Wellness Coach

7 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Wellness Coach

Every new year we make a self-promise to lose weight, stop smoking, and a variety of other well-intentioned commitments.

Yet, 80% of us will fail with these commitments by February.

It’s not that we don’t understand the value of better lifestyle choices. It’s just difficult to commit because many of us do not have the willpower and support.

What could change all this? A wellness coach, of course.

This is the individual that’s by your side with this journey to wellness, providing helpful guidance and support. They’re the person that will help develop proactive habits and better routines. Someone you need but never realized.

Ready for a change?

We’re covering several reasons why a wellness coach is a good fit for you when accomplishing lofty self-improvement goals.

You, Positivity, and a Wellness Coach

A wellness coach is more than an individual that gets you off the couch and into exercising. These individuals work on the whole image. They provide guidance and support to develop physical and psychological well-being.

Coaches are used by people on many paths of life:

  • Business leaders
  • Professional athletes
  • Recovering patients

… and average Joe’s (such as yourself?).

Wellness programs are also quite common in the business environment. These programs promote healthy living through exercise and communication. The program is tailored to company culture to help create positive routines.

Some of the common goals include the management of:

  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Weight
  • Stress

Though, the goal of a wellness coach is determined by the client. These individuals provide a “whole package” to developing better lifestyles.

The coaching creates compounding benefits.

As physical well-being improves, so does the personal image. With that comes a renewed sense of empowerment and control. The result? A positive mental stability which then reinforces the physical activity commitments.

So, what are some of the specifics that wellness coaching bring?

Psychological Benefits

Many look to their wellness coach to provide a positive body image through exercise and physical activity. Yet, this is only one side of what a coach brings to the table.

The real benefit is how their guidance improves psychological well-being.

Psychological and physical well-being are closely linked. To improve the mental health of the individual is an improvement of the positive actions one takes with their physical well-being.

Here are the main (psychological) benefits of using a coach:

1. Knowledge

People are stubborn or ignorant about their lifestyle choices and wonder why they are in bad health. They follow the same routines expecting different results.

Sometimes, it’s because of misinformation or the lack of due diligence when learning about wellness.

A wellness coach has a vast understanding of physical and mental health. Their success depends on real results of their clients. The results need to be accomplished through healthy activities — not quick fads — else they put the client at risk for future problems.

This means the coach keeps up with the latest advancements in physical and psychological developments.

They will help you navigate the immense amount of information to avoid harmful suggestions. Plus, they can point you toward  positive actions.

2. Guidance

Many coaches have been through troubling experiences. This gives them the stoicism and experience when helping others in similar situations.

Their outside perspective can offer a grounded reality which helps create peace and tranquility – less stress. Having this lower stress allows the client to take logical steps to overcome their fears and setbacks.

3. Positivity

Psychological setbacks are often found in body image.

Too often do we feel out of place or uncomfortable when visiting the gym or support groups because we feel like an outsider. A coach dismisses the differences and welcomes you with open arms.

This positivity allows you to become comfortable with your body. It leads to greater strides in developing a positive mindset.

The coaches have a wealth of information available on their websites and health apps. Access to this information can provide great support when they’re not immediately available.

Physical Benefits

We say “body & mind” for good reason because, as we mentioned, the two go hand-in-hand. A positive mindset will find the motivation and passion when committing to a physical routine.

In time, a physical routine improves overall health. The activities increase serotonin and dopamine levels allowing the person to feel better as a whole.

Here are the main (physical) benefits of using a coach:

4. Tailored Plan

A personal trainer will certainly get you active and shedding weight. But, they base their plans on common routines which aren’t always a good fit for the client.

Wellness coaching incorporates the mental and physical state of the client.

This allows the coach to develop a tailored plan that accounts for lifestyle elements such as work and family.

It increases success rates due to an easier ability to commit because it’s tailored to the person and not a generalized goal. It makes the activities safe and sensible for the person so they’re not pushing to the point of injury.

5. Training Buddy

Your environment often dictates your ability to lose weight and improve physical well-being. If you’re surrounded by low-activity, obese individuals then you’re likely going to be of the same type. We, humans, are like pack animals.

