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Switching Employees On: Using Video to Entertain, Engage, and Educate

By DrScott – Posted on February 27, 2014 on www.compassphs.com

Second in the Switching Employees On: Using Video to Entertain, Engage, and Educate Series

Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans. The problem is that we often “feel fine” until it is too late – 50% of men and 66% of women die the first time they feel chest pain, according to the American Heart Association. To “turn the elephant” toward a new path away from unnecessary heart attacks and strokes to a long vital life requires creative interventions. In this video all three principles from Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Dan and Chip Health are addressed.

  1. The rider is directed to “get your biometrics and screening done even though you feel fine”.
  2. The elephant is motivated because “wonderful people who ‘felt fine’ did not get to be there for their spouse and children”.
  3. The path to better care is made clear by “contacting your Health Pro if you do not know what tests are recommended for you, or you need a high quality doctor.”

Using this and other tools this employer has been able to increase annual physicals among its insured members over time. Watch the video here

How The “I Feel Fine” Syndrome™ Is Costing You Millions – Part 4

By DrScott – Posted on January 7, 2014 on www.compassphs.com

In the last blog we addressed specific occasions that prevent employees from knowing where to go for the right test at the right time, with the right provider, and at the right cost. In this blog we will examine specific strategies that companies use to overcome these barriers.

Below are six strategies that companies have used:

  1. Get and explain the importance of their biometric numbers. Biometric screenings can be done at work or at the doctor’s office.
  2. Make sure employees know where they are at risk and the need to act.
  3. Remove the cost of the screening test (now necessary with the Affordable Care Act).
  4. Give employees time off from work for their physical and testing.
  5. Reward employees for closing their age and gender appropriate gaps in care.
  6. Inspire employees to “do the right thing” for themselves, fellow employees, their employer, and their families.

If you are responsible for employees at a corporation you may be asking yourself why do all this work? Is it really a company’s responsibility to help cure the “I Feel Fine” Syndrome? From my perspective as a practicing doctor I would say to you: I cannot do it without you.

Employees have to be engaged and encouraged. Doctors cannot do it without your support. With your support in health plan design, focused communications, and providing the right tools to your employees and their families, outstanding life-saving and cost reducing solutions are possible and corporations are winning the war on disease and disability.

This change in thinking is redefining what the Human Resources Department means to corporations. Always focused and concerned with the experience of the employee at the corporation, the HR department now has the opportunity to take the employee experience to the next level:

  • From “I always had health insurance” to “I am alive today because of the proactive programs my employer put in place”!
  • Teaming up with the insurance company and medical providers to create a system of care that helps employees get it done, as opposed to creating frustration and unnecessary expense!

As Karen Rogers, an insurance broker at Holmes Murphy & Associates in Dallas Texas said in her introduction to the book, The Seven Numbers, “When I started my career in the insurance industry, I never expected to be saving lives. Yet, 22 years later, as I consult with employers on their employee benefits strategy, it is what I do”. If you work in health benefits you are either saving lives, or allowing employees to remain at risk. Choose to save lives and appreciate the tremendous opportunity available to you today.

Proactive Providers Save Lives and Money

By DrScott – Posted on November 26, 2013 on www.compassphs.com

In my private practice in the 1990s, I often would see patients for 7 to 15 minutes, three times a year, trying to inspire them and direct them in management of high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions. One particular patient I remember was a mechanic working at a large defense contractor. He had diabetes, high cholesterol, and an at-risk blood pressure. Every year he would come in for his physical because it was required by his employer. I would test his blood and consistently find that his cholesterol and other numbers were not well managed. We talked about how important it was to treat these conditions. I would offer additional medications and teach him to improve his lifestyle. He always assured me that he “felt fine” and didn’t think there was anything significantly wrong. A year later nothing changed and he continued down the same path.

Then one year, he came in with a form from his employer and asked me to fill in his numbers to then send back to his employer. Upon completing the form and handing it back to him, he said he had a new incentive program at work and was rewarded if his numbers met the goal. I asked him if he was willing to take additional medications and he said he would do “whatever it takes”. Low and behold, he saw a dietician, took additional medicine, and got his numbers to goal. Upon receiving the reward from his employer, he and his wife used that money to take a trip in their RV to the Pacific Northwest.

This continued for the next several years with him maintaining and managing his numbers to goal because his employer would reward him for his behavior. After he retired he was no longer incentivized, lost focus on his numbers, and had a significant heart attack several years later. I believe we prevented this for years through his engagement.

It was through interactions like this that it became clear to me that seeing a patient for 7 to 15 minutes, three times a year was only a portion of the solution. Having a partnership with employers that encourage and support employees engaging in proactive healthcare was equally important. Through this partnership, employees would win significantly.