CIGNA Compass Uses Anticipatory Computing to Help Health Plan Customers Stay Healthy While Saving Money

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., January 14, 2015 – Global health service company, Cigna (NYSE: CI), announces today the release of Cigna CompassSM , a new web application designed to use anticipatory computing to guide U.S. health plan customers to proactively build their own personal health care team, save money, and get the most from their plans.

Cigna announced the introduction of the new digital experience at the National Business Group on Health’s 2015 Employers’ Summit on Health Care Costs and Solutions .

Cigna Compass synthesizes data related to a consumer’s medical plan use, biometric data, incentive information, claims history, and coaching program involvement. Those insights create personalized alerts to notify customers of their top opportunities to improve their health and lower their health care costs. Continue reading

Wellmark, Hy-Vee & UnityPoint Health Collaborate on New Health Insurance Plans

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hy-Vee and UnityPoint Health jointly announced a unique new option in health insurance, collaboratively designed to reward customers for healthy behaviors. Blue RewardsSM integrates the true coordinated care of the UnityPoint Health provider network combined with the retail convenience of Hy-Vee’s pharmacy, healthy food, wellness and dietitian services all in an affordable ACA-health insurance option from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

“This collaboration is part of our strategy to keep health care local and sustainable, and promote health through convenience,” said Laura Jackson, Wellmark’s executive vice president for Health Care Innovation & Business Development. “We know consumers turn to brands they know and trust, which makes this collaboration among three strong Iowa brands even more meaningful for Iowans.” Continue reading

Priority Health Becomes Michigan’s only Health Plan to Earn Wellness Accreditation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–()–Priority Health has become the only health plan in Michigan to receive wellness accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The accreditation from the NCQA, an organization focused on improving the quality of health care, certifies Priority Health as a leader in implementing wellness programs in the workplace. This recognition comes as Priority Health renews its commitment to improve the health and lives of the people it works with by enhancing its employer-based wellness programs. Continue reading

Aetna Better Health of Illinois and Addus Home Care Launch Personal Care Pilot

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aetna Better Health of Illinois, an Aetna Medicaid plan, and Addus Home Care, a national provider of home and community-based services (HCBS), will conduct a pilot study on the impact of providing smart phones to home care aides who assist Illinois residents served under the state’s Integrated Care Program (ICP).

ICP provides assistance such as meal preparation, bathing, housekeeping and transportation to seniors and adults with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid. The pilot study seeks to demonstrate the benefits of smart phones to help home care aides report changing health conditions of members in real time to supervisors and to the members’ primary care physicians. Addus Home Care aides are in consumers’ homes on a frequent basis, observing changes in the physical, mental and environmental conditions of their clients.

In the ICP pilot, Aetna Better Health and Addus expect to leverage home and community-based services to provide similar results with emergency and acute care services. Aetna and Addus plan to conduct an outcome study on the program in 2014.

For more information, see www.aetna.co

 

Insurance CEO Says Spending for Health Care ‘Unsustainable’

At its current level, health care spending is “unsustainable,” Highmark CEO and President Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr. told an assemblage of business leaders attending the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at The Greenbrier Thursday morning.

His company, Winkenwerder said, is working on several fronts to stem the tide of health care spending through such programs as an in-house wellness and prevention initiative that lowers health insurance premiums for Highmark employees who take steps like quitting smoking, losing weight and adopting a regular exercise regimen.

Another Highmark initiative seeks to boost “cost/quality transparency,” a needed service, according to Winkenwerder, because nobody appears to know how much each item in health care costs.

See the full story at Register-Herald.com

Virtual Coaching: One Health Plan’s Clever Weight Loss Program

In June of this year, the Government Employee Health Association (GEHA), Independence, Mo., the nation’s second-largest health plan for civilian federal employees and retirees, enrolled 1,500 members in a virtual weight loss management program that it says was successful with nearly 80 percent of participants in 2012. That’s a significant milestone, because it demonstrates that a Web-based technology can be an effective and relatively low-cost way for individuals to lower their health risks.

