Better Care at Lower Cost for People with Multiple Health and Social Needs

| September 20, 2017

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People with multiple health and social needs are high consumers of health care services, and are thus drivers of high health care costs. The elevated cost of care in this population offers a tremendous opportunity to understand the individuals and their priorities and needs, and to craft a service delivery plan that meets their needs more effectively at a significantly lower cost.

Spotlight

Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group, Inc.

Founded in 1921, Bristol Hospital is the leading health provider for people who live and work in the greater Bristol area. Proud of its achievements in service excellence, Bristol Hospital has earned national recognition for its commitment to providing outstanding patient care. Bristol Hospital has 154 licensed beds and offers a complete range of patient services including a first-rate emergency center, a 50,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art surgical center, a family-centered, single-room-model maternity unit, an award-winning ICU, Ingraham Manor skilled nursing facility, the Beekley Center for Breast Health & Wellness, Sleep Center, Center for Orthopedic and Spine Health, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, the Connecticut Gastroenterology Institute, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services, and an advanced Diagnostic Imaging department offering the latest in CT/PET, MRI and nuclear medicine.

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Post Pandemic Meltdown: Gamified Dieting Success Rates, Sign-ups Surge Amid ‘Quarantine 15’ Concerns

Article | December 8, 2020

Let’s face it. It’s been one tough year with too many of us sitting idle and indulging in calorie-laden foods for way too long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe. For all too many, sheltering in place has prompted unwelcome weight gain—a troublesome truth as we head into the holiday season where gluttony oft reigns supreme. That said, many individuals did have foresight and motivation back in March and the months that followed, wisely leveraging that extreme downtime to “diet for dollars” with HealthyWage—a pioneer of money-driven weight loss contests and challenges for individuals, teams and business groups. In fact, those who started a 6-month HealthyWager challenge during the pandemic (late March through May) broke company records, spurring a dramatic increase in pound shedding success rates—and in-kind cash payouts—against the norm. So motivated became America to drop, or avoid, the so-called ‘quarantine 15’ and score some cold hard cash in the process, HealthyWage reports that this past May it logged a substantial year-over-year increase in challenge participants at large. This is not surprising given Google search trends indicates the portion of people searching for weight loss hit a 5-year high in May of 2020—a level even exceeding the quintessential New Year’s diet resolution season. Beyond the fact that people who started weight loss wagers during the pandemic achieved much greater success as compared to participant results the prior year, and earning hundreds and even thousands of dollars for their efforts, it is women and individuals under 30 years of age primarily accounting for the sustained increases. For example, among the litany of pandemic era success stories, Lisa S. won over $1,900 for losing 50 pounds in 6 months while Hayden T. won over $1,200 for losing over 62 pounds in 6 months—both during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus rages on well into the fourth quarter, we collectively find ourselves again having to shelter-in-place. Those trying to reconcile how they will survive this next round of being home bound, and the holiday season at large, with mitigated waistline and budgetary wreckage—and who are even planning their New Year resolution approach just beyond—would be wise to consider the gamified dieting approach. “Loss Aversion is a powerful dynamic and the reality of having ‘skin in the game’ can propel the results of a gamified weight loss initiative,” notes HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. The efficacy of diet gamification is well-proven. For one, according to study findings published by JAMA Internal Medicine, behavioral economics-based gamification led to “significantly” increased physical activity among overweight and obese Americans. In this particular study, pairing a step tracking device with social incentives led to sustained, long-term behavior change—prompting participants to take more steps then with a step tracking device, alone. While the report explains that “gamification interventions significantly increased physical activity during the 24-week intervention,” with competition being the “most effective.” That’s something HealthyWage has seen play out since launching its weight-loss gamification platform in 2009. HealthyWage is, in fact, founded on earlier substantive research and "double-incentivization" methodology that proves competition and rewards—especially the cash variety—can as much as triple the effectiveness of weight loss programs. “A key element for the success of a gamification program is giving participants something to lose if they fail to meet their goal—whether tangible or intangible,” notes Roddenberry. “In this particular study, it was just points at stake but even this effected behavior change. There are actually throngs of studies demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” A few other notable HealthyWager success stories (both female and male) are case-in-point. These include Jean N. who lost 71 lbs. and won $3,357.99 for her efforts, and Jeremy M. who also lost 71 lbs. and won $1,886.32 for his own slimdown success. From its website, HealthyWage.com shares yet more inspirational success stories of both women and men who gained financially for their pound-shedding achievements using the company’s unique gamification approach. This includes Kristin W. who lost a staggering 114 pounds and won $4,000 for her efforts, Anastasia W. who lost 41 pounds and won a whopping $10,000 in kind, and Blake S. who lost an impressive 151 pounds and won $4,670 for his own slimdown success. Figures that are tasty, indeed. These and other such HealthyWage payouts are proof positive. For their weight-loss achievements that collectively exceeds an astounding 1,050,000 pounds for this year, alone—269 of which losing in excess of 100 pounds (and nearly 7.5 million pounds lost since the company’s launch), HealthyWage has reportedly paid more than xx30,000 dieters over $13 million cash in 2020, specifically, and over $55 million cash since its inception in 2009. HealthyWage programs apply these principles: HealthyWager Challenge: participants commit to a weight loss goal and an upfront financial payment and get their money back plus a financial return if they accomplish their weight loss goal. The average participant loses 40.7 pounds and gets paid $1,245. HealthyWage Step Challenge: participants commit money and agree to increase their steps by 25% over 60-days. If they achieve their goal they get their money back plus the money from those who don't hit their goal. Upholding the new findings while also further validating HealthyWage’s well-honed approach, an additional study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine continue to prove that money is an effective motivator to “increase both the magnitude and duration of weight loss.” The same hold true in business for staff wellness initiatives. Results from one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that “Loss Incentive’ Motivates Employees to Take More Steps ,” finding that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals. As a prolific corporate and group wellness purveyor, since 2009 HealthyWage has worked with an array of hi-caliber participants on workplace and staff wellness initiatives, including Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and more than 25% of the largest school districts in the country. HealthyWage has, in fact, formally created competitive, money-motivated programs for more than 1000 Fortune 500 and other public and private companies, hospitals, health systems, insurers, school systems, municipal governments and other organizations throughout the U.S., and their program has been more informally run at more than 7,000 companies and organizations seeking to bolster staff health and well-being, and boost bottom lines in kind. “Throngs of studies reiterate the importance of the 'stick' in the design of a wellness incentive program, whether for individuals at home or for employee groups,” Roddenberry says. “Many studies have demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” Studies do consistently show that monetary incentives serve to enhance the effectiveness of, and duly complement, weight-loss programs of any and all sorts, especially when paid out quickly like HealthyWage’s various programs. For its part, HealthyWage reports that the average participant more than doubles their investment if they are successful at achieving their goal. The financial upside potential is impressive. So, if this is the season when you would like to not only resolve to lose those extra lbs. but also actually achieve that worthy goal, consider a cash-fueled approach. It just might give you that extra dose of motivation that’ll truly help you stay the course, shed weight and make some extra money in the process. There’s no better time than right now to bank on yourself.

