Payers, Providers Share Ideas To Improve Care to Those with Obesity
Since early in 2021, the WCHQ Obesity Advisory Group has been meeting monthly to discuss issues related to obesity. An on-going discussion has been to the identify what works in terms of best outcomes and what is covered so patients and providers know when a service or treatment involves out-of-pocket expenses. To learn more about coverage, the Advisory Group invited payers to a group meeting.
Representatives from nearly all of Wisconsin’s provider-owned health plans and two health alliances that serve employers participated in the meeting with members of the Advisory Group.
The point was made that obesity may not be identified as a chronic condition, but it contributes to chronic disease and it is a cost driver. Controlling obesity, or preventing a person from becoming obese, can save thousands of dollars in health care costs while improving their quality of life. Providers and insurers agreed that they need to make the business case to employers that preventing and treating obesity will save them thousands of dollars in health care costs.
A physician on the Advisory Group made the point that it is clear in his patient population that treating obesity leads to fewer medications for other conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, but data is required to make that case to payers and employers. Going forward, it was suggested to narrow the focus to one chronic condition that is impacted by obesity, such as diabetes, and gather cost-savings related data.
This group will continue to meet and work on specific obesity-related topics that will improve the care for and capture the cost savings associated with treating obesity. If you are interested in joining this conversation, contact Jen Koberstein.
Workforce Wellbeing an Important Topic as COVID Surge Persists
Workforce wellbeing is vital to an organization’s success and is top of mind for the WCHQ Behavioral Health Improvement Team during recent meetings. Health systems are reporting the latest COVID surge, coupled with staff shortages, is putting immense pressure on staff who are already exhausted. The team has been discussing ways to support staff and acknowledge the pressures they are facing. One WCHQ member shared some short videos on tips to help care team members during this time. The tips include helping team members combat isolation, how to seek help, and restoration when time is limited. Please share as appropriate with your teams.
Tip #1: I Can’t Do This Again
Tip #2: I Don’t Have Time for Any of This
Tip #3: When I Look Back on This
Tip #4: The Vaccine Conversation
Tip #5: Caring for the Unvaccinated
Tip #6: Together
The American Medical Association provided this set of tips for caring for yourself, your team members, and patients during the pandemic.
WCHQ acknowledges the incredible commitment and sacrifices you have made during the past 18 months. If you are interested in joining the WCHQ Behavioral Health Improvement Team contact Jen Koberstein.
Literacy Resources for Diabetes Management Programs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes October as Health Literacy Month with an emphasis on personal and organizational health literacy. Health literacy efforts support individuals in finding and understanding health-related information to further support informed decision making.
Many health care professionals are tasked beyond health literacy toward a more inclusive person-centered approach. A journal issue from Diabetes Care recognized a task force comprised of individuals from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for providing context and examples of preferred language to motivate, promote behavior changes, and improve outcomes with language.
Consider how you might take this approach within your Diabetes Self-Management Education & Support Programs. Powerful language can be person-centered, non-judgmental (free from stigma), respectful, and encourage patient/provider collaboration.
Join the WCHQ Chronic Disease Learning Collaborative to gain insight regarding relevant topics and shared best practices with other peers within the health care industry. Contact Sheryl Pierce for information.
WCHQ Oral Health Collaborative Focus on Patient-Reported Outcomes
In follow-up to the third annual Oral Health Summit held last July, the WCHQ Oral Health Collaborative members agreed to continue pursuing the adoption of a patient-reported outcome tool. During the Summit, keynote presenter Mike John, PhD, MPH, presented on patient-reported outcomes. He believes that collaborating with other dental practices to collect data will help determine whether a treatment works for patients. Patient-reported outcomes are an important datapoint in evidence-based dentistry.
Patient-reported outcome measures look at four dimensions of oral health, including oral function, orofacial pain, orofacial appearance, and psychosocial impact. These four dimensions have a significant impact on patient quality of life and assessing the patient’s perception is key to providing excellent oral health care.
If you are interested in more information about the Oral Health Collaborative contact Jen Koberstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.