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

When it Comes to Our Nation's Budget Crisis, Medicare is Not the Problem

Jennifer Rudloff

Road Sign: ChangesYou would have to be living on a deserted island to not know that the Congress — specifically the House — and the Administration are playing chicken in the ongoing posturing over whether or not to increase the country’s debt ceiling. What makes this round of debate unique is for the first time in history, Congress has tied the debt ceiling topic to the budget process.

The positions of our elected representatives are unfailingly predictable. Republicans want to reduce taxes and spending, notably on entitlements; Democrats want to increase taxes and protect entitlement programs. In this debate, it is no surprise that Medicare [and Social Security] should be the center of the bullseye for each sides’ daily talking points. The rhetoric is hot on both sides. Unfortunately, with elections around the corner, officials are maintaining a focus on their campaigns. This can obscure facts and solutions and create barriers that keep officials from accomplishing what they were sent to DC to do. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Medicare, per se, is not the problem. Yes it’s expensive and yes the aging of the Baby Boom Generation will add millions of new beneficiaries over the next 25 years. But the simple truth is that there IS a way to reduce Medicare cost by more than a Trillion dollars over the next decade, without reducing benefits or capping provider pay. The approach derives from this universal truth: Healthier People Cost Less. And they don’t have to be a lot healthier to save a lot of cost.

In a paper published in Population Health Management this past February, the authors demonstrate the significant dollar impact of relatively modest improvements in modifiable health risks. The Trillion dollar savings is fully 25% of the package both sides say they want to reach. Why, one must wonder, is there little or no energy in that direction?

The well-being of our country is at stake. It's time that we see less brinkmanship and more leadership in DC.

Topics: In the News Healthcare Prevention Budget Crisis Medicare Advantage Government