SoloHealth Station Surpasses the 40-Million Mark for Consumer Engagements

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 20, 2013, SoloHealth®, a consumer-driven healthcare technology company, announced today that its SoloHealth Station® consumer health and wellness kiosk has surpassed the 40-million mark for user engagements, averaging almost 130,000 users per day. The company says it’s pacing 10 million users per quarter and projecting 40M annually. Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and North Carolina are leading all states in consumer engagement and usage rates.

SoloHealth Stations are currently located in more than 3,500 retail locations across the nation with users spending approximately 4.5 minutes per session. The SoloHealth Station’s nationwide network provides consumers with free interactive health tools and services to better manage their health and wellness for better healthcare outcomes. SoloHealth also delivers advertisers, health plan providers and employers an engaging platform to reach, connect and interact with users when health care is top-of-mind. Continue reading

Humana Seeking New Tools & Technologies To Move Beyond “sick care” Business Model

How does a corporate behemoth heavily invested in the transaction-based health care system of today make the shift to engaging with its 20 million+ customers about their health in new and deeper ways? Humana’s new CEO Bruce Broussard sees technology as key to successfully meeting this challenge.

See the full story at TheHealthcareBlog.com

 

Cigna Charts New Course With Requirement For Genetic Counseling Before Some Tests

The move by Cigna Corp. to require genetic counseling before selected tests are performed on its members will likely be adopted by other major carriers, reflecting not only the insurance industry’s attention to costs, but also to improving care in the highly complex field of genetic medicine, market consultants say. Beginning Sept. 16, Cigna will mandate that members considering tests to determine their risk of developing three conditions — breast cancer, colon cancer or the heart rhythm disorder Long QT syndrome — first undergo genetic counseling to gauge whether the tests are needed.

Read the full story at AISHealth.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

Aetna And Consult A Doctor™ Come Together As A 24/7 Telemedicine And Work Life Service

HARTFORD, Conn., June 19, 2012 — Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) work life platform Aetna Resources For Living has been combined with the Consult A Doctor™ 24/7 telemedicine service to provide employees with easier access to resources that help improve overall health, work/life balance and workplace productivity. Consult A Doctor Plus™ is a unique, on-demand solution that also allows employers to better manage health care costs by providing members with the help and support they need – where, when and how they need it.

Consult A Doctor Plus (CADR+) enables consumers to contact physicians, either by phone or email, for specific questions they may have. This product provides members with a variety of benefits, including:

  • Confidential 24/7 telephonic consultation and prescription-writing.
  • Access to Aetna Resources for Living work life resources and support.
  • Patient advocacy bill review/mediation, provided by The Karis Group.
  • Access to online wellness tools and health records.
  • Legal and financial consulting.

“We are pleased to work with Providence Financial Group to provide those in need with support and services in all areas of physical, emotional, psychological and social well-being,” said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. “Aetna Resources For Living is a suite of offerings designed to engage people in addressing lifestyle issues and workplace stresses by providing a comfortable and safe environment for our members. This platform together with Consult A Doctor creates a concrete combination of medical and work life services.”

Powered by TeleCare 3.0, Consult A Doctor provides customized versions of its telemedicine platform to meet the needs of all the major constituents in healthcare, including practices, hospitals, clinics, health plans and employers.

“With Consult A Doctor Plus, we are able to work hand-in-hand with Aetna to reach beyond traditional, primary care settings and explore new opportunities within the telemedicine spectrum of health care,” said Wolf Shlagman, founder and CEO, Consult A Doctor. “We are excited to provide employers with a faster, more convenient and affordable resource that gives members access to such services anytime and anywhere.”

About Providence Financial Group

Providence Financial Group (PFG) is a sales and marketing organization of industry-leading financial products and services, marketed primarily through contracted agents and brokers.
PFG is an authorized representative of both Aetna Behavioral Health and Consult A Doctor, and Reseller/Administrator of the Consult A Doctor Plus program. For more information please visitwww.pfgef.com or contact us at www.pfgef.com/contact.

