Managed Care

 

The Wellness Train Is Leaving; Are You on Board?

MANAGED CARE February 2008. © MediMedia USA
Editor's Memo

The Wellness Train Is Leaving; Are You on Board?

John Marcille
MANAGED CARE February 2008. ©MediMedia USA

John Marcille

For some time now, the most requested article on our Web site has been one that we did a year and a half ago about employers’ growing interest in wellness programs. To clarify, it was the article most requested by people who work in health plans and pharmacy benefit management companies.

If that is the case, we reasoned, it was surely time to devote a large chunk of an issue to wellness programming — how and where it is growing, why it is in increased demand, and what the leading health plans are doing to get their share of the business.

This is that issue. You can find varying definitions of wellness programming, but operationally, they all pretty much boil down to get people to avoid behavior that will bring on chronic disease, or at least to delay the onset of chronic disease as long as possible.

I’m a plan enrollee. I’d prefer not to get diabetes, and if you tell me how and even give me a little incentive, I might change my behavior in the right direction. My employer agrees. My health plan probably says it agrees, but under the present way we do health care, it might not benefit, since if we were all healthy, health care would be the wrong business to be in. No chance of us all being healthy, thank heaven.

In any event, wellness is riding high, and health plans should consider using their expertise, data resources, and business connections to design programs that will appeal to buyers. Or they could ignore this growing source of income. Their choice.

But when you consider the Milken Institute’s report that chronic illness costs the U.S. economy more than $1.3 trillion a year, this wellness craze isn’t going away. I could go on, but don’t have to. You’ll find plenty of numbers in all the articles and also suggestions on what to do and how to do it.

Meetings

2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014
6th Semi-Annual Diagnostic Coverage and Reimbursement Conference Boston December 4–5, 2014
Customer Analytics & Engagement in Health Insurance Chicago December 4–5, 2014
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Clinical Quality Assurance Conference Alexandria, VA December 4–5, 2014
9th Semi-Annual Medical Device Coverage and Reimbursement Conference San Diego December 5, 2014
8th Annual Medical Device Clinical Trials Conference Chicago December 8–9, 2014
HealthIMPACT Southeast Tampa, FL January 23, 2015