Chris McReynolds, CEO of Wellsource, joined healthcare consultant Lonnie Hirsch for a podcast interview about health risk assessments. They discussed the history of the HRA, its evolution over the years, and how it plays a key role in population health today.
Listen to the 24 minute interview at hirschhealthconsulting.com.
0:50 The HRA originated in the life insurance industry to assess risk of death. Wellsource founder Don Hall invented a computer-based health risk assessment that looked at lifestyle behaviors that influence chronic disease risk.
2:40 The future of population health. It’s a fast-changing industry that is seeing a trend toward personalization. Advances in technology have enabled Wellsource to provide a highly personalized user experience with the HRA.
4:06 Growth of corporate wellness programs. Today, 80% of companies with more than 50 employees have a wellness program. It’s often touted as recruitment tool.
5:30 Health plans have caught on to what employers figured out: a healthier population is good for the bottom line. As a result, health plans now offer the same sort of access to wellness programs that employers do. They use HRAs to identify members with a high risk for chronic disease and engage them with wellness programs to change behavior.
9:25 Behavior change isn’t easy for some people. A good HRA identifies areas where they want to change. It’s best to start with something small and manageable, rather than tackling the large issues first.
11:12 Where Wellsource fits in the ecosystem of population health, and why they focus on the HRA specifically. Since the 70’s, Wellsource has provided tools to collect key health information from a population AND educate them about how to live healthfully
12:28 What separates Wellsource HRA from a generic HRA. It’s built on modern tech and highly personalized. Advanced branching logic collects information efficiently. Engaging user interface makes it enjoyable and interesting for the user.
13:35 Who are Wellsource’s customers? Health plans and wellness companies make up the majority, but we’re also in the provider space serving health systems and sole practitioners. The transition to value-based care has put more focus on prevention over treatment. This has made Wellsource’s HRA a valuable solution to a lot of providers.
21:30 The role Wellsource plays in population health in other countries. There’s a tremendous demand around the world for wellness products from the US. Wellsource’s assessments are flexible enough to serve international populations. We don’t just translate our American assessment into different languages – we take into account unique nutritional aspects, dialect nuances, and cultural sensitivities of a population.