MagnaCare Releases White Paper on Chronic Care Management

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MagnaCare, a health plan services company with national reach, announces the release of a White Paper significant to the health care industry and reform efforts nationwide: “The New Face of Chronic Care Management” explores the new paradigm of chronic care management in which coordinated specialty care helps to prevent minor health problems from becoming catastrophic and costly health issues.

“Traditionally, chronic care management has involved health care providers educating patients about their chronic diseases”

“Traditionally, chronic care management has involved health care providers educating patients about their chronic diseases,” says Joseph Berardo Jr., president and CEO of MagnaCare, pointing out that chronic disease affects approximately 133 million Americans regardless of their age, race, or economic status, and, in coming decades, that number is estimated to increase by 37 percent. “Given the emphasis on cost and the failure to address the complexity of chronic conditions, this model has not worked. Today, we understand that truly coordinated care across multiple settings is the key to improving care or controlling costs.”

“The New Face of Chronic Care Management” demonstrates how this approach can lead to a 20 percent reduction in health care costs per member enrolled in a chronic care management program, with patients experiencing better health and fewer costly emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and other major medical episodes.

Effective chronic care management serves the guiding principles behind health and wellness reimbursement by:

·   Controlling costs through improved health status of members

·   Utilizing claims, lab, and pharmacy data to identify opportunities to improve member health status

·   Prospectively applying medical management processes to the population

·   Selecting individuals who will benefit from intervention

·   Incenting providers to participate in the process

The document further discusses the main objectives of chronic care management to transform member data into actionable information; create insights to target root causes of poor outcomes and high costs; design programs that empower consumers and improve outcomes; and develop provider incentive to support behavior.

“The challenges in chronic care management are ever present, the biggest being how to induce consumers to take an active role in their own health care and how to incent providers to engage patients,” Berardo concludes.

About MagnaCare
MagnaCare, a health plan management company, is proactively reducing the cost of healthcare by offering self-funding options for employers of every size – as few as 15 employees. For more than 20 years, MagnaCare has served commercial employers, health insurers, workers compensation and auto carriers, TPA’s, government entities, and labor markets. MagnaCare offers access to a high quality broad provider network, predictive modeling analysis, member outreach programs or an integrated solution that includes full plan management services. Services include claims adjudication, population management, client/customer service and a full suite of ancillary products.

InstaMed Achieves Core Phase II Certification to Streamline Provider Access to Consistent Electronic Eligibility and Claim Status.

InstaMed, the industry leading healthcare payments network and platform, announced today that it has achieved CAQH Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange (CORE) Phase II rules certification for its InstaMed Platform and Network product.

The InstaMed Platform and Network product achieved CORE Phase I certification in June of this year. Phase II certification allows the company to deliver increased access to a significantly expanded set of consistent patient administrative information in response to electronic inquiries, such as real-time eligibility and claim status. This data is critical to initiating and completing the healthcare payment cycle.

Bill Marvin, President and CEO of InstaMed stated, “CORE Phase II certification solidifies our commitment to improving electronic data exchange. This accomplishment demonstrates our innovation and leadership, as we are one of the first clearinghouses to achieve this level of certification.”

A nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations, CAQH launched CORE to create an industry driven solution that supports all payers and enables consistent provider access to patient insurance information before or at the time of service using any electronic system. The organization has brought together more than 100 industry stakeholders, including InstaMed, to collaborate on its multi-phase set of uniform business rules to achieve that goal. CORE participants provide coverage for over 130 million lives, or more than 75 percent of the commercially insured plus Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

To date, CORE has created and promulgated two phases of rules, which are built on national standards such as HIPAA. The CORE rules address data critical to the healthcare revenue cycle, including patient eligibility and benefits, patient financial liability for various service types, patient deductibles/co-pays and patient accumulators. These rules also cover specific requirements for exchanging that information, including system connectivity, system availability, patient identification, claim status, maximum response times (batch and real-time) and the consistent use of standard acknowledgements.

Robin Thomashauer, CAQH Executive Director stated, “By achieving CORE Phase II certification, InstaMed is demonstrating its leadership role in simplifying healthcare administrative transactions. This accomplishment shows a true commitment to improving communication between providers and payers, which directly and favorably impacts the industry.”

