How Can Employers Maximize the Engagement of Their Employees Who Suffer from Chronic Diseases?

Results from remotely monitored chronic care management programs


People with chronic conditions spend 8 times more on healthcare than those without chronic conditions. The obvious questions for C-Suite and HR professionals are:

How Can Employers Maximize the Engagement of Their Employees Who Suffer from Chronic Diseases?

"How do we engage our employees and their family members in our wellness programs?"

and

"How do we optimize the disease management of team members who have one or more chronic conditions and bend the cost curve?"

Highly engaged employees feel valued, deliver better quality work, are healthier, and have high productivity metrics. Forbes Magazine found that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability and 61% of employees agree that they have made healthier lifestyles choices because of their company's wellness program. Furthermore, Forbes estimated that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year.

Most corporate wellness programs do not incorporate disease education and focus only on disease management. These programs need to extend their focus to include other dimensions of general wellness such as stress, sleep, and financial wellbeing. Chronic disease management must address the "whole person." SmartFHR™ powered by Green Circle Life addresses an employee holistically which improves employee engagement and lowers costs.

Successful wellness and chronic condition care programs need to be easily accessible to people when they need it. Most Americans - 96% - now own a cellphone and about 90% of cell phone users own a smartphone. The SmartFHR™ application is available via smartphone app for both Android & iPhone platforms and via a web browser for PC and tablets.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six out of ten adults in the United States have been diagnosed with one chronic disease and four out of ten have been diagnosed with two or more. SmartFHR™ offers programs for multiple chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, CHF, and COPD in one platform. Each program addresses the whole person by incorporating condition specific education and information on nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep, and financial wellness.

Family support and education is also an important factor in managing chronic conditions. Successful programs connect employees and their family members to their company provided benefits. SmartFHR™ brings employers the capability to interface with employees on an ongoing basis and keep them informed of the benefit programs available to them and their family members. Each employee receives 4 additional SmartFHR™ licenses to invite family members to have access to benefit information and health and wellness programs.

Healthcare systems are not always designed with the patient in mind and do little to enable patients to take charge of their conditions. SmartFHR™ care programs are designed to empower employees and their family members to actively participate in the management of their health. An empowered person understands their health condition better and can actively participate in decision-making with their healthcare providers since they are able to make informed choices about their treatment.

SmartFHR care programs can be self-managed or used in conjunction with one-on-one health coaching service. People with chronic conditions need to know someone really cares about them. Green Circle Life team of health professionals can listen, guide, and encourage employees and family members to make lifestyle and behavior changes to improve outcomes.

Here are some of the results from employees and their family members who use Green Circle Life programs:

DIABETES

34.2 million Americans-just over 1 in 10-have diabetes. 88 million American adults-approximately 1 in 3-have prediabetes.

Results with Green Circle Life SmartFHR

  • Self-managed program participation resulted in 83% of participants having decreased blood sugar values with an average drop of 38.4 mg/dL. Of the people with decreased blood sugar, 35% lost weight with an average weight loss of 4 pounds.
  • Health Partner assisted program participation resulted in 60% of participants having decreased blood sugar values with an average drop of 39 mg/dL. Of the people with decreased blood sugar, 79% lost weight with an average weight loss of 17.3 pounds.
  • Year-over-year actual healthcare plan cost savings per person was $5,600.
  • How these results are achieved: SmartFHR™ evidence-based diabetes care program addresses the all aspects of the disease condition using digital coaching for physical, emotional, social, and financial wellbeing, condition specific and general health literature, remote monitoring of vitals entered manually or through blue-tooth enabled devices, alerts and reminders for vitals, and medication reminders. Additionally, health assessments, ongoing health promotion, and wellness programs helped them to develop a healthy mindset to further improve outcomes and control costs.

An example of success from a Green Circle Life Health Partner

A SmartFHR™ user was using one-on-one coaching with the Green Circle Life Diabetes Care Program to focus on healthy eating, increasing activity, and losing weight to manage his diabetes and decrease his A1c. He saw his endocrinologist who upon seeing his A1c improved from 9.8% to 6.2% commented that such program should be offered to all his patients.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Nearly half of American adults - 108 million - have high blood pressure defined as a systolic blood pressure > 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure > 80mmHg or are taking medication for hypertension. Only 1 in 4 adults with hypertension have their condition controlled.