About Consult A Doctor
Consult A Doctor is the leading innovator of cloud-based telemedicine services and technology platform solutions empowering organizations to lower healthcare costs, provide revolutionary access and improve outcomes. With years of experience delivering direct-to-employer and consumer telemedicine services that offer convenient 24/7 access to doctor consultations by phone, email and video, Consult a Doctor has saved employers millions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare costs, and added millions of dollars of productivity to the bottom line by helping keep employees at work and healthy. Its telemedicine network of U.S. board certified physicians in all 50 states has made it possible to give on-demand care, anytime, anywhere with access to care in the lowest cost setting. Consult A Doctor is further transforming the economic equation of care by partnering with payers, providers and other organizations to deploy its telemedicine platform solution that grants its members and patients unmatched access to quality care, offers a new revenue source for providers, and lowers costs for health plans, employers and groups. For more information about Consult A Doctor, please visit www.consultadr.com, emailtelecare@consultadr.com or call 888-688-DOCT (3628).

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.1 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

 

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.

 

Cigna and Partners In Care Launch First Accountable Care Program in New Jersey Involving an Independent Physicians Organization and a Health Plan

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. & NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., December 20, 2011 – Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Partners In Care (“PIC”), an independent physicians organization based in Central New Jersey, have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health outcomes (quality), lower total medical costs and increased patient satisfaction. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna’s approach to accountable care organizations, or ACOs.

An ACO is a variation on the patient-centered medical home model of health care that rewards primary care doctors for improved outcomes and lower medical costs. Cigna’s program with PIC is the first patient-centered accountable care program in Central and Northern New Jersey involving an independent physicians organization and a health plan.

The program is focused on approximately 14,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from among 360 doctors at more than 160 participating physician practices. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from one of the participating practices will also have access to the benefits of the program.

“Patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, see many different specialists and health care professionals with little to no coordination among them. It is unnecessary, disorganized and dangerous,” said Steven Goldberg, M.D., chairman, PIC. “Monitoring these patients and ensuring their care givers are talking to one another – with one patient-selected personal physician in the leadership role – will undoubtedly lead to safer, more consistent, and more effective medical care.”

“Cigna and Partners In Care have shared values, and the commitment to patient-centered care is evident in every aspect of this program,” said Kevin O’Brien, president & CEO, PIC. “As we work together to help patients remain healthy, the overall costs are less – it’s a win for everyone.”

The participating physician practices will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual’s medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current physician and will not need to do anything to receive the benefits of the program. There also are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists. Patients most likely to see the immediate benefits of the program are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Critical to the program’s benefits are clinicians and registered nurses, employed by Partners In Care, who serve as clinical care coordinators and help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. The care coordinators will enhance care by using patient-specific data that Cigna provides to identify patients being discharged from the hospital who might be at-risk for readmission, as well as patients who may be overdue for important health screenings or who may have skipped a prescription refill. The care coordinators will work with the patient’s physician to help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify any issues related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

The care coordinators will also help an individual’s medical home provide health education and refer individuals to Cigna’s clinical programs, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs, such as programs for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.

“The current health care system is focused on treating illness and rewards physicians for volume rather than value; it’s not designed to drive long-term health improvement and lower costs,” said Dr. Ron Menzin, Cigna’s medical director for New Jersey. “If our goal is a healthier population and lower medical costs, we need to create a patient-centered health care system that emphasizes prevention and primary care and that rewards physicians for quality of care and improved health outcomes.”

Cigna will pay physicians as usual for the medical services they provide. Partners In Care will also pay the physicians for the care coordination services they provide on the patient’s behalf. Additionally, physicians may be rewarded through a “pay for performance” structure if they meet targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.

