HealthSpan, University Hospitals & Mercy Launch Wellness Health Care Initiative

healthspan logoAccording to the Lorain County Community Health Assessment, 32% of adults and 14% of children in Lorain County are obese.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates the direct and indirect costs of obesity can range from $69 billion to $117 billion per year.

Addressing this challenge is the mission of HealthSpan (formerly Kaiser Permanente) in joining forces with University Hospitals and Mercy in offering northeast Ohio employers attractive self-funded health care plans.

The partnership, HealthSpan Choice,  may appear like the others at first glance. Yes, an insurance provider/healthcare provider is partnering with two large health care systems, University Hospitals and Mercy.

The differentiator between this partnership and the others is the “Why?”

Prevention, proactive outreach and reduction in hospital admissions have been listed as reasons other organizations have united.

But, It is not a new model for HealthSpan providers. For the past 65 years HealthSpan caregivers have been practicing preventive medicine, specifically by making proactive outreach to patients with chronic conditions in order to reduce hospital admissions.

Because prevention is our core and our Electronic Medical Record system began in 1991, we don’t need to partner to use technology and data for better outcomes—that is our model. We were the pioneers of preventive medicine and one of the first to marry technology and healthcare,” says HealthSpan.

“Our partnership solves a problem- a problem in this country, in Northeast Ohio, in Lorain County. We can skip the goals of studying patient data, earlier screenings, and population care management because we do that every day. Instead, we plan to capitalize on those core competencies and set our sights on:

“Our goal is to combat rising healthcare costs related to conditions like obesity, which in turn can lead to greater health problems like type 2 diabetes.”

While everyone else is trying to partner in response to the Affordable Care Act, HealthSpan can concentrate on joining forces with the best health care systems in Northeast Ohio for the best interest of their patients. That is how they plan to solve the health disparities that exist in our own backyard.

HealthSpan Choice will become available to providers this summer with coverages beginning in January.