Results with Green Circle Life SmartFHR

  • Self-managed program participation resulted in 63% of participants having a decrease in both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) by 4.1%. In 36.8% of participants, the percentage decrease in weight was equal to the percent decrease in SBP and DBP (7.1%). The average drop per person for this group in SBP was 6.2 mmHg, in DBP was 2.9 mmHg, and weight loss was 10.1 pounds.
  • Health partner assisted program participation resulted in 57% of participants having a decrease in SBP and DBP by 4.8%. In 35% of participants, the percentage decrease in weight was equal to the percent decrease in SBP and DBP (7.7%). The average drop per person for this group in SBP was 23.4 mmHg, in DBP was 9.7 mmHg, and weight loss was 13.4 pounds.
  • Year over year actual healthcare plan cost savings per person was more than $600.
  • How are these results achieved: SmartFHR™ evidence-based blood pressure care program addresses the whole person using digital coaching modules, literature, remote monitoring of vitals entered manually or through a blue-tooth enabled devices, alerts and reminders for vitals, and medication reminders. Ongoing health promotion, encouraging medication compliance, healthcare provider follow-up and testing, and participation in wellness programs develops a healthy mindset for employees to further improve outcomes, control costs, and improve quality of life.

An example of success from a Green Circle Life Health Partners

A SmartFHR™ user is working with Green Circle Life one-on-one coaching to focus on lowering his blood pressure. With the help of his Green Circle Life health partner, the user has been focusing on personalized nutrition counselling, taking medications as prescribed, monitoring his blood pressure, and following up with his provider. By making healthy substitutions in his diet, and following his plan, he lowered his blood pressure from an average of 162/85 to 134/78 in three months, without any changes in his medication. He also scheduled an annual wellness visit with his primary care provider to discuss his blood pressure care program, get labs drawn, and ensure he is up to date on preventative care.

OBESITY

71.6% of Americans age 20 and above are overweight (BMI >25) and more than70 million are obese (BMI>30). The incidence of obesity in children and teens (2-19) has more than tripled in the last 20 years resulting in more than 1/3 of this age group categorized as overweight or obese.

Results with Green Circle Life SmartFHR™

  • Participation in self-managed program resulted in 49% of participants losing weight with an average weight loss of 13.2 pounds.
  • Participation in Health Partner assisted program resulted in 85% of participants losing weight with an average weight loss of 14.2 pounds.
  • How can SmartFHR™ can benefit the whole family: It is well documented that children learn behavior and pattern themselves after the adults in their family. To reverse the trend, families need to make healthy food choices and become more active together. With the inclusion of 4 complementary user licenses for each paid license, the whole family can take advantage of the SmartFHR features and one-on-one coaching. The Green Circle Life program addresses the problem in its entirety using digital coaching modules, literature, remote monitoring of vitals entered manually or through a blue tooth enabled devices, alerts and reminders, and personalized nutrition counselling. Health assessment, ongoing health promotion, and wellness challenges develops healthy habits to further improve outcomes and control costs.

An example of success from a Green Circle Life Health Partner

A SmartFHR™ user working with Green Circle Life one-on-one coaching for 6 months went from 323 pounds (BMI 41.5) to 269 pounds (BMI 34.5). Adding daily exercise and making healthy eating choices resulted in normalizing his average blood pressure to 125/82 in the same timeframe. Another SmartFHR™ user invited his spouse and 17-year-old son to have their own SmartFHR accounts and use the program and one-on-one coaching. In the last 6 months, each of them lost more than 20 pounds.

SUMMARY

Prioritizing employee care and offering them a well-designed, comprehensive software platform with dedicated health coaches results in healthier employees, makes them feel valued, and improves their productivity. According to Forbes, 61% of employees agree that they have made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company's wellness program. By taking the next step to deliver personalized care for the emotional and physical wellbeing of their team members, employers can address the challenges in bending the curve for healthcare costs.