King County, Wash., tells wellness success story | Mission Health wellness plan gets off to fast start | Review: Post-menopause exercise boosts body, brain health
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July 23, 2014
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

Wellness Programs & Trends
King County, Wash., tells wellness success story
King County in Washington state spent $15 million on its wellness program from 2007 to 2011 but saved $46 million in health costs. The program had a sustained participation rate of more than 90% and employee health improved to a level above the national average. Stateline (7/22)
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Mission Health wellness plan gets off to fast start
Mission Health in Asheville, N.C., says 3,000 employees have signed up for its MyHealthyLife WellConnect wellness program and have logged 59.4 million walking steps since July 1. Mission plans to expand the program to additional employees and to other employers in the region later this year. Mountain Xpress (Asheville, N.C.) (7/22)
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Review: Post-menopause exercise boosts body, brain health
Data from 21 studies showed that women with higher levels of physical activity after menopause had better fitness and a slower rate of physical decline, researchers reported in Maturitas. Some of the study data also linked exercise to better brain health, and researchers said more vigorous exercise was better than a gentler workout. Reuters (7/22)
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Other News
Health News & Research
Healthy lifestyle may have positive effect on cognition
People at risk of Alzheimer's disease who focus on healthy diet, physical activity, brain and social engagement, and heart health may slow the progression of dementia, Swedish researchers told the Alzheimer's Association International Conference. The study found a 40% difference in cognitive decline between people in the intervention arm of the study and those in a control group given basic health advice. Reuters (7/17)
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Study: 30% of children incorrectly gauge their weight
A report from the National Center for Health Statistics says about 30% of children ages 8 to 15 had incorrect perceptions about their weight, with 42% of those who were obese and 76% of those who were overweight indicating they were at the right weight level. USA Today (7/23)
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AFib may raise post-surgery stroke risk, study says
Patients with a history of atrial fibrillation had a higher risk of stroke immediately after a heart surgery, according to a study of almost 109,000 heart patients in Canada. Old age, history of stroke and blood vessel disease were also associated with a higher odds of post-surgery stroke, researchers said. The findings appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. HealthDay News (7/21)
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Abdominal obesity rate remains steady in U.S. children
The rate of abdominal obesity in U.S. children ages 2 to 18 remained steady at nearly 18% between 2003 and 2012, according to research in the journal Pediatrics. HealthDay News (7/21), Reuters (7/21)
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Schools & Community
Neb. Whole Child Project to study students' fitness, achievement
Nebraska has launched a statewide effort to collect data on students' fitness and achievement and use the information to initiate healthy practices and programs. The Nebraska Whole Child Project will operate on private funding, and officials say they are hopeful that data linking students' health with their academic achievement will drive greater investments in students' well-being. Lincoln Journal Star (Neb.) (tiered subscription model) (7/22)
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Iowa district to serve free breakfast, lunch at 35 schools
Over more than two decades, the percentage of students in Des Moines, Iowa, qualifying for free and reduced-price meals has increased to 70% from 33%. Now, the district will offer free breakfasts and lunches to students at 35 schools -- regardless of family income -- under a U.S. Department of Agriculture program. The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (tiered subscription model) (7/22)
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Wellness Industry Developments
Government priorities for health insurance programs
The 2014 National Conference on Medicare, Sept. 28 to 30 in Washington, D.C., will focus on CMS' priorities for Medicare Advantage and Part D. Also to be discussed is the impact of health care on the 2014 midterm elections and Wall Street's view on the future of medicine. Learn more or register today.
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Strategies to engage the new health care consumer
In the new direct-to-consumer environment, there are vast opportunities to engage consumers and retain them for life. At AHIP's Consumer Experience Forum, Nov. 19 and 20 in Phoenix, Ariz., learn strategies for delivering a successful experience to the new health care consumer in 2015 and beyond. Maximize your time and attend Ops/Tech Forum in Phoenix the same week. Register now.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
ActuaryMeridian Health PlanDetroit, MI
Click here to view more job listings.
The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation."
-- Pearl S. Buck,
American writer
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