About InstaMed:

InstaMed is the industry leading healthcare payments network and platform. InstaMed’s mission is to transform the healthcare payment process for healthcare Providers, Payers and Patients so their payment experience is simple, convenient, reliable and secure. InstaMed processes all of the healthcare and payment transactions in the healthcare revenue cycle and offers patent pending, integrated healthcare and payment transactions that accelerate the healthcare payment process and reduce the administrative costs to all parties. Through its channel partner relationships, InstaMed currently supports the healthcare payment processing needs of over 2,000 hospital and clinic locations; practice management vendors and billing services representing over 100,000 providers; and hundreds of healthcare payers of all sizes. InstaMed is registered with Visa and MasterCard and is certified as a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) Level One Service Provider. InstaMed is also fully accredited by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) as a healthcare clearinghouse. InstaMed is an AHIP Solutions Partner (America’s Health Insurance Plans), a certified member of CORE (the CAQH Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange), the Medical Banking Project, ASC X12, HBMA (Healthcare Billing & Management Association), Electronic Payments Network ACH Association Services, MGMA’s Project SwipeIT (Medical Group Management Association) and WEDI (Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange). Visit InstaMed on the web at www.instamed.com.

Source: InstaMed

Senate Opponents Delivering Mistruths Crafted to Sow Fear on Health Reform, says Consumer Watchdog.

Opinion.

Group Offers “Truth Squad” Messages to Counter What They Call Insurer-Spun Sound Bites. You decide.

Opponents of health reform are fear-mongering relentlessly during prolonged Senate debate, said Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. The group is saying that the messages being delivered during the Senate healthcare debate have been crafted to stoke fear and anger, particularly in Medicare recipients.

Below,to according Consumer Watchdog, is a list of the most deceptive sound bites, and the longer truth of the reform plans.

“The fairy-tale character Chicken Little warned ceaselessly that the sky was falling, and health reform opponents are spinning similar tales to kill current legislation,” said Judy Dugan, research director for Consumer Watchdog. “The same conservatives who spent years bashing Medicare are now all but sobbing at the podium as they ‘defend’ Medicare, by implying wrongly that seniors will lose large portions of their benefits.”

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Consumer Watchdog said Senate Republicans are honing a batch of deceptive, poll-driven sound bites to drive the fear of seniors, stressed-out families and worried workers. The biggest beneficiaries will be major for-profit health insurers and allied companies that see even modest reforms of private Medicare, and the so-called public option, as threats to their bottom lines.

Consumer Watchdog noted Aetna’s announcement in October to shareholders that it expected improved profits next year after substantial rate hikes force out up to 650,000 individual and small business clients. Senate leader Harry Reid focused on that statement over the weekend to illustrate the profit demands that drive the insurance industry, and its opposition to the current health reform bill.

That profit imperative is Aetna’s truth, unlike its caring-for-you marketing messages, said Consumer Watchdog. The Chicken Little sound bites of Senate opponents are like those insurance marketing materials, said Consumer Watchdog — aimed at an emotional response, not the more complicated reality.

Here are the top Chicken Little messages, along with a truth that, as usual, is more than a sound bite.

** Medicare benefits will be cut, up to 64%!!!

The longer truth: No regular Medicare benefits would be cut, and some would be strengthened. The health reform bills would reduce overpayments of more than $1,000 per beneficiary to private, for-profit Medicare Advantage plans (which sometimes offer extras like gym memberships). The overpayments, gained through relentless insurance industry lobbying in Congress, threaten the health of overall Medicare, and are paid for by people in regular Medicare, who are charged about $90 a year extra on their physician-care “part B” payments — money that goes directly to Aetna, United Health Group, Kaiser and others that market, and profit from, the Medicare Advantage plans.

Under the reform bill, the overpayments would be reduced, though not eliminated. It would be up to the insurance companies whether to reduce the extra benefits, or trim their own costs, profits and up to $100 million a year in CEO compensation pay to retain the extra benefits.

None of the regular guaranteed benefits of Medicare could be cut, much less by “64%” — a figure proclaimed out of thin air by Sen. Chuck Grassley on Friday in an obvious attempt to make seniors think their basic benefits are at risk. In fact, the Senate bill strengthens preventive care benefits in traditional Medicare.

