Health plan offers incentives for wellness participation | Wansink: Change work environment to improve employee health | Physicians learn how to counsel patients about exercise
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December 10, 2014
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

Wellness Programs & Trends
Health plan offers incentives for wellness participation
A New York-based health insurer is taking a more HR-type approach to wellness in hopes of engaging employees and reducing health costs. Oscar Health Insurance is offering incentives for employee members to participate in wellness initiatives, including a free Misfit wearable tracker and $240 in Amazon gift cards. (12/8)
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Wansink: Change work environment to improve employee health
Cornell University professor Brian Wansink says employee wellness programs may be more successful if companies changed the workplace environment so that employees become healthier by default instead of having to make a conscious effort. Environmental changes could include offering free fruit instead of unhealthy snacks, making salads the standard side dish in the cafeteria, using exercise ball chairs and instituting walking meetings. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (12/9)
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December is the New January! Time to Invest in Your Health.
Capital Health Coach works to engage you in your own health & wellness. Our team specializes in everything from nutrition, exercise, weight-loss and even mindfulness practice. We tailor our coaching to meet your desired goals, and believe that your health is your greatest asset. Take time to care for yourself—and the best part is we connect with you over the phone!

Physicians learn how to counsel patients about exercise
Physicians are writing prescriptions for exercise, counseling patients on how much physical activity is needed and sometimes making referrals to a fitness trainer. The Exercise is Medicine program through the American College of Sports Medicine trains physicians to counsel patients, and the college also issues certifications for qualified trainers. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/8)
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5 positive ways to respond to negative comments.
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers, but what do you do when the conversation takes a negative turn? With 5 tips, you can learn how to positively respond and help direct the conversation. Read the article and learn the 5 ways to respond positively.

Health News & Research
Health ranking cites higher U.S. obesity, diabetes rates
America's Health Rankings has named Hawaii the healthiest state for three consecutive years, while Mississippi was listed as the least healthy. Data showed that about 10% of adults reported having diabetes, and about 25% said they had not exercised in the previous 30 days. Obesity rates went from 27.6% in 2013 to 29.4% this year, researchers said. USA Today (12/10)
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Almost half of U.S. children exposed to adverse experience, study finds
A study in Health Affairs found nearly 50% of U.S. children were exposed to at least one of nine adverse experiences -- such as extreme economic hardship or mental health or substance abuse problems -- while more than 22% were exposed to two or more. Researchers said children who experienced such events had more than twofold increased odds of chronic conditions and special medical needs. However, those who adopted resilience skills thwarted the negative effects of the events. Health Affairs Blog (12/8)
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Survey: People will take action if genetic test shows health risk
A survey of adults found the higher their genetic risk of heart disease, colon cancer or Alzheimer's disease, the more likely it is that people will take action to address it, Yale University researchers reported in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Co-author Rene Almeling said it is important for clinicians to understand how patients may use genetic test information to make key life decisions, because risk for a disease may be treated like the actual disease. HealthDay News (12/8)
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Women often retain weight after pregnancy, study says
A study of 774 women says about 75% weighed more one year after pregnancy than they did before having a baby, and almost 25% had retained more than 20 pounds, researchers reported in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Data showed that one-third of women who had a normal weight before pregnancy were overweight or obese one year after giving birth. HealthDay News (12/9)
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Business Tips and Advice
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Schools & Community
N.J. conference gives community leaders wellness tools
Local leaders, educators, health care practitioners and social workers in New Jersey learned about tools and resources available to help create healthier communities during the one-day Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Conference. Dr. Darrin Anderson of the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids said sharing solutions and best practices can help communities have a big impact on health. The Philadelphia Tribune (12/9)
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Pa. school commits to farm-to-school trend
A private Pennsylvania school is serving made-from-scratch meals, and the food comes from local sources, including all meat, produce and dairy from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. Twice a week, students eat family-style in their classrooms to make mealtime more fun. WPVI-TV (Philadelphia) (12/8)
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Wellness Industry Developments
Join the discussions at the National Health Policy Conference
AHIP's National Health Policy Forum, March 11 and 12, 2015, in Washington, D.C., is one-stop shopping for those seeking insights on the latest policy developments and trends shaping health care. Register now.
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It's Flu Season: Immunize Your Health Plan
Health plans push for their members to get immunized; it improves health outcomes and reduces the medical spend from costs related to influenza and pneumonia. Like its members, health plans also need to be immunized against challenges they are increasingly exposed to in the areas of information security; fraud, waste and abuse. Join us for this webinar on Friday, Dec. 12, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Unite Here HealthUnite Here HealthAurora, IL
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Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power."
-- Clint Eastwood,
American actor and filmmaker
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