While investigating health risk assessment (HRA) options for your population, you could reach a point where everything begins to blur together. The various vendors and products may start looking quite similar and you could find yourself overloaded with information. “Just pick one – it doesn’t matter!” you might think to yourself as you scroll through your spreadsheet of possibilities.
But it does matter—especially when you’re dedicating funds and resources to the procurement, administration, and maintenance of said HRA.
In this post, we’ll look at a few things to keep in mind so that you can feel confident in your HRA choice.
Check for Certifications and Accreditations
One of the best things that you can do when researching HRAs is to check for certifications and accreditations. These act as third-party validation that the HRA adheres to quality standards—a stamp of approval from a trustworthy, unbiased source. These certifying bodies take a close look to check that industry best practices are being applied and that evidence-based methods are used, with the goal of positively impacting population health. For example, Wellsource has achieved NCQA certification, which means we’ve passed a rigorous, year-long accreditation process. It wasn’t easy—and that’s a good thing!
Additionally, NCQA certification takes other factors into consideration, requiring that information be presented clearly using words with common meanings, easy-to-understand language, and provide digital and print or telephone formats. By narrowing down your potential vendors to those that have achieved these high standards, you’ll can rest assured that the product is of high quality and worthy of the time and money you’re investing.
Review Their Scientific Validity
Although it may seem like a sure-fire way to get bogged down in the details, knowing your HRA's scientific approach to developing the questions, scoring the responses, and accurately reflecting a participant's risk of disease is crucial to knowing how legitimate the entire assessment is. You’ll want to make certain that the scoring algorithms. health recommendations, and any supplemental resources are from reliable, evidence-based sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the American Heart Association.
When the sources behind the data can be trusted at a high level, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that the results and information presented are likely to be not only informative but accurate.
Beware (and Aware of) Rules and Regulations
Whether you’re looking for an HRA to serve a commercial, Medicare, or Medicaid population it’s imperative that the HRA and your internal practices comply with applicable rules and regulations such as the ADA, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). For example, if you’re serving an Medicare population, you’ll want the user interface of the assessment to meet ADA requirements such as legible fonts and high contrast colors. Even if you suspect that these issues won’t apply to your population, it could go a long way in achieving participation for those that it does impact.
After all of this you may be thinking, “that’s a lot of stuff to check—I’ll just build one myself.” And maybe that’s a realistic choice for your organization and internal resources… or maybe it isn’t. In our newest whitepaper, Health Risk Assessments: Buy or Build? A Guide for Executives and Population Health Professionals, we’re diving into the pros, cons, and costs of each option to help you choose what’s best for your population. Download it today and see for yourself.