In fact, you may even find resistance with your choice in improving your health.

People are quick to lash at those making personal improvements. It’s typically projection on their part else negative thinking as a whole.

Wellness coaching provides you with a person that will be by your side during the physical routines. They will offer support and suggestions for safe form.

Many will partake in the activities which helps with the commitment.

6. Activity Pal

A professional friendship may form which goes beyond the exercise routines.

The relationship could open exciting, new activities to do with the coach that is physical and help to overcome social anxiety.

They will help you get up and out of the house and place you into uncomfortable but opening experiences.

7. Limits

A coach is there to push your limits but they aren’t going to force you to the point of injury.

You have a voice when working with a wellness coach!

Working with a coach gives you control over the activities but also challenges your commitment. This challenging nature of the coach will help you realize new limits. It all ties back into their tailored plan.

Well-Being Starts Today

People are stubborn and this shows with the countless failures one finds each year when the new year’s promises are broken. In fact, it’s not just about resolutions- this happens daily.

How many times have you gone to bed with big goals yet never see them accomplished the following day? How many times has this repeated?

Promises get broken so let’s change that.

We’ve laid out what a wellness coach can bring to the table. Now, your next action is to commit. Not tomorrow. Today.

Get in touch and we’ll work together to find the positive influence you need.

Indemnity Insurance

Understanding the Benefits of Indemnity Insurance

If you’re like most Americans, healthcare insurance creates more stress than security for you. There are so many insurance choices out there, from HMO insurance to PPO insurance to indemnity insurance.

And then there are the pros and cons of each plan option. Do you want to pay a $1,000 deductible with a 40% copay, or would you rather pay a $1,500 deductible with a 20% copay? The sheer variety of choices makes even checking on plans a daunting, intimidating task.

Then, even after you have selected and paid for a plan, most of the time you don’t know exactly how much you have to pay. For example, your insurance plan may cover lab work but not x-rays.

To make matters all the more frustrating, doctors often don’t know themselves how much you’ll have to pay. And finding out can take months and months. Then, at the end of those months and months, you get a bill from your insurance company.

And surprise, the amount is much larger than you anticipated. Today, we’re discussing the ins and outs of indemnity insurance, and how it can simplify these complications and ease your frustration.

What Is Indemnity Insurance?

One of the most flexible insurance options on the market is indemnity insurance.

While this kind of insurance requires you to go through the same kind of motions as the others, it features some great benefits the others lack.

A Wide Range of Doctors to Choose From

Perhaps indemnity insurance’s most attractive feature is having access to numerous doctors.

Overall, insurance plans work like a subscription service. Doctors who are part of that service agree to work with it and honor the rates promised to you. Thus the idea is when you subscribe to that plan, you are guaranteed access to cheaper rates at those doctors’ offices.

Unfortunately, this has a major downside. The nearest in-network doctor could be an hour away, or he could be a poor healthcare provider. Either leaves you stranded without adequate care in the event you become ill.

With indemnity insurance, you won’t have to worry about this scenario unfolding because most doctors accept it. So when you have this kind of insurance, you have the biggest possible network of doctors to choose from.

Choosing Your Main Healthcare Provider

Another very attractive feature of indemnity insurance is not having to choose a single main healthcare provider.

Most insurance providers require you to choose one main healthcare provider and to stick with him or her. This requirement may not bother some people, but it can prove a major discomfort for others.

For example, let’s say you’re a woman who has a male main healthcare provider. You go to him when you have the flu, a sprained ankle, and other easily resolved issues.

Now let’s say the only female doctors are out-of-network or don’t practice with your doctor. That means you’ll almost definitely have to see your male doctor for your PAP smears, pelvic exams, and other reproductive health needs. This makes you uncomfortable because while he is a great doctor, you’d much prefer seeing a female doctor for those needs.

Through an indemnity healthcare plan, you won’t ever have to worry about finding yourself in this scenario. You can have multiple healthcare providers without penalty.

Going to Specialists

Many healthcare plans require that you go see your main doctor and get a referral prior to seeing a specialist. In some cases, this requirement makes sense, such when determining whether or not you’ll need surgery for a certain ailment.

