Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Motivating through insurance incentives

Apr 27, 2015

My husband came home from work excited about his new health incentive program with his health insurance. I was intrigued! He’s always been into sports but not necessarily into personal exercise. Our insurance is with Humana and they have a program called Humana Vitality. You first do an online questionnaire assessment about your lifestyle and you are assigned a virtual age based on your answers. Then the software integrates with mobile devices and apps to track all your activities and you can log your health appointments such as dentist appointments and blood work. For the first time since I’ve known him he is excited to get blood work done!

Every day at work he checks his iPhone app- Apple Health for the amount of steps he has for the day and he tries to get in his goal of 10,000 steps a day. The Apple Health app is integrated in his Humana Vitality app which gives him a daily point value. He also checks another screen where he can see how his daily points compare with his other coworkers. In the evening before bed I have even caught him pacing in circles around the house to polish off his last 50 steps to meet his goal! What a motivating tool! Isn’t technology amazing? Besides his competitive nature to “win” against his coworkers, he also is incentivized with prizes like Amazon gift cards. At the end of the year, we even save money on our health insurance if we have a certain number of points as a family. Integrating personal daily health tracking with insurance incentives is huge.

I see our role as diabetes educators to be familiar with all the health tracking software and insurance incentive integration so that in our one on one visits we can be a partner to the patient helping them reach their goals. I know not every patient is technology savvy just like not all educators are, but the apps are very user-friendly and I think it helps just spending some time to play around with them so we can help our patients use these tools to help motivate them. It would be nice if everyone was just intrinsically motivated but we not that’s not always the case. So having programs like this can help those who need an extra boost ;)

What apps and programs have helped your patients? Have you talked to patients where these incentive programs have helped them? Please share below-

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