“Employers bear a large portion of the nation’s health care costs, so it’s important to them to find a model of health care that can lower these costs through improved employee health,” said Laurel Pickering, president & CEO of the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH). “This patient-centered collaboration between Cigna and Partners In Care is an excellent example of how health plans and physicians can work together to achieve a healthy, productive work force and create a health care system that works for everyone.”

The principles of the patient-centered medical home are the foundation of Cigna’s collaborative accountable care initiatives. Cigna then builds on that foundation with a strong focus on collaboration and communication with the physician practice. With the addition of Partners In Care, Cigna is now engaged in 17 patient-centered initiatives in 15 states, encompassing more than 170,000 Cigna customers and more than 1,800 primary care physicians, including multi-payer pilots and Cigna-only collaborative accountable care initiatives. The company plans to continue increasing the number of initiatives significantly in 2012. Cigna has been a member of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative since October 2007.

About Cigna

Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation’s operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance.

About Partners In Care

Partners In Care, Corp. (PIC) is a privately held, physician owned, for-profit provider of healthcare and management services. With a broad network of independent community physicians throughout New Jersey.

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

 

Highmark’s Pay-For-Performance Program Saved Lives and Health Care Dollars in 2010-2011

Nov. 3, 2011 | Pittsburgh, Pa. — Highmark’s latest data on its Quality BLUE pay-for-performance programs demonstrates that participating hospitals and physicians consistently take better care of Highmark members than health care providers that are not part of the program.

“Whether you look at infection rates, screening for various diseases or electronic prescribing rates, Highmark members are getting better care from providers that are part of the Quality BLUE program,” said Linda Weiland, vice president of provider network innovations and partnerships. “We see very clear patterns of improved patient safety and clinical care for our members.”

Highmark today released its annual Quality BLUE report which provides data from fiscal year 2011 on both the hospital and physicians pay-for-performance programs. Some of the major findings include the following:

  • Well-child visits in the first 15 months of life exceeded the national average by 15 percent and well-child visits for children, ages 3 -6, exceeded the national average by 13 percent.
  • Seventy-six percent of female members age 42 to 69 received mammography screening for breast cancer from Highmark providers in the past two years. This is a full nine percent higher than the national average.
  • Seventy-two percent of office-based physicians in Quality BLUE use electronic prescribing compared to only 36 percent nationally. Electronic prescribing improves patient safety and reduces errors. It also improves efficiency and cost savings.
  • An estimated 351 cases of MRSA with a care cost savings estimated between $9.5 million – $12.2 million were eliminated during the past four years. MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant organism, which can cause potentially life-threatening bloodstream and surgical site infections in hospitals and community settings. Through the Quality BLUE hospital program, hospitals provide MRSA education to patients and family members.
  • An estimated 1,535 central line associated bloodstream infections (CLAB) with care costs savings of $11.2 million to $44.8 million were eliminated in all nursing units, not just intensive care units, during the last five years, saving potentially 184-384 lives. A central line is a catheter inserted into a large vein close to the heart to monitor blood circulation, provide nourishment and administer fluids and medication. While these catheters are life sustaining, they put patients at risk for infection.

 

The Highmark Quality BLUE hospital pay-for-performance program began in fiscal year 2002 with six hospitals. By fiscal year 2011, program participation grew to 63 hospitals and today includes 81 hospitals.

Highmark’s Quality BLUE physician program is offered in 49 counties in Western and Central Pennsylvania, with approximately 6,300 PCPs in more than 1,600 practices, providing services to more than 1.7 million Highmark members. Sixty-six percent of all primary care practices participate in the Quality BLUE program.

“During the past decade we know this program has greatly improved patient safety and saved millions of dollars,” said Weiland. “At Highmark we continue to push for paying for quality in health care and not just paying for services.”

About Highmark
Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Highmark serves 4.8 million members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia through the company’s health care benefits business and is one of the largest Blue plans in the nation. Highmark has 19,500 employees across the country. For more than 70 years, Highmark’s commitment to the community has consistently been among the company’s highest priorities as it strives to positively impact the places where members call home. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.