Spotlight on National Behavioral Health Trends

| May 16, 2019

article image
In the past decade, there has been widespread concern about evidence of a nationwide increase in behavioral health disorders, including both mental health and substance use disorders. At the same time, access to behavioral healthcare may have been increased by the passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Mental Health Parity Act). To shed light on behavioral health trends and patterns in this period, FAIR Health analyzed 2007-2017 data in our database of over 28 billion private healthcare claim records. These are some of the findings, all for the period 2007 to 2017.

Spotlight

SpecialtyCare

SpecialtyCare is your partner for improved outcomes, patient safety, and financial results. We deliver exceptional care through participation in more than 350,000 procedures each year, supporting over 13,000 physicians in more than 1,000 hospitals across the country…

OTHER ARTICLES

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.

Read More

Applying AI in the Fight Against The Coronavirus

Article | April 1, 2020

Drug discovery is a notoriously long, complex and expensive process requiring the concerted efforts of the world’s brightest minds. The complexity in understanding human physiology and molecular mechanisms is increasing with every new research paper published and for every new compound tested. As the world is facing a new challenge in trying to both adapt to and defend itself against the coronavirus, artificial intelligence is offering new hope that a cure might be developed faster than ever before. In this article, we will present some of the technologies being developed and applied in today’s drug discovery process, working side-by-side with scientists tracking new findings, and assisting in the creation of new compounds and potential vaccines. In addition, we will examine how the industry is applying AI in the fight against the coronavirus.

