The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and a catalyst and partner in building healthier communities, is launching a new business line -- Health Screening Services ™.
“The new business offering is part of a larger ambitious mission strategy to help create a culture of health and well-being for Americans by increasing awareness of health risks and changing lifestyle behaviors,” said John Meiners, the American Heart Association chief of mission-aligned businesses. “The most effective workplace health screening models combine health assessment with screening, followed by actionable encouragement to promote behavior change, resulting in higher participation in health and wellness programs”.
American Heart Association branded health screenings – whether conducted in the workplace or at community-based health events – are designed to help consumers become aware of their personal health risk factors, motivate them to make behavior changes on their own or seek support for lifestyle changes and follow-up medical care, as appropriate. Health screenings followed up with the right evidence-based diabetes prevention programs, exercise programs, nutritional counseling, or other educational offerings in workplace and community-based settings are considered a “best practice.”
One of the Association’s primary mission goals is to address social determinants of health (socioeconomic status, education, the physical environment, employment, social support networks and access to health care) and close the gaps that exist with the quality of life well lived within both the workplace and communities. “We know that combining screenings with lifestyle and behavior change that takes into account the social determinants of health can result in overall health improvement –not just in the workplace with employees but in communities with the elderly and underserved at large,” said Eduardo Sanchez, MD, the American Heart Association chief medical officer for prevention. “We are committed to providing realistic solutions to meet the needs of all people, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what they do.”
The American Heart Association believes that the healthcare provider/patient relationship is fundamental to address risk factors associated with chronic disease. Increasingly, however, there is growing consensus that physicians and health care systems must be more tightly connected with resources embedded within the community -- employers, community-based organizations and public health agencies -- to successfully promote health and prevention programs that extend to where people live their lives and that might reach the largest and most impacted segments of the population and address risk factors that contribute to poor health.
The Association’s Health Screening Services product blends the simplicity and effectiveness of the Association’s evidence-based science of Life’s Simple 7®, the seven most important predictors of heart health that people can influence through diet and lifestyle changes, with the importance of knowing your numbers through biometric screenings. A unique feature of the American Heart Association model is that, once the health screening is completed, profile information and lab values will be automatically incorporated into My Life Check Enhance®, the Association’s online health assessment tool that helps individuals measure, improve and monitor their heart health status. The assessment will provide a personalized Heart Health Score and dashboard to monitor progress over time, as well as actions for working toward health improvement. Health actions are bundled and sequenced according to individual responses and are designed to help consumers:
- Stop smoking
- Eat better
- Get active
- Lose weight
- Manage blood pressure
- Control cholesterol
- Reduce blood sugar
Life’s Simple 7 health behaviors and metrics represent seven out of the top 10 most costly risk factors for employers. Maintaining ideal levels for at least five of Life’s Simple 7 measures cuts risk of heart-related death by more than 50 percent, and people who achieve ideal cardiovascular health by age 50 have a significantly lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and live, on average, approximately 10 years longer than people with two or more risk factors.
Screenings will include fasting and non-fasting test menu options. Consumers will be offered a variety of ways to complete their biometric screening - Onsite, Diagnostic Lab Facility, Physician Form, Retail Pharmacy Voucher, and Home Test Kit.
The Association’s Health Screening Services program provides comprehensive and streamlined experience through a state-of-the art appointment scheduling system, retail pharmacy voucher program and incentive management option, along with robust interactive online data analytics and reporting. Consumers will receive science and evidence-based health guidance and easy to use, effective self-monitoring programs that capitalize on the Association’s health advocacy products and services, such as extended health coaching, My Life Check health improvement strategies and Life Simple 7 Engage programs.