** A half-trillion robbed from Medicare for a huge federal entitlement!!! (Related: Hospitals and doctors will refuse to treat Medicare patients!!!)

The longer truth: The money saved from cutting fraud and abuse, reducing the Medicare Advantage overpayment, and reducing the growth of hospital costs would be largely or entirely used to shore up Medicare’s financing, at least delaying the program’s risk of insolvency. Hospitals and other medical groups have agreed that the cuts would be offset by more revenue when millions more people are insured, and the American Hospital Association has said loudly and clearly that its members would not, ever, turn away Medicare patients.

Having more non-seniors insured — the “entitlement” part — offers a major indirect benefit even to Medicare patients, because hospital resources are not drained off to pay for treatment of the uninsured, often in costly emergency rooms.

** Health reform is a job killer!!!

Longer truth: This one is hard to follow — usually somehow related to rural hospitals laying off staff if any of their federal payments are cut. But it’s an utter lie. Economists are unanimous that health reform would create good jobs — not just doctor and registered nurse jobs, but for medical assistants, technicians, home health aides — real jobs that pay more than minimum wage and often come with benefits.

** Government would take over control of your health care!!! (Related: Federal bureaucrats will deny and delay your care!!!)

Longer truth: The current bills are about as privatized as a reform could be, with government’s role mainly as a provider of subsidies for those who cannot afford private insurance, and guarantor that insurance benefits are worth the paper they’re written on. In credible polls, people are happier with (government-run) Medicare than with even employer-provided health insurance, so in many ways it’s too bad that the government presence is as small as it is.

As for federal bureaucrats controlling care, government would indeed set minimums on the care that must be provided in most plans, as well as study what is most effective in treating chronic disease. Unfortunately, private insurance companies will still be hunting every loophole, as they already do, to limit care and increase shareholder profits.

** America can’t afford this huge entitlement program!!! (Implication: It’s just like welfare!!!)

Longer truth: America can’t afford not to fix its health care system, which is sucking up an ever-larger share of national economic output, while caring for ever-fewer people. The costs are bankrupting families and businesses alike. Insurance companies can capriciously deny to insure any applicant, and cancel their insurance if policyholders get sick. While the health reform bills in Congress are weaker than they could be — a failed attempt to appease insurers — they curb the worst abuses and would insure more than half of the 48 million uninsured Americans.

While no one can guarantee the future, the fiscally conservative Congressional Budget Office finds that the reforms would not increase federal indebtedness, and would slightly decrease it. The reforms would certainly spur new economic activity.

The aim of the sound-bite brigades is to kill health reform, since they offer no alternative that would increase the number of people with health care. They clearly hope to delay action long enough to build generalized fear of loss, and loathing of government.

A similar assault met Franklin D. Roosevelt’s finally successful effort to establish the Social Security program. Corporations fought back by putting scary warnings about “new taxes” in employees’ pay envelopes and railing against big government. Roosevelt was buoyed, however, by persistent public support for the retirement program for the elderly.

This time around, the opponents’ scientifically crafted sound bites are sharper and less bound by truth. They deliberately use words that would make seniors think all of their Medicare benefits are at risk.

“What we have to hope is that Americans are also sharper at seeing through smear and fear,” said Dugan, “and willing to respond to those who spread the deceptive sound bites.”

Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at:http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

Source: Consumer Watchdog

Web Site: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/

More Seniors Considering Health Insurance Switch.

National Senior Loyalty Study 2009 records 4 year high for percentage of seniors with some intention to switch their health insurers.

A new study has found that 27% of Medicare Advantage and Supplemental Medicare insurance customers have a current intention to shop for and possibly switch their Medicare coverage. The figure is up from 20% in 2008. Over the past four years, the “intention to switch” measure has been a leading indicator of actual switching patterns. While not everyone with some intention to switch actually will leave their current insurer for another, this year’s result has led researchers at Deft Research, LLC to forecast a 15% to 19% churn in the senior market – the highest level of consumer activity in the four year history of the study.

The study found that over the past year health insurers have improved senior loyalty and awareness of their positive attributes. However, contrary to past years, loyalty is not creating a “no-intention to switch” attitude. Despite feelings of loyalty, more seniors remain active consumers, staying on the lookout for insurance that suits them better.