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Developing a Coronavirus Digital Marketing Strategy for Healthcare

Article | April 2, 2020

Healthcare organizations are scrambling right now to stay on top of Coronavirus while also providing world-class care to other patients with various healthcare needs. This becomes a problem for marketing teams to not only stay consistent in their messaging and marketing priorities but also in shifting focus to this new uncertain reality we’re all facing. There is no blueprint for what’s happening right now, but there are steps we can take to help keep the momentum moving forward.To start, healthcare marketing teams should first focus on how they are communicating about Coronavirus to their community and patients, and how their digital marketing channels (such as SEO, paid media, content marketing, and social media) fit into that message. At Marcel Digital, we’re currently working with our healthcare clients to shift digital marketing strategies to fit this new mold. Here’s what we’re telling them.

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8 Ways To Convince A Loved One To Get Help For Their Anxieties And Fears

Article | October 21, 2020

Do you know a friend or loved one who suffers from fear, anxiety, and depression and do not know what to do? It can be difficult to watch someone you know struggle with their mental health and not be able to do anything about it. As a result, here are 8 important tips on how to help the person you care about in these kinds of situations. 1. Learn as much as you can in managing anxiety and depression: There are many books and information that will educate you on how to deal with fear and anxiety. Share this information with the person who is struggling with their mental health. 2. Be understanding and patient with the person struggling: Dealing with depression and anxiety can be difficult for the person so do not add more problems than what is already there. Do not get into arguments with the person who is having a difficult time with their mental health. 3. Talk to the person instead of talking at them: It is important not to lecture the person who is struggling with anxiety and depression. Talk to the person about their issues without getting upset. Most people will listen if you approach them in the right manner. 4. Remind the person the importance of getting help: One way to convince the person who is struggling with fear and depression is to tell them what may happen if they don't get some assistance. Anxiety and depression can be difficult to manage and usually these mental health issues won't go away by themselves. 5. Find out why the person won't seek assistance: Address the issues on why the person will not get the necessary help. Many people who are struggling are fearful and frustrated. Try to find out the reasons why he or she won't get the help they need and then try to find ways that will overcome their resistance of seeking treatment. 6. Join a local support group: There are many mental health support groups in your area that can help you. Many hospitals, churches, and counselors in your area will be able to provide you with a list of groups. These mental health organizations will be supportive of your situation and they can give you additional advice on how to help the person who is struggling. 7. Talk to someone who has been there: Find somebody who used to struggle with fear, anxiety, or depression and have them talk to the person who is struggling. He or she could use their past experiences to try to reason with the person that you care about, and they might be able to use their insights to convince the individual to seek treatment. 8. Talk to a counselor: Talk to a professional counselor on how you can help your friend or relative with their mental health struggles. A counselor can give you advice and ideas on how to help out your friend. Your main goal is to get the person who is struggling to seek help from a mental health specialist.

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Supporting the healthcare industry in the battle against COVID-19

Article | March 26, 2020

With the global spread of COVID-19 affecting our communities, colleagues, partners and customers, we are focused on doing everything we can to help those in need. Hospitals, healthcare facilities and first responders are on the front lines of this epic battle, and their ability to maximize impact is contingent on their ability to maintain and scale their operations through expanded infrastructure and secure network connectivity. That’s why HPE Aruba is responding to the increased need for temporary healthcare sites for the triaging, testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients by donating $50 million in secure connectivity kits for the immediate provisioning of pop-up clinics, testing sites and temporary hospital facilities in the US, Canada and select countries in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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Spotlight

Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group, Inc.

Founded in 1921, Bristol Hospital is the leading health provider for people who live and work in the greater Bristol area. Proud of its achievements in service excellence, Bristol Hospital has earned national recognition for its commitment to providing outstanding patient care. Bristol Hospital has 154 licensed beds and offers a complete range of patient services including a first-rate emergency center, a 50,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art surgical center, a family-centered, single-room-model maternity unit, an award-winning ICU, Ingraham Manor skilled nursing facility, the Beekley Center for Breast Health & Wellness, Sleep Center, Center for Orthopedic and Spine Health, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, the Connecticut Gastroenterology Institute, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services, and an advanced Diagnostic Imaging department offering the latest in CT/PET, MRI and nuclear medicine.

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