But in other cases, it only results in more bills and a longer time suffering for you.

Take, for example, seeing a dermatologist. Getting in to see a dermatologist can take several months, depending how far out he or she is booked. Adding seeing your main healthcare provider to the mix means you have to wait even longer.

This may not be a huge issue if you have acne and want a prescription for medicated lotions and washes.

But what if you have a strange spot on your arm that wasn’t there before? A dark mark that resembles the photos of skin cancer you sometimes see in medical journals? That’s an issue that you’ll want to address right away without dealing with insurance plan red tape.

You can do just that with indemnity insurance. It allows you to bypass your main healthcare provider and go straight to a specialist if you need to. Less red tape means less time you spend waiting for a diagnosis that could save your life.

Going Out of the Area

One major drawback of other insurance companies is that they limit the area in which you can use your insurance.

This might not sound like a huge deal since you generally go to doctors in your area anyway. But consider what would happen if you had cancer or some other DNA-related ailment.

Many times local facilities lack the equipment for dealing with certain types or advanced stages of cancer. In those cases, the patients are referred to other facilities, which are sometimes out of the area or even out of the state.

Because indemnity insurance gives you more choices, you can go to doctors go out of the area and still use your insurance.

Getting Cash Back

Other healthcare plans require you to wait while they process your treatments and then send you a bill.

Indemnity insurance works differently. It pays you cash back for services you undergo that are covered by your plan.

For example, let’s say you have to have some x-rays taken. The total cost is $100. Your indemnity plan says you get $100 back on all x-ray costs, so you’ll get that $100 back as soon as it is processed.

Need More Information? Contact Us!

At the Proactive Broker Network, we want you to have the best coverage possible. If you have additional questions about indemnity healthcare insurance, please feel free to reach out to us directly.

Do you know of any other benefits of this kind of healthcare insurance? Tell us in the comments below!

better healthcare

8 Reasons Getting Better Healthcare is Worth It

Sure your company health plan covers you when things go wrong, but what about the day to day things that keep you healthy in the first place?

You have to pay for many of those essential preventative measures out of your own pocket or risk reaching your health insurance threshold too soon.

Every year, trillions of healthcare dollars are spent on treating preventable diseases such as cardiac conditions. Yet, no medical insurance will pay for programs to help their clients lead a healthier heart-friendly lifestyle.

What if we told you that you could get better healthcare and save money at the same time?

Well, it’s true and here are 8 reasons why you should go ahead and do it.

1. Getting Proactive Saves Employers and Employees Money

Tax benefits aside. Preventative healthcare insurance saves both parties in the following ways.

Employees benefit because they no longer have to pay for wellness programs out of their pocket. Their small insurance premiums cover these, resulting in immediate monthly savings.

Employers benefit in the long run because a healthier workforce means less sick days, fewer hospital stays for treatment, and better performance from their employees.

2. Better Healthcare Attracts Better Candidates

Well qualified and experienced employment candidates can afford to be picky when it comes to accepting a position. Managed healthcare is an attractive proposition for these candidates.

Likewise, your best employees are less likely to abandon you for greener pastures if they are well-cared for. Making sure that your health perks meet their wellness needs shows them that you care about their long-term welfare.

3. Increased Benefits

The costs of proactive preventative healthcare are minuscule compared to those of advanced medical procedures. Thus it can be delivered at far lower premiums.

Members get quick, cost-effective diagnosis, treatment, and management of new and existing conditions. This is thanks to the following groundbreaking techniques:

Health Risk Assessment (HRA)

The innovative HRA takes a close look at every aspect of the individual’s lifestyle and current health to pinpoint any areas of concern. This data is used to devise a customized health care program to suit the person’s exact needs.

Biometric Screening

Biometric screening detects potential health problems up to 10 years in advance. Adaptive strategies and solutions are then added to the tailored healthcare program.

Health Coaching

Certified health trainers, lifestyle counselors, and coaches are to hand. These professionals understand the implications of the initial screening and program. They can provide all the advice and encouragement needed to ensure that the better healthcare system is carried out.