Read More

Effective Health Tech Content Marketing Plan for B2B Marketers

Article | March 3, 2021

Is your health technology company publishing content online? Not sure how to make your health tech content marketing effective? Each step taken in the process of content marketing matters. Skipping essential steps may negatively affect the whole process. The following steps are critical in your content strategy: • Defining your ideal buyer • Gathering insights about how they make decisions • Documenting how your content will address their needs Lately, health tech companies are facing too much competition. Thus it would be wise to equip yourself with a good marketing strategy, including a clear content marketing plan. This blog focuses on making your health content marketing more effective, overcoming challenges, and eliminating the chances of failure. Content Marketing challenges for Health Tech Marketers Heath tech brands face multiple obstacles with health tech content marketing. They must deal with many challenges such as content proliferation, uncoordinated and inconsistent content creation, and difficulty in reaching out to customers and prospects with relevant and timely content. A lot of hard work and time is required to create great content. Let us have a closer look at the challenges faced by health tech marketers related to content marketing. Determining Content Marketing ROI Many of the health tech content marketers are struggling to show ROI from their content marketing efforts. They cannot claim a specific conversions rate from a channel or a piece of content. Often digital conversion paths of the health tech industry cannot be analyzed or tacked. Some other biggest challenges of health tech content marketing are tying content to conversions, defining appropriate and relevant metrics for measuring and evaluating the impact of the content marketing efforts on its bottom line. Figuring Out How to Feed the Content Beast Including health tech brands, many brands spend too much time thinking and worrying about creating compelling content. Or they worry about making content thattheir boss, salespeople, or other stakeholders need. The goal should be creating content consistently that is necessary for the client's journey. Your health tech content marketing should focus on your target audience searching online for your product and business. Proving Credibility and Authority Many health tech marketers struggle with defining a credible and authoritative voice for their brands. They fail in the process of cutting through the noise and grabbing the attention of their target audience for this very reason. A health tech content marketing strategy should maintain the brand’s identity, improve its authority, and boost ROI. Here, thought leadership has a role to play. Use your people, their expertise, and their passion effectively to share what they know about your product with your target audience. Trust and credibility will follow. Maintaining Volume, Quality, Speed Another significant challenge of health tech content marketing is developing compelling, engaging content fast without compromising on volume and quantity. For many marketers, a big pain point is trying to stay agile and nimble within a large corporate structure. Continuous Learning The marketing landscape is ever-changing. It means health tech marketers have to dedicate themselves to learning throughout their life.. They also have to reinvent through innovation to avoid extinction. Primarily, health tech content marketing needs constant innovation and learning. Everyone is trying to navigate the learning curve. It is very challenging for marketers to train teams and update them with the latest marketing practices. Influencer Marketing Another challenge faced by most marketers in their health tech content marketing efforts is identifying influencers to amplify content. Creating great content is just the first step. Having an effective promotion strategy to reach your prospects with your content helps. Reasons for Health Tech Content Marketing Failure A study by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) on health tech content marketing shows a vast gap between results and goals. Is there discontent in health tech content marketing? Eighty-five percent of the survey participants said they have a content marketing strategy, but only 4 percent only said their content marketing strategy was effective. So, it's clear that something was not working for them. Here are some of the key reasons: The Absence of a Content Strategy Except for some large tech companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce, most vendors do not have a content marketing strategy. For many tech companies, content marketing is part of their overall business strategy. So consider building a health tech content marketing strategy to have a leg up on your competitors. Lack of Sponsorship Creating compelling content is a low-priority task for most B2B tech companies. A small marketing team usually takes care of health tech content marketing with limited resources and budget. It results in content that does not align with your market positioning and business strategy. Content-Creation Bottlenecks Content marketers need quality content for marketng. For this, subject matter experts (SME) should be involved in the process of content creation. SMEs, most often, are too busy to participate in the process. As a result, the content may turn out low in quality and might not be consistent Lack of a Content Distribution Strategy Unless you promote high value content on all the digital and social media channels, no one will hear about your health tech brand. Most B2B health tech companies fail to promote themselves through effective health tech content marketing on multiple digital and social media channels. No Patience B2B health tech companies want instant results. The survey by in 2020 HIMSS points out the minimum time needed to fetch results from content marketing programs. A health tech content marketing program launched in this quarter will not bring you any developments in the same quarter. Effective Content Marketing Plan for Health Tech Marketers The global pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital marketing. Many healthcare technology marketers focus on pure sales collateral and product-centric content instead of thought leadership and human-centric content. Here are five areas that deserve more attention in your health tech content marketing plan. These should be top priorities in your content plan. Planning the Process and Setting Reasonable Goals & Objectives Data shows that most healthcare technology companies do not have an effective health tech content marketing plan. It is not surprising that these companies, accelerating ahead everyday, do not have the time to plan or enough resources to execute it. There are three reasons behind it: • They never made planning a proper priority. • They realize they don’t have the time. • The team doesn’t know where to start. Good planning with realistic goals and expectations solves this issue. Quality content marketing is a long-term investment, not a short-term performance vehicle. Benchmark the Market & Your Competition Investigating your competition may get you down. Analyzing every aspect of your competitors’ content, including approach and strategy, will help you learn many essentials things. You will get ideas to improve your health tech content marketing from your competitor analysis. Do not get confused between your sales competitors and content competitors. Your sales competitor is the one who sells your exact product or service. Your content competitors are companies ranking on search engines for the same content that you want to ranked for on search engine result pages. In addition to pure sales competitors, these content competitors can include major publishers such as trade associations and newspapers. Fine-Tune Your Messages, Themes & Topics It is effortless to come up with a long list of content ideas. It is vital to understand the themes and topics, which will work better for your business goals. The topics should be worth the time and effort you put in. Your themes, topics, and other content ideas in your health tech content marketing plan should support your core health tech messaging. People usually tend to create content randomly and wonder why their content marketing does not work in the end. Fine-tuning your themes, messages, and topics and making sure they are all unified in the process is a big part of ensuring your content succeeds in the end. Address All Four Content Distribution Channels Creating great content is just a first step to your health tech content marketing. You may have to think of the content distribution channels: owned media, internal channels, earned media, and paid media. All of these channels have multiple options for content distribution. Depending on your company’s business goals and particular situations, you can choose the best-suited application from these channels. Get the Most Out of Your Content Marketing Efforts Maximize your health tech content marketing investment with the three Rs: refresh, repurpose, and repromote. Refreshing means updating old content that performed well in the past. It may include changing the published date and updating the internal links to timely and more current information. Repurposing means changing the format. You can make a blog post out of a webinar or create an infographic out of a case study. Promoting and redistributing older content that performed well in the past is repromoting. With content marketing, it is tough to have long-term success without a documented strategy and commitment. With a detailed process, you will have clarity about your goals and the tactics you will use to achieve them. If you do not have this practice, it's better to develop your strategy and write it down to improve your health tech content marketing's better effectiveness. Content marketing is a proven way to connect with the tech industry audience, especially in health tech. Creating great content about your business, which the audience finds reliable and helpful, will make your company reliable and a trusted source to solve problems. Doing it alone may be a tiresome job. We, at Media 7, provide all the assistance in marketing technology products online. We have the right solution for all your demand generation, lead generation, sales, and marketing problems. Media 7 converts leads and turns them into your happy customers forever. To know more about Media 7, visit: https://media7.com Frequently Asked Questions Why is content marketing important in health tech? Content marketing is crucial in health tech as unique content makes your target audience trust your brand and consider it a trustworthy source for solving their issues. Moreover, to build your brand, content marketing is a vital component. How do you create a successful health tech content strategy? When you create a successful health tech content strategy, an ideal buyer profile, buyer persona, customer journey, etc., should be considered. Along with that, you should have clear objectives and goals when you make a content strategy. What is the essential step in creating a health tech content marketing plan? The essential step in creating your health tech content marketing plan is defining your targeted audience and understanding the buyer persona. It will help you create relevant and audience-focused content.

Read More

5 Emerging Technology Trends for Healthcare for 2021

Article | April 6, 2021

Health technologies range from devices, systems, and procedures to vaccines and medications that help deliver high-quality care, reduce costs for hospitals and patients, and streamline operations. It can be any software or IT tool that improves administrative productivity, eases workflow, and enhances the quality of life. New technology in healthcare includes supportive, educational, information, organizational, rehabilitative, therapeutic, preventive, and diagnostic solutions that improve patient access and healthcare provider capabilities. Virtual concierge, artificial intelligence, voice search, and virtual and augmented reality are promising emerging technologies for 2021.

Read More

Spotlight

SpecialtyCare

SpecialtyCare is your partner for improved outcomes, patient safety, and financial results. We deliver exceptional care through participation in more than 350,000 procedures each year, supporting over 13,000 physicians in more than 1,000 hospitals across the country…

Events