Monday, February 23, 2009

Tip of the Day: Find just the right touch

We always hear "one size doesn't fit all" regarding benefit plans, but research reported in the February EBN is showing the same is true for wellness interventions.

Research shows that more than 125 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic illness, while 75 million have two or more. Additionally, those with three or more chronic diseases represent virtually all growth in health care spending since 1987, according to Health Management Associates.

In the face of both rising costs and number of workers suffering from diseases, employers have adopted wellness and disease management strategies to better target workers with chronic conditions, such as online health coaching, 24/7 nurse lines and combinations of these and other high-touch and high-tech interventions.

Recently, HMA examined which types of interventions were most successful in reducing costs for specific diseases, to benefit employers as they make decisions on how and where to target valuable wellness and disease management dollars. Their findings regarding three conditions - asthma, diabetes and mental illness - are outlined here.

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