DNA Screening

A lot of information about diet, nutrition, and exercise can be obtained from DNA testing. These behaviors can then be modified for improved health.

Eating Plans

Certified nutritionists are on hand with advice and individual meal plans to match the DNA screening. In this way obesity and illness can be prevented and managed.

Telemedicine

A network of licensed doctors is available round the clock to offer advice. They can diagnose simple complaints online or by phone. They can even prescribe medication for minor ailments over the phone.

4. Reduced Medical Visits

Better healthcare means fewer visits to the doctor, period. By diagnosing and treating or preventing health issues early, more serious conditions can be avoided.

A healthy living plan will help to reduce stress for your employees. Stress is often accepted as part of working life. Yet, it eats away at productivity and can cause serious health issues.

For employers, this means less empty desks when the flu season rolls around. It also removes the need to employ temporary workers to fill in for employees who have been admitted to hospital.

5. Increased Benefit Offering for Employers

A managed health management program is a great tax-deductible perk for employees.

Reports reveal that health plans are among the top 4 most desirable job perks for employees. Wellness programs offer your employees more benefits for less financial output. On your side and theirs.

Proactive healthcare does not replace your existing medical scheme but compliments it. You needn’t make any changes to your benefit plan, advisors or payroll. Payments for the benefit are made by employees via a Section 125 payroll deduction.

6. Reduction of Claim Utilization and Potential Expenses

With reduced claims come reduced costs for health insurance companies. This, in turn, leads to smaller increases every year, saving everyone money in the long run.

7. Planning for the Future

By knowing the health status of your employees you can act towards removing them from positions which place themselves and others at risk.

Proactive risk management is a common practice when it comes to safety matters, surely the same should apply to health issues. Better healthcare saves lives.

Knowing the most prevalent issues that your employees face helps you to customize your traditional healthcare offering to better suit their needs.

8. Tax Savings

By implementing a managed health care plan employers receive immediate FICA tax savings. For every dollar that an employee spends, employers benefit from payroll savings of up to $450 per employee.

Likewise, employees can expect to see an increase in their take-home pay due to non-taxable deductions.

You may hear about unscrupulous wellness programs that manipulate the system to get you FICA deductions.

Be sure to choose a product from a reputable, experienced broker who demonstrates ethics and commitment. This will help you to avoid the pitfalls of working with wellness companies and keep you from falling foul of the taxman.

Where to Start

Better healthcare is a win-win situation for all concerned and we know where you can find it.

Optimum health is only achievable through consistent, proactive primary care and not through the reactive approach of most medical schemes. Safeguard the health and well-being of all your employees before something goes wrong.

Get in touch to discuss the best option for you and your employees and start saving money on healthcare right away.

DNA genetics

8 Ways Your DNA Genetics Could Be Affecting Your Health

Which is more impactful to your health: DNA genetics or your environment and behavior?

When we talk about how people act and make decisions, we often frame it in the terms, “nature or nurture?”

In both cases, the answer is “both,” with scientists and laypeople haggling over the details of “how much?”

This article will explore eight ways DNA genetics have a huge impact on your well-being as well as how your behavior can affect your genes.

1. Poor Sleep? Could Be Your Genes

Ever look on in envy at those people who can function at their best on less than six hours of sleep? Blame a rare gene mutation.

Likewise, getting poor sleep is linked to a number of genetic factors. A mutation on the PERIOD3 gene may be responsible for waking earlier, sleeping less, and disrupted sleep patterns.

Similarly, insomnia may be caused by an overactive Neuromedin U gene, researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois found in a 2016 study.

Finally, the DEC2 gene could be the primary gene for sleep modulation-a.k.a. length of sleep nightly-research from the University of California at San Francisco in 2009 shows.

2. Genes Can Make You More Prone to Addictive Behavior

Your DNA genetics have a lot to say about your susceptibility to addiction.

A number of alternate gene expressions have been linked to a person’s susceptibility to alcohol and cocaine addiction, smoking habits, and even likeliness to overeat.

This is a big one to know ahead of time, since as genes are responsible for as much as 50 percent of a person’s chances of abusing alcohol or other drugs, according to the American Psychological Association.

