|Wellmark Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Iowa Promotes Improved Health
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa is
introducing programs and services designed to help employer customers
manage the health risk of their employees and individual members to
lead healthier, more productive lives, the company said.
Wellmark’s approach to wellness and health
management – called Whole Health Dimensions –combines
Wellmark’s focus on health improvement with its comprehensive
data-mining capabilities and collaborative provider relationships.
According to Wellmark members will be encouraged to
establish a medical home with their healthcare provider and take a more
active role in managing their health through an array of services.
The company said the following services are designed to
help members identify their health risks and to set and achieve their
- Decision-support tools including 24/7 phone services
to help members navigate the healthcare system and receive answers from
a nurse about their healthcare questions;
- Wellness programs including an online health
assessment, Web-based tools, on-site wellness screenings, telephonic
health coaching and on-site program deliver;
- Consultative services to help companies plan and
design health-management strategies based on their unique situations
and needs; and
- More robust disease management, pregnancy care, utilization management and case management programs.
The ultimate goal is to redefine Wellmark’s
working relationship with network clinicians in a way that supports the
medical home concept – patient-focused, clinician-directed and
Wellmark spent the better part of 2007 preparing for the
launch of Whole Health Dimensions’ programs and services with a
special focus on building wellness solutions that help companies keep
their employees healthy and prevent or delay chronic illnesses such as
diabetes or heart disease.
According to D.W. Edington, Ph.D., director of the
University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, presenteeism
accounts for 63 percent of indirect medical costs, compared to 6
percent for absenteeism and short-term disability and 1 percent for
long-term disability. Edington is collaborating with Wellmark to
establish scientific-based protocols to measure the success of its
health management solutions.
Wellmark is introducing the full suite of Whole Health
Dimensions solutions to its fully insured group and individual
customers throughout 2008. Whole Health Dimensions is also available to
self-insured groups and their members. Already, a number of these
self-funded employer groups are implementing these solutions for more
than 125,000 employees and their families.
Small group employers will be able to avail themselves
of the Whole Health Dimensions’ Community Wellness program, a
personal, "feet-on-the-street" approach to wellness, designed to build
momentum for health promotion at the local level. Wellmark’s
Community Wellness program promotes wellness programs to businesses as
a way to increase productivity and help control healthcare costs.
Address: Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, 636 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309; (515) 245-4500, www.wellmark.com.