Our guest blog series, where we feature a few of our friends and partners on the blog to give readers the opportunity to read expert advice from leaders across the analytics, wellness and health industries, is back this week with a post from Brian Sekula, President and CEO of the Health Performance Institute (HPI). At HPI, Brian and his team work to help people and companies better understand disease management, and this week he’s sharing how a problem like Type 2 Diabetes can be better managed through proactive analytics like our HealthSpective Analyze program.
Type 2 Diabetes is a problem for employers on many levels. We live and work in environments that encourage unhealthy behaviors, speeding up the process of making healthy people unhealthy. Our system to treat those with or at risk for Type 2 Diabetes targets the symptom, leading to a lifetime of controlling blood sugar through medication.
When you combine the above with prevalent data, our ability to have a positive impact on Type 2 Diabetes seems minimal. The question, then, is how do we address these issues proactively? What could we change or improve so that a positive impact is possible?
There are at least three areas that need to be addressed. The first is our healthcare system. The second and third areas involve opportunities for employers to mitigate Type 2 Diabetes and include annual testing as part of the benefits plan and wellness programs.
Regarding employers, specific annual testing should be addressed first. Fasting blood glucose is typically done to identify Type 2 Diabetics or those at risk, but a better test, one with greater accuracy, is the Hemoglobin A1c Test (HbA1c). This test provides a better indicator of overall blood sugar control, and since most self-insured employers use some type of population health management system, the improved accuracy improves the integrity of the data within the system.
The next step is to implement effective wellness programs. By effective, I mean programs with proven outcomes that can help companies assist in managing the initial symptoms or signs before it’s too late and the employee has progressed far into a condition like Type 2 Diabetes.
Addressing these two opportunities within your organization will help you have a positive impact on conditions like Type 2 Diabetes, an expensive and debilitating condition. Improved identification helps monitor those that need to be addressing their condition and an effective wellness program can help employees eliminate the need for prescription medications.
In the end, the combination of the two will go will go a long way in helping you, your employees and your organization.
As Brian mentioned, the combination of proactive analytics, biometric testing and wellness programs go a long way in finding and treating conditions (like Type 2 Diabetes) before they have progressed far enough to need expensive medical care and treatment. HealthSpective Analyze is the powerful application that can perform the first piece of the puzzle – helping you understand your population’s health and healthcare spending as a whole, enabling you to make progress towards health goals. Analyze is the only population health analytics system that features an integrated member engagement tool (wellness program) – HealthSpective Engage.
To learn more about how the combination of Analyze and Engage can help your company find a full-circle solution to elevate your company’s population health, click below to get in touch with a member of our Business Development team.