The co-interactions of gene mutations and addiction are many, and complex. That’s one reason DNA screenings should be part of new wellness programs in the workplace.

3. Changing Medication’s Impacts

DNA genetics also change how you respond to medication.

Gene mutations can change how much relief you get from pain medication, how effective certain anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds are, or make you metabolize drugs too quickly.

Generally, if someone is allergic to common painkillers or antibiotic, they find out the first time they break a bone or get an infection. But who wants to find this out the hard way? DNA screenings can give advance warning to how medications might affect you.

DNA screenings can give advance warning to how medications might affect you.

4. Genes Signal Your Risk of Chronic Conditions

Your genes also have a part to play in your likelihood of developing chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, research shows.

DNA screening can also help tell you your risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to the National Council on Aging.

Ultimately, environmental factors play the biggest role in your likelihood of developing a chronic illness, most studies have found. But knowing your risks ahead of time can help guide you to better healthy behaviors to mitigate risks on the horizon.

5. Changing Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Genetics also play a big role in your chances of developing skin cancer.

The most obvious signal is fairness of your skin and how well you treat it when you go out in the sun, but how a whole host of genetic mutations also have some say in whether or not you’re likely to get a dangerous melanoma.

One gene in particular, CDKN2A, is the main tumor suppressor gene for skin cancer. When this gene gets an unfavorable mutation, however, risks of skin cancer rise 35 to 40 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.

In other words, if you screen positive for a negative variant of this gene, it’s time to pay special attention to lathering on the sunscreen.

6. How Much (And What) You Eat

Love to eat? Can’t stop overeating? Hate eating certain things?

All of these are tied to genetics to a greater or lesser extent. Some of the same genes that predispose a person to addictive behaviors can likewise lead to a greater likelihood of chronically binge-eating, for instance. Research has even shown that some people are simply born to eat too much.

In fact, up to half of all dietary preferences are inherited, researchers from the University of Copenhagen Hospital in Denmark found in 2008.

Now you know why you and your dad both can’t stand the taste of cilantro.

7. DNA Genetics and Longevity

Want to live forever? Better hope your genetics are in ship-shape.

Okay, this isn’t sci-fi, so no one lives forever, but DNA genetics do play a role in your chances of living to a ripe old age.

DNA may account for as much as 30 percent of a person’s likelihood of making it to age 85, scientists from Boston University found. (They don’t say anything about living beyond that. C’mon 105!)

The good news? The other 70 percent are still environmental and behavioral factors, so keep eating healthy and taking those early morning runs at the gym.

8. Behaviors Today Can Affect Yours and Your Children’s Genes

Your DNA genetics isn’t just about your health, however. They’re about the health of future generations.

Heck, even your grandparents’ genes are still calling the shots, to some extent, in your current health. And you will have an impact on your children and grandchildren.

A smoking habit, for instance, is known to damage your DNA in the here and now, but it can also cause trouble for the next generation. Even after you’ve quit.

That said, even if you take great care of your body before having kids, your children can still inherit personality and temperament traits. So you’re not off the hook.

Let Your Genes Inform Your Health Plan

No matter how much you think you know about your personal health and family health history, a full workup of your DNA genetics is the only way to get the whole story.

DNA screenings aren’t scary, either. A simple test is all it takes. They’re simply a new way to help you understand the big picture of your health and wellness risks now and in the future.

Take complete control of your health today. Learn more about our Proactive Health Management Plan.

holistic health coach

How a Holistic Health Coach Can Change Your Life Through Diet, Nutrition, and Exercise

When it comes to health, what’s the first thing you think of? Not being sick? Having energy to work and do the things you like to do?

Any holistic health coach will tell you that there’s a lot more to health than simply not being sick and tired. If you feel that your quality of life is not where you’d like it to be, a health coach can help.

Keep reading to learn all the benefits that come from working with a holistic health coach.

What is Holistic Health?

Holistic health looks at a person’s entire being, rather than just specific illnesses or parts of the body. A holistic health coach will help you live your best life by looking at all aspects of it, including your mental, physical, and spiritual health. A coach will also help you set goals and make choices that support total wellness.

