out more about our research on the avoidable cost model and see how it compares to other models in the market, check out the paper below.

Predictive Modeling: The Application of a Consumer-Specific Avoidable Cost Model in a Commercial Population

Topics: Healthcare Save on Health Business Performance Prevention

Smart Snacking Strategies

Jennifer Rudloff

A well-chosen snack can offer vital nutrients, satisfy hunger, and give a much-needed energy boost throughout a busy day. The key is portion control. Try these tricks for refueling the next time a snack attack strikes:

  • Dip high-fiber veggies in a low-fat or non-fat ranch dressing.
  • Create a delicious smoothie with low-fat or non-fat milk, strawberries, a banana, and a handful of spinach – you’ll never know it’s there.
  • Spread celery sticks with a tablespoon of peanut butter and top with rasins.
  • For a frozen treat, try a peeled banana dipped in low-fat or non-fat yogurt, rolled in crushed cereal or granola.
  • Top low-fat or non-fat yogurt with a small amount of crunchy granola and berries.
Topics: Healthy Living Snacking Strategies Eating Healthy Blue Zones Project

Tough Mudders: Overcoming Obstacles

Jennifer Rudloff

Sometimes you’re looking for something more, something new, and something extraordinary. Recently, ten colleagues from the Nashville CEC found just that as they climbed, crawled, shivered, and ran through the backwoods of Georgia.

Let’s set the stage: 12 miles, 28 obstacles, 30 degree weather, 30 mph winds. Did we mention the obstacles include jumping into ice water, climbing stacked hay bales, greased monkey bars, and then some casual electrocution (10,000 volts)?

Our game plan was simple. We organized meetings where veterans could share their insight and training details from previous Tough Mudders. Since everyone had their own motivation for participating; we capitalized on the concept that no matter what, we would all finish…. “no man (or woman) left behind”!

Through the experience we ignited teamwork, camaraderie, pursuit of excellence, and unwavering trust. Ultimately, what we discovered was we are stronger together than alone. The mission of Tough Mudder is very closely linked to that of Healthways; it brings out the character and perseverance that make all Healthways colleagues great.

So I guess you could say, “We found something more, something new, and something extraordinary. We are all Tough Mudders. We are all making the world a healthier place, one person at a time.”

Topics: Healthy Living Tough Mudders Health Coach Team Work Healthways Success Stories