The $8 Million National Healthy Worksite Program – Will It Make Any Difference? Probably Not

Introduction: An Experimental Initiative for Worker Health Promotion

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed a bet on the corporate health promotion business with an $8 million injection of funds made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is called the National Healthy Worksite Wellness Program or NHWP. The goal is to reduce chronic disease among Americans.
The three areas of emphasis are nutrition, exercise and smoking cessation.

Some might view the goal of less chronic disease and the nature of the three-part emphasis as consistent with and likely to include positive REAL wellness, activities that promote high quality of life outcomes. I would not be among them. Some might view any distinctions between reducing chronic disease and advancing quality of life as quibbling over semantics. I think the difference matters a lot, for it reflects an unfortunate fact, namely, that the new worksite initiative is likely to consist of more medical screenings, more preaching against bad habits and more lamentations about the perils of high risk indicators.

When I first heard about NHWP, I had hoped it might bring more education, incentives and support for personal effectiveness. I hoped for goals addressed to increased happiness, life satisfaction and similar elements addressed to the art and science of advancing reason/exuberance/athleticism and liberty. Perhaps this will have to wait for another day, another program. But, maybe not. Let’s look closer at the announcements about the NHWP.

The CDC, VHM and the Participating Communities

CDC will be working with 104 organizations; the program will be administered by Viridian Health Management, henceforth VHM.

VHM describes itself as a healthcare company focused on improving individual and population health through health coaching, an integrative approach to wellness, powerful technology and analytics. VHM announced the selection of the 104 employer organizations that will participate in the NHWP located within the eight counties or “participating communities.”

The eight counties are as follows: Buchanan County, Mo.; Harris County, Texas; Kern County, Calif.; Marion County, Ind.; Philadelphia County, Pa.; Pierce County, Wash.; Shelby County, Tenn.; and Somerset County, Maine. The basis of selection consisted primarily of the presence in each area of high rates of chronic disease.

Assessment

The NHWP program is a product of the double-edged sword ACA guidelines:

Early worksite wellness exercise program

Companies can charge workers with unhealthy lifestyles up to 30 percent more for medical insurance but they also must offer health improvement programs. Speaking of such swords, here’s a little good news, bad news courtesy of the Rand Corporation. As of 2010, 92 percent of employers with more than 200 employees offered wellness programs. That’s good. But, this is not – only 20 percent of employees participate! And this is worse – these programs have been found not to be effective in any event! In other words, it would not have mattered much if 100 percent of workers participated – they don’t work!

Actually, full participation would have mattered – costs would have been about five times greater.

As expressed in an article in Healthline News, the most targeted employee behaviors were exercising, smoking and losing weight-the same issues addressed by the new CDC program. Is that the kiss of death or what? Remember, these are the issues that attracted the participation of only 20 percent of workers and that did not work! (Source: Brian Krans, Workplace Wellness Programs: Do They Work? Healthline News, June 11, 2013.)

So much for more screenings, more preaching against bad habits and more lamentations about the perils of high risk indicators.

I do hope the CDC folks expect more of VHM for their $8 million under the NHWP initiative. REAL wellness, anyone?

Be weller than well, if you can and at least look on the bright side, to the extent possible.

Pill Identification Tools

Prescription drugs play an increasingly important role in modern life. People take pills to make them happier, address specific health concerns, and even improve their sexual performance. As more and more pills pile up in our medicine cabinets, though, it becomes easier for us to mistake one drug for another. Whenever you need help identifying a pill, you can turn to online pill identification tools that maintain large databases that list prescription drugs by identifying features and key imprints.

Imprints make it easy to determine what kind of pill you have. All you have to do is enter the numbers and letters into a pill identification tool. Reliable databases can provide accurate information within seconds.

If, for instance, you find a pill that says “100 MG” on one side and “G 4910″ on the other, then you know that you have found 100 mg of sertraline hydrochloride, which is more commonly known as generic Zoloft.

Some times, however, you don’t have the luxury of an easy-to-read imprint. The pill could be old, or maybe it never had an imprint at all. In these instances, you can search for the drug’s name by entering identifying features of the drug. This doesn’t always provide specific results as easily as searching for imprints, but it should give you a list of options that will help you identify the pill in your possession.

For instance, if you have a yellow pill in the shape of an oval, then you can enter those features into the pill identification search engine. These are fairly common attributes, so the tool will probably give you a large number of possible matches. Once you have the possible matches, though, it becomes much easier to determine the specific type of pill that you have, especially when the pill identification tool provides pictures of each option. From the above features, your search will likely provide results such as Endocet, Percocet, Meloxicam, and sertraline. Although these pills resemble each other, you will quickly be able to recognize sertraline over the others.

Pill identification tools vary in usefulness. Some contain more search parameters than others. After researching online identification tools, you will also find that some of them only contain information about legitimate prescription drugs. Other tools also provide information about common drugs that are sold illegally. This is helpful for parents who might find a few pills in a teenager’s room. It is important to note, however, that illegally manufactured drugs can vary significantly in appearance. In these instances, you might need a chemical drug identification kit or even assistance from a drug laboratory.

Pill identification tools will undoubtedly become more important as people take more responsibility for their health. Knowing what types of pills you have been prescribed can help you determine how each one affects you and whether you have been given medications that might have dangerous side effects. If you ever have any doubts about the results of your pill identification tool, then you can always play it safe by consulting a doctor or pharmacist.

Health Insurance – Relieve Yourself From Stress To Lead A Longer Life

A healthy body and mind is the key to success. Healthy lifestyle habits are excellent way to keep stress as far as possible from you. Not only do those living a balanced and healthy lifestyle tend to experience minimal stress, but the healthy habits they retain often lead to lowered reactivity toward stress and other problems which will enable to lead you a healthy long lifestyle. This is also a fact that due to fast paced lifestyle people don’t have time enough to eat properly, forget about maintaining a healthy diet.

Poorly maintained health habits and exercise regime gives rise to various health problems which people are unaware of and when the problems begin to increase they take a toll on your life. Nowadays even if you go for a normal health check-up it costs you around rupees 700/- per sitting and if you calculate this by making it 4 rounds a month, you can easily note that your annual charge will go upto around a lakh and that excluding any medicines or tests referred by the specialist. Due to such medical expenses and costs incurred in every small medication it becomes highly expensive for a person to bear it. With health insurance cover you not only get the cover on your medication and consultation and hospital expenses but also saves yourself from the huge bills which can come in the time of emergency.

Securing a health insurance not only ensures economic assistance in your medical expenses but also helps you lead a stronger, healthier life as you know that someone is at your back taking care of all your health needs. You also get 24/7 Healthline to offer you access to health advice when you need it, whenever you need it by a company being launched recently in the market. It not only provides expenses for medication but also for nutritionist consultation.