Read the full story at healthcare-informatics.com

Priority Health Launches MyGo Points Facebook App to Motivate Healthy Lifestyles, Encourage Tourism

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Priority Health has developed a Facebook app, called MyGo Points, in an effort topromote health and wellness among Michigan residents, as well as support local tourism. The app, which launched May 1, givespeople the opportunity to earn points to win prizes by participating in activity-based events and Facebook challenges.

“Priority Health is always looking for creative ways to motivate people to lead a more active andhealthy lifestyle,” said Joan Budden, chief marketing officer of Priority Health. “MyGo Pointsuses incentives from local businesses to get the community moving. Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their efforts?

Events eligible for points range from walks to park parties, while Facebook challenges can beas simple as tagging Priority Health in an activity-related photo. The app is available on thePriority Health Facebook page. Those who download the app will automatically begin to trackpoints. At each event, a unique QR code for smartphone scanning and a promotional code foronline use will be given to participants to track points throughout the year. Every point earned enters participants into a monthlyprize drawing, with the opportunity to win the grand prize — a Pure Michigan Ultimate Adventure Package to Crystal Mountain.

“MyGo Points is a creative way to showcase Michigan’s superb natural and recreational assets, while encouraging health andwellness among its residents,” said Christina MacInnes, COO of Crystal Enterprises Inc. “Crystal Mountain and Pure Michiganare thrilled to be part of the program, realizing that its incentives are powerful tools in our collective efforts to inspire and sustainpositive lifestyle changes in communities across the state.

”MyGo Points launched just in time for the Fifth Third River Bank Run on May 12. Other MyGo Points events include the Arts,Beats & Eats Arts in Motion 5K, Royal Oak; Grand Rapids Triathlon; Bike Benzie Tour, Thompsonville; Priority Health RockfordCriterium; Traverse City Cherry Festival Kids Event; and Maranda Park Parties at locations across the state. Additional eventswill be added throughout the year. Participants can submit their health-related activities or events to be considered for MyGoPoints by sending an email to teamph@priorityhealth.com.Prizes include tickets to the Detroit Zoo, West Michigan Whitecaps baseball games and Holland Aquatic Center. The CrystalMountain grand prize is a weekend getaway for four, valued at $2,500. For more details or to sign up for Priority Health’s MyGoPoints, visit facebook.com/priorityhealth

.About Priority HealthPriority Health is an award-winning health plan nationally recognized for creating innovative solutions that impact health carecosts while maximizing customer experience. It offers a broad portfolio of products for employer groups and individuals, includingMedicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. As a nonprofit company, Priority Health serves more than 600,00

TriZetto Founder Jeff Margolis Fusing Healthcare Population Management and Social Networking

DENVER, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Well known for founding healthcare payer software powerhouse, The TriZetto Group, and growing it to return $1.4 billion to shareholders in just 10 years, as well as authoring The Healthcare Cure, Jeff Margolis is now focusing on the opportunity to improve healthcare value through social networking technology.

Margolis recently became executive chairman of WellTok, Inc., developer of the social health hub network, CafeWell(TM), which is already being utilized by healthcare payers to actively engage thousands of members in improving their health. Health plan customers of WellTok have recently begun to offer expanded sponsorship onto the CafeWell channel to over 1 million members.

“Healthcare population managers, whether they are health plans or health providers, have struggled to get consumers meaningfully engaged with their health, and the nation’s health statistics and costs reflect that,” noted Margolis. “Despite having more than 80% of the U.S. population is some form of private or public ‘organized system of health care’, consumers’ knowledge and behaviors are not reflective of the ever-growing body of information available to help them optimize their health.

Social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have changed the culture of information flow in communications. And research, such as the work of Dr. Nicholas Christakis at Harvard Medical School, has documented the impact of a person’s social network on their health behaviors.

“Harnessing both social power and social networking technology with security, privacy and alignment is a critical mandate for healthcare,” Margolis added. “At TriZetto, we delivered platforms to help population managers massively cut administrative costs, improve care management and accelerate connectivity among healthcare constituents. Now, social networking technology applied in a systematic way to consumers within managed populations can similarly lead to significant breakthroughs that will drive greater value for the money being spent in our healthcare system. That’s the desired outcome of Social Health Management.”