For the second year, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans was found to have the most loyal customers. According to the Kaiser profile customers credit it with assuring quality of care, assuring health problems are caught early, and assuring coverage of the services and drugs desired.

Also for the second year, the study found that AARP’s Supplemental Medicare insurance (Medsupp), offered through United Healthcare, has the most loyal customer base among Medsupp carriers. The study’s profile of AARP indicates customers think it is better than its competition in reliability, access to providers nationwide, and convenience of service.

Other companies profiled include Aetna, Wellpoint-Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the BCBS plans of Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan, Health Care Services Corporation (also a BCBS affiliate), Humana, Mutual of Omaha, United Healthcare, and Coventry.

About the Study:

The National Senior Loyalty Study is produced annually by Deft Research, LLC of Minneapolis and is the largest study of its kind. The study was conducted on-line in September of this year. 3,492 seniors completed the study’s questionnaire by answering questions about their loyalty, switch intention, and opinions about how their current insurer compared to competition.

To order this study call: 612-436-8315 Fax: 612-436-8320 E-mail: support@deftresearch or visit www.DeftResearch.com

Source: Deft Research, LLC

The Most Popular Health Insurance Websites for Women.

Using Hitwise Lifestyle, which incorporates MOSAIC USA, a leading household segmentation system, it is possible to identify the m ost popular websites in an industry that attract a specific segment.

For example, the top three websites in the Health Insurance category that attracted the largest volume of women aged 25-44 in the “Suburban Optimists” segment were Kaiser Permanente, GroupHealth and CIGNA for the four weeks ending 11/07/09.

The Suburban Optimists Type represents middle-class diversity with its high concentration of Asian, Hawaiian and white residents. These consumers tend to spend their disposable income on technology products, buying the latest laptops, video game players and home theater systems. They also describe themselves as early adopters and influential leaders when it comes to consumer electronics. Suburban Optimists frequently watch cable TV networks such as VH1, MTV and Spike TV. Finally, they enjoy watching comedies, network dramas and reality shows like “That 70s Show,” “E.R.” and “American Idol.” Lifestyle data is available on over 30,000 websites.

To learn more about Hitwise Lifestyle, contact Hitwise.

Top Health Insurance Websites Visited by Women Aged 25-44 for the four weeks ending 11/07/09
RankSiteDomainGender %Age %Mosaic USA Type %
1.Kaiser Permanentewww.kaiserpermanente.org59.14%22.96%1.64%
2.GroupHealthwww.ghc.org67.65%26.62%0.84%
3.CIGNAwww.cigna.com51.20%35.05%0.65%
4.Delta Dental Insurance Companywww.deltadentalins.com53.22%18.49%1.00%
5.eHealthInsurancewww.ehealthinsurance.com56.75%36.18%0.46%

Source: Hitwise Intelligence Blogs

Experian Hitwise is the leading global online competitive intelligence service, helping clients protect and grow their market share through the application of internet measurement data. Experian Hitwise measures the largest sample of internet users – 25 million worldwide, including 10 million in the United States. This sample size allows clients to understand internet behavior and competitive activity through data that is unmatched in timeliness, depth and breadth.

Senate Health Bill Would Significantly Curtail Flexible Spending Accounts.

Following the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Joe Jackson, chairman of Save Flexible Spending Plans and CEO of WageWorks Inc., a San Mateo, CA-based benefits provider issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing that the Senate is determined to fund health care reform by restricting access to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), a valuable benefit relied upon by more than 35 million Americans to help hold down health care costs. Severely curtailing the use of FSAs will not only force participants to pay more in health care costs, it flies in the face of President Obama’s pledge to not raise taxes on the middle class.

Especially damaging to plan participants is the Senate bill’s failure to index an already unreasonably low $2,500 cap on FSA contributions. Failing to adjust the cap for inflation will cause the value of a $2,500 FSA to plummet to less than half that amount within a decade.

Initially, the Senate will force approximately seven million hard-working Americans who use their FSAs to cover out-of-pocket health care expenses greater than $2,500 to pay higher taxes and health care costs. Federal employees who currently enjoy a $5,000 limit on FSA contributions will see their access to FSAs cut in half. Additionally, state employees in 46 states who currently have FSA contribution limits set at $3,000 or more will be negatively impacted. Sadly, those with the highest out-of-pocket health care costs — the sickest — will be hit the hardest by restrictions on FSA use.