According to the American Holistic Health Association, holistic health practitioners believe that health is about more than just the absence of illness. Instead, they see health and wellness as a continuum.

On the far-left end of the continuum is premature death, and on the far-right end is maximum well-being. The center point is a lack of obvious disease.

The end goal of a holistic health coach is to help clients work toward the far-right end of the continuum. One way that they do this is by looking at the cause of symptoms rather than just the symptoms themselves.

For example, a holistic health practitioner won’t just give someone an aspirin for a headache. They’ll take more time to figure out what is causing the headache in the first place. They’ll also take steps to make sure the headache doesn’t come back.

How a Holistic Health Coach Can Help You

There are lots of ways that a holistic health coach can help you live your best life. It doesn’t matter if you’re not physically ill; there’s always room for improvement. Some of the benefits of working with a holistic health professional include:

Focus on All Aspects of Your Health

Health coaches take an all-encompassing approach to helping you reach a new level of health. They’ll focus on everything from exercise programs and nutrition guidance to support and motivation.

Establish a Genuine Connection

Traditional medical professionals can often feel cold, detached, and not particularly interested in your problems. When you work with a health coach, though, you’ll establish a legitimate bond that is essential to helping you become the best version of yourself.

A holistic health coach truly needs to get to know you to help you. This means they’ll take a genuine interest in all aspects of your life to create a plan that is tailored to help you thrive.

Set Realistic Goals

One of the most important jobs a health coach has is helping you set goals that are SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

This approach ensures that you actually accomplish the things you’re after, both short and long-term. You won’t just be free from disease, you’ll be on your way to transforming your ideas and aspirations into realities.

Change Your Mindset

A negative mindset is the source of a lot of our problems. A health coach can help us change our outlook and improve our lives as a result. As a result, you’ll have confidence in yourself and be more likely to achieve the things you set your mind to.

Learn to Overcome Obstacles

We all face obstacles as we work towards becoming our best selves. They might be financial, or they might be medical. By teaching you to adjust your mindset, a health coach can give you the confidence and resources you need to overcome obstacles and continue on the path toward accomplishing your goals.

Become Self-Reliant

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but a health coach’s ultimate goal is for you to not need them. After working with a health coach for a while, you’ll become self-reliant and able to maintain health and accomplish your goals without their assistance.

Create Long-lasting Lifestyle Changes

Traditional medicine arms you with temporary fixes. But, working with a health coach gives you the tools you need to create long-lasting changes that will enhance all elements of your life.

Benefits of Holistic Health in the Workplace

A holistic health approach is also a great addition to any workplace health plan. The following are just some of the benefits of implementing holistic health programs in the workplace:

Decrease Stress

Stress in the workplace costs U.S. employers around $300 billion every year! Business owners should be doing everything they can to cut down on stress and improve employees’ mental and physical well-being.

When employees are stressed, their work suffers and their productivity decreases. Stress also often leads to poor physical health. If your employees are constantly stressed out, they’re going to take more sick days, which also drains productivity.

By implementing a holistic wellness program, you’ll see higher productivity — and increased profits — all year-round.

Create Connection Between All Employees

Wellness programs help foster a sense of connections between all employees at your company. They’ll also improve communication between employees, and better communication will lead to a boost in profits for the business.

When employees from different departments are comfortable communicating with each other, they’re more likely to work together to help the business run better.

Draw in New Employees

A business that focuses on its employees’ overall well-being is going to attract more employees. When your company is appealing to new employees, you’ll see the overall caliber of the business improve. Profits will increase because you’re attracting the best of the best, and you’ll stay competitive in your industry.

Start a Holistic Wellness Plan Today

If you’re interested in implementing a holistic wellness plan in your office, contact us at Proactive Broker Network today!

Our PHMP (Proactive Health Management Plan) is a great complement to your existing medical insurance programs. It even comes with a guaranteed ROI!

You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We can’t wait to help you and your employees start feeling your very best!

advantages of telemedicine

The Many Advantages of Telemedicine

Doctors are making house calls again!

In a modern twist on the traditional in-home visit, telemedicine puts a doctor at your bedside.

One of the main advantages of telemedicine is it serves people who can’t easily visit a doctor’s office.