“Jeff’s vision and entrepreneurship has driven tremendous shareholder value across many companies over the past twenty years,” said Robert DiGia, global head of healthcare investment banking at UBS Investment Bank. “I expect that Jeff’s deep understanding of the healthcare ecosystem will create significant value for WellTok’ customers and investors.”

“Jeff has provided important input to Washington, D.C. stakeholders’ understanding of the impact information technology can have on healthcare,” said Ian Adler, senior managing director of healthcare at the Marwood Group. “Social network technology is a new frontier for healthcare and I look forward to Jeff’s continued leadership in developing this new technology to improve the cost and quality of care.”

Delivering Social Health Management(TM) (SHM)

It seems that everything you hear about today is ‘social’. As Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others have introduced consumers to networking and sharing information online. But how can we harness and direct that power to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on individuals’ and population health?

“I’ll tell you this, it takes a lot more than friending on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, or blogging on a single-topic healthcare site,” added Margolis. “In CafeWell, we’ve pioneered the infrastructure of Social Health Management, which learns from both the strengths and limitations of existing social networks, while knitting together multiple social point solutions. CafeWell is a fusion engine for creating social health engagement among members.”

Social Health Management gives population managers – whether they be health plans, employers, or physician and care delivery organizations — a new channel through which they can quickly provide programs and information to consumers, in a fun, engaging, independent and safely anonymous network.

To create true SHM, social health hub networks, such as CafeWell, must create the self-sustaining social engagement among members to get people motivated to participate repeatedly. CafeWell does that through proven engagement drivers such as challenge competitions, sponsorship and aggressive merchandising, use of engaging game mechanics, meaningful rewards, mobile capabilities, and fun and useful content providers, such as veteran professional athletes.

And, what makes Social Health Management a full solution, is that it provides the activity itinerary and analytics feedback loop that allows population managers to understand engagement, activity patterns and to gauge the relative effectiveness of social health management and wellness programs they sponsor.

WellTok can even help integrate consumer activities with value-based benefit plans to drive higher levels of engagement that truly impact the cost and quality of healthcare.

About CafeWell and WellTok, Inc.

CafeWell is a social health network that makes getting better connected to your health and fitness more fun and more rewarding. CafeWell provides one stop for consumers’ health, wellness and fitness — including social networking; advice from experts, peers and veteran professional athletes; fun health challenges with family members and co-workers; and reliable health and fitness information. Through CafeWell, sponsors can offer rewards and incentives to promote activity and health improvement. Users control the degree to which their identity is shared, with complete anonymity as the default. To learn more about CafeWell, visit www.cafewell.com.

WellTok is pioneering Social Health Management(TM) (SMH), the complete social networking solution for healthcare population managers. WellTok’s SHM suite provides a complete solution for population managers, including the industry’s most engaging social health network, CaféWell, broad member and group analytics, and integration with healthcare payers and providers’ corporate systems and MLR requirements. WellTok, Inc. is headquartered in Denver, Colo.

SOURCE WellTok, Inc.

 

IncentOne Launches Outcomes-Based Biometrics Incentive Solution

Lyndhurst, NJ (PRWEB) December 08, 2011, IncentOne, a provider of incentive solutions to the healthcare industry, has launched what it says is the first outcomes-based biometric incentive program through its Health Power™ platform. With this solution, IncentOne will enable payers, health service companies, employers, governments and administrators to align incentives to outcomes and improvements in 20 different biometric measures.