The bottom line is FSAs work and should be persevered. They empower millions of Americans to play a more active role in managing their health care and getting the care they need while keeping costs down — a major goal of health care reform.”

About Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible spending accounts are voluntary, account-based plans that enable millions of Americans to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses like prescription drug co-pays, vision and dental costs, office visits and medical supplies. Most FSA participants are middle income, earning approximately $55,000 annually. Currently, limits on contributions to FSAs are set by individual employers.

Individuals and families with chronic illnesses typically receive the most benefit from FSAs. They incur annual out-of-pocket expenses averaging $4,398 per year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found — well above the proposed limit. Approximately 44 percent of Americans have one or more chronic conditions.

About Save Flexible Spending Plans

Save Flexible Spending Plans is a national grassroots advocacy organization that protects against the restricted use of flexible spending accounts in health care reform efforts. The campaign is sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), www.ecfc.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of private employee benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. To learn more, take action and read the personal stories of FSA participants, please visit www.savemyflexplan.org.

Source: Save Flexible Spending Plans

Web Site: http://www.savemyflexplan.org/
http://www.ecfc.org/

Survey Suggests Role for Social Media in Healthcare.

There has been much chatter lately on Twitter and in the blogosphere about the use of social media in healthcare. According to a story written by Les Masterson and appearing in HealthLeaders Media, use of this new technology may be just what the doctor ordered.

It seems that The Microsoft Health Engagement Survey 2009, conducted by Kelton Research, shows that most people still don’t visit their health plans’ websites or believe their insurers support their health. Still, survey respondents say they are interested in their health plans connecting with them via e-mail and phone for electronic coaching. The key, they say is that they want those services integrated into their lives.

Masterson points out in his article that the consumerism movement with insurers and employers pushing more out-of-pocket costs onto members has led insurers to invest in online components in hopes of creating more educated consumers. However, nearly half of those surveyed think health plans only support them when they need a doctor.

According to Masterson, the disconnect occurs as a result of consumers simply not visiting their health insurers’ websites. Though 82% of insurers provide websites with health and wellness information, nearly three-quarters of respondents visited their insurers’ websites fewer than six times a year. That includes 16% who never visited their insurers’ sites and another 16% who only went on the sites one or two times in the past year.

The survey revealed that of those who actually visited the carrier’s website, nearly half went to find provider lists or coverage information. Only one-third checked out information on health and wellness and this was mostly after a diagnosis had occurred. In other words, they were not being proactive.

So with health plans and employers pushing to control chronic diseases, how do they communicate wellness messages to their members? There are some hints in the survey results. First, the vast majority of people surveyed said healthcare technological solutions are inviting, and secondly, most respondents said they were interested in communicating with their insurer through e-mail.

In fact, more than half of the respondents said they are interested in using e-mails to ask questions about benefits and coverage; receive feedback about their health; and get encouragement, reminders, and advice on diet and exercise.

In other words, people seem to want to communicate with their health plans using technology, but it must be done as part of their normal use of the media.

Does this mean that I am going to “Friend” my health plan on Facebook so I can receive a reminder to have my annual checkup while I am checking out what my friends and family are up to? Why not? Should I “Follow” my health plan on Twitter so that I can get tips on dealing with the summer heat? Sure. Would I read an e-mail message from my health plan and click to a link containing my latest EOB and tips on how to save money on my next prescription. Definitely.

Hopefully, health plans will use this research as an incentive to continue to push forward on the use of e-mail and social media to better communicate with their members and to help them control chronic illnesses that can become so expensive when they go unmanaged. Sure, there are privacy challenges, but it is worth working to overcome these challenges to reach members with pertinent and timely messages.

New Marketing Tool Captures Brands’ “Share of Voice” on the Social Web.

When my call went out a few weeks ago to find health plans that were using social media as a means of engaging their members, one of the people who got in touch with me was Gretchen Miller of Vitrue, Inc.

Gretchen was quick to tell me that, while she was not with a health plan, she did have a tool that could tell me which health plans are doing well in this space.

