Experts: Wellness plans need meaningful engagement strategies | Mass. looks to help to workers struggling with mental health | S.C. companies invest in employee health clinics
February 5, 2016
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

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Experts: Wellness plans need meaningful engagement strategies
Wellness programs often do not reach desired outcomes or engage people in meaningful ways, so instead of trying to force participation, the focus should be on smarter, targeted and relevant interactions, said Alegeus CEO Steve Auerbach. Eric Helman at Hodges Mace said complex wellness incentives may raise participation but also add to employee dissatisfaction, while Sonic Boom Wellness CEO Danna Korn said companies are finding that a well-designed program does not need incentive penalties to succeed. Healthcare Dive (2/3)
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Mass. looks to help to workers struggling with mental health
A Massachusetts initiative called CEOs Against Stigma is trying to educate employers on the prejudices employees with mental health issues face in the workplace. The program aims to help executives create a more transparent and fearless environment for employees to seek help. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (2/3)
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Other News
Data Security and HIPAA Compliance in Mid-sized Healthcare Organizations
The 21st century is facing an uphill battle for better data security, and the healthcare industry is at the front lines. Healthcare providers deal with tremendous amounts of sensitive, legally protected data labeled protected health information (PHI), which requires certain security measures as defined by HIPAA. Learn how to ensure that all PHI is handled, transferred and stored properly.

Personalized feedback helps encourage exercise in diabetes patients
A study in Diabetes Care showed that type 2 diabetes patients increased the amount of physical activity and pace of walking over time when they received personalized feedback encouraging physical activity from a mobile phone application one to seven times a week, compared with the control group, who received reminders to exercise. Israeli researchers used a cohort of 27 patients who didn't engage in regular physical activity and found that patients using the personalized policy and those who had lower activity targets and higher initial HbA1C levels saw the most reduction in HbA1C levels. News (2/4)
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Health News & Research
Research suggests depression raises cardiovascular risks in seniors
A French study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that seniors with severe depression face an increased likelihood of heart disease or stroke over 10 years. Findings were based on more than 7,300 seniors who were assessed on four occasions. Those who had high levels of depression symptoms in one visit had 15% greater risk of heart disease or stroke, those who showed symptoms of depression at all four visits faced a 75% increased risk. HealthDay News (2/4)
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Researchers examine effect of chocolate in pregnancy on women, fetus
Pregnant women who consumed 30 grams of chocolate daily over a 12-week period had a reduced risk for preeclampsia, while the fetus showed improved circulatory health, researchers reported at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting. Canadian researchers used a cohort of almost 130 women at 11 to 14 weeks of their pregnancy and found an association between eating a small amount of chocolate and improvements in all blood circulation and velocity measurements. HealthDay News (2/4)
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Gallup introduces new way to measure "well being" of college grads
The polling firm Gallup has developed a certification for colleges and universities based on the "well being" of graduates. According to Gallup, currently only 11% of college graduates are thriving in five areas of measurement, such as a sense of purpose and physical and financial health. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/4)
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Schools & Community
Nonprofit plans 3rd pantry to help low-income families in Pittsburgh
The South Hills Interfaith Movement operates two food pantries in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and plans to open a third location. Observers say that poverty is increasingly becoming a problem in suburban areas, even for families that have at least one employed adult. "Many who are in need are the working poor ... and unfortunately their need has been increasing," said board chairman Kris McInnes. SHIM helped about 4,000 individuals last year, and expects to help 9,000 annually within five to 10 years. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2/4)
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Texas district serves 3 daily meals
Students attending the Austin Independent School District in Texas have access to three meals per day through its after-school meal program. The program now has been expanded to include service for athletes after practice. KVUE-TV (Austin, Texas) (2/4)
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Wellness Industry Developments
AHIP is your connection to health plans
Health plans are looking for companies with innovative products and services to help them provide high-quality, cost-effective care. Becoming an AHIP Affiliate Organization Member is an ideal way to connect with these plans. Read a full description of the programs, and contact a member of AHIP’s Business Development Team at to learn more.
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Helping health plans advance their DM programs
With care management advancing at such a rapid pace, keeping up with all of the changes can be difficult. AHIP's DM Direct program is comprised of disease management suppliers such as Healthways, which provides total population health management solutions aimed at lowering costs and improving quality of care for health plans, the government and employers.
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