Key features of the solution include the ability to:

  • Combine outcomes and participation-based programs
  • Set desired biometric outcomes for 20 measures including Body Mass Index, Blood Pressure, Waist Circumference, Waist to Hip Ratio, Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, HDLc Ratio, Triglycerides, Glucose, A1C, Cotinine, and LDL Cholesterol
  • Set absolute, percentage or minimum improvements for each measure
  • Incentivize for single or multiple biometric measures attained
  • Set different target levels for men and women for each measure
  • Implement pass/fail criteria for each measure
  • Integrate data from past testing periods
  • Utilize multiple testing periods
  • Utilize physician attestation forms for alternative facilities
  • Allow for reasonable alternative health activities based on physician recommendations
  • Manage the process for contested measures

“Biometrics are a central component of any outcomes-based engagement strategy.” says Michael Dermer, President and CEO of IncentOne. “Our customers can now execute a wide variety of outcomes-based designs tied to biometric data that have demonstrated cost savings. We believe that Incentive Driven Healthcare™ is the next wave in healthcare and this is one step to help our customers see that movement in action.”

About IncentOne
IncentOne delivers cost savings and health improvement by engaging healthcare consumers and providers through the use of incentives. IncentOne serves customers representing more than 75 million lives, has processed 20 million health transactions and driven 15 million health milestones through 125 data partners. IncentOne’s Universal Remote™ technology enables customers to drive “any action for any value for any reward via any medium” and to align incentives not only to long-term savings but also to immediate and intermediate savings via its Trifecta™ methodology. IncentOne’s solutions are married with leading-edge strategies such as value-based benefit design, medical homes, accountable care organizations, telehealth, pay-for-performance and provider payment reform to deliver true engagement. IncentOne programs target consumers to improve utilization, increase prevention, avoid hospitalizations, reduce readmissions, choose lower cost providers, reduce health risks, increase medication adherence and steer benefit selection and providers to adopt e-prescribing and EMR technology, adhere to treatment protocols, and improve patient safety. For more information go tohttp://www.incentone.com.

 

HealthRally Raises $400K to Motivate Wellness

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthRally, a social health company developing a new crowdfunding platform for personal health motivation, announced that it raised more than $400,000 in seed funding and assembled an expert board of strategic advisors.

The company is building a social health platform focused on inspiring the nearly 100 million Americans who spend over $50 billion annually trying to achieve wellness goals such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or improving one’s overall health and fitness.

The seed round was funded by Esther Dyson, a prominent angel investor in disruptive technologies; Isy Goldwasser, a successful biotech entrepreneur; Dick Sass, a medical device entrepreneur; Ty Danco, a prolific angel investor; and Jeff Thiel, a former Microsoft executive.

“Games and badges are great, but most people would probably rather have an iPad, a vacation, or cool new pair of shoes,” says Zack Lynch, CEO and co-founder of HealthRally. “HealthRally combines the power of social networks with the latest findings in behavioral science for healthy motivation and sustained support.”

HealthRally ties together advances in behavioral economics — which shows that financial incentives triple one’s chance of reaching a health goal — with cutting edge social networking science — which proves that engaging close friends and family increases success rates. In practice, when friends and family contribute financially to one’s goals, peer support and success rates dramatically increase.

“It’s the oldest trick in the book,” says Esther Dyson. “Make a commitment to a group of friends, and you ‘have’ to deliver! HealthRally helps you assemble the friends and manage the process, and adds the psychological value of making the commitment and incentives explicit and formal.”

HealthRally’s advisory panel includes researchers and entrepreneurs with deep experience in behavioral economics and social networking, including: Paul Zak, Director, Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Claremont Graduate University; Tom Valente, Social Networks and Health expert, Keck School of Medicine, USC; Denise Thomas, former President, Healthiest You; and Ross Mayfield, Chairman and co-founder, Socialtext; among others.

The company is currently in private beta and will be launching a public beta in time to help people conquer their New Year’s resolutions. Individuals can request an invitation to participate at www.healthrally.com.

About HealthRally

HealthRally is a social health company that has developed a crowdfunding platform that uses social motivation and positive financial incentives to inspire people to achieve their health and wellness goals. HealthRally was co-founded by Zack Lynch and Peter Kaminski. Zack is the founder of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization and author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin’s Press.) Peter has been technical co-founder at several companies including Socialtext and Yipes Communications.

 

Contacts

HealthRally
Zack Lynch, 415-279-7462
CEO
Zack.lynch@healthrally.com
or
Ross Gillfillan, 415-599-4403
ross@torchcommunications.com