Gretchen is with a firm called Vitrue, a social media marketing company for the Fortune 1,000, that provides a comprehensive social media marketing approach with a core technology platform to help brands launch campaigns, communities, Facebook applications, and just maintain an overall social presence on the web.

Gretchen told me that Vitrue had recently launched the Vitrue Social Media Index (SMI), which is designed to capture a brand’s share of voice on the social web. She told me that if I could give her a list of health plans that are using social media , she could give me measurements of their success in terms of their being present on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and others.

Gretchen went on to explain that many of her firm’s clients struggle with social media issues such as:

  • Social media is too new and changing too fast for me to understand how to use it?
  • I know social media is important to my brand, but how to measure it?
  • There is too much data, what does it all mean?

The SMI was created to help answer some of these questions.

Gretchen said, “SMI is a simple, yet powerful tool to help marketers understand how their brand stacks up to their peers/competitors in the social space. It includes data from the most important social media sites on the web including blogs, video and photo sharing sites, social networks, and micro-blogs.”

But, SMI is more than just a snapshot in time; Gretchen said that it also provides trends, allowing brands to see how “social share of voice” fluctuates based on marketing campaigns, competitors’ activities, and external events. You can see tool at http://vitrue.com/smi/.

So how do various health plans stack up in their social networking activity? I provided Gretchen with a list of health plans. Some of them I have written about in this blog regarding their use of social media. Others were brands that I selected because they are well known names nationally or regionally. The chart below shows how they stacked up.

vitrue-smi-health-care-providers-jan-feb-2009

What the SMI tool found was that, right now, Humana has a commanding presence on the social web with this competitive set.

You can also dig in and see Humana’s SMI score as of today, by going to:

http://vitrue.com/smi/?q1=humana&q2=

Here is the breakout on where Humana has a presence on social media sites as of February 6, 2009:

  • 47.13% video sharing sites
  • 28.81% micro-blogs
  • 2.73% photo sharing sites
  • 9.87% on blogs
  • 11.48% social networks

Fun stuff and a great tool for bring some classical marketing measurements to these fast evolving new media.

If you are looking for more insight into social brands check out The Vitrue 100 – Top Social Brands of 2008 at http://vitrue.com/blog/. Any guesses as to which brand was #1?

CIGNA Uses Social Networks to Teach Health and Supply Clean Drinking Water.

drinking-waterI recently had the chance to catch up with Karen Kocher, Chief Learning Officer at CIGNA, and asked her about how the large health plan was using social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter to engage their members to become healthier.

“CIGNA has been doing quite a bit,” Kocher said, “to educate people to manage their own health.” She noted that CIGNA has made use of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace to help get people to be more aware of their own health and to convey a CIGNA brand image that is more consumer-focused and personal.

“CIGNA has evolved into a health service company, and an important part of our service mission is to help people better understand and manage their health,” Kocher said.

To help accomplish this overall communications strategy, Kocher said, that CIGNA has used several social networking sites to draw visitors to a web-based game that allows winners to provide a full-day’s supply of clean drinking water to a child in a developing country. To win, one only needs to answer correctly three questions related to health and/or health insurance terminology.

When I played the game, I found that I could answer most of the questions easily enough on the first try, though I did miss a few. But, what’s more interesting, is that I felt myself compelled to keep playing the game a racking up more and more days of clean water for the children.

It seems that others have felt the same way. Kocher said that the program began in September 2008, and has exceeded expectations by over 400%. To date, 56,756 days of water have been donated meaning that people have answered correctly over 150,000 questions. Also significant is that 85% of the traffic came from Facebook and other online referrals.

“Phase I of our program, Kocher said,” was intended to engage people in a fun and meaningful activity that allowed them to learn more about health. Phase II, which will launch in 2009, will be designed to build on that knowledge and bring in the wealth component.”

By the “wealth component,” Kocher is referring to an effort to help educate people about the cost of healthcare and to begin to engage them in learning to make better decisions about how they spend their health care dollars.

In the meantime, I am headed back to the Water Challenge game to see if I might be able to add a few days more to the supply of clean drinking water. Who knows, I might even learn something while I am there. Join me at: www.itstimetofeelbetter.com.