Disabled, elderly, and infectious patients can consult with a doctor without leaving home. It elminiates the risk of infection through contact with other waiting room patients.

Want to talk to a doctor or specialist 24/7 from home? Here’s the lowdown on how telemedicine operates, and how it can save you time and money.

How Telemedicine Works

Telemedicine is the delivery of health services enabled by technology. Smartphones, wearable sensors, and wireless monitoring devices make it possible.

Today’s technology tracks physical activity, heart rate, weight, mood, sleep patterns, and more.

The original telemedicine was a phone call. Now, it’s a video chat. It can include an exam, lab results and sending your prescription to a local pharmacy. Doctors can watch symptoms, deliver test results or follow-up on healthcare issues.

Advantages of Telemedicine

Following are five examples of the benefits of telemedicine.

1. Home-based monitoring

A person with heart disease or another chronic condition can record vital statistics at home.

They can report their stats over the phone or through an app instead of during an office visit.

The patient doesn’t spend time and effort traveling to and from the doctor’s office.

This reduces stress, saves time, and allows the patient to meet with the doctor from the comfort of home.

2. Video Follow-up Visits

A doctor can use video chat instead of an office visit to check your progress or report the results of a test.

Many patients resist a follow-up visit that is usually a short conversation. But checking on progress is an essential part of any care plan. A video chat is convenient for the patient. It also gives the doctor essential information.

Sometimes viewing a patient in their home environment helps the doctor assess wellness.

3. Low-Stress Consults

No one enjoys going to a medical office. The experience usually involves a crowded waiting room filled with other sick people.

One of the big advantages of telemedicine is it reduces the stress of an office visit. A high-tech consult from home eliminates social anxiety and physical discomfort.

4. Text Messaging Support

Text messaging supports people on restricted diets with interactive, immediate support. It does the same for smoking cessation patients.

Texting is an easy and effective way to communicate with patients when they need help. It’s done through a series of messages over time, or as an immediate helpline.

5. Video Care

Another one of the advantages of telemedicine is video care. It works as an extension of a clinic, hospital or physician group.

Patients can gain access to specialists who are thousands of miles away. Telemedicine also eliminates the cost of travel and time away from work.

Patients can choose a video chat for support or intervention. This works well with an ongoing concern like smoking cessation.

Video care includes access to an online video library and continuing education.

Concerns

Technology Resistance

Many traditional physicians and older patients may resist telemedicine. Most physicians in practice today trained to meet with patients face-to-face. Younger doctors are more accepting of technology interactions. People who use healthcare may place greater value on social interaction with physicians. They may not want to reduce in-person appointments.

Malpractice

Some doctors worry about malpractice liability. Yet, most malpractice carriers are telemedicine-friendly. There are very few telemedicine malpractice cases. Malpractice is a possibility for all healthcare providers using traditional methods or telemedicine.

Federal and State Law

Some state laws require a doctor be licensed in the state where the patient is located. This could definitely reduce some of the advantages of telemedicine.

For example, a specialist can’t consult with a patient who lives in a different state. A patient who moves, or spends time in another state, can’t use their home state doctor for telemedicine.

No federal law exists yet. There is legislation pending on telemedicine to establish a federal standard. Right now each state has its own rules and regulations.

Privacy

Patients may express concern over the security of video chats and records transmission.

The Future of Telemedicine

In May, Texas became the last state to allow doctors to see patients without an initial in-person visit.

Just a few months later, Hurricane Harvey made telemedicine essential for many displaced Texans.

Disaster responders set up a telemedicine station in the Dallas shelter for hurricane victims. The station allowed ER physicians at the hospital to see patients remotely. A computer screen and special equipment let doctors diagnose and treat people.

Flood conditions cause lots of rashes and infections. Stressful situations can irritate chronic conditions like asthma, anxiety, and depression. The advantage of telemedicine is the ER doctors were available any time of the day.

Health officials want telemedicine included in every disaster relief and recovery plan. But, first doctors need permission to practice telemedicine across state lines.

A poignant illustration of this issue occurred during Hurricane Harvey.

Doctors from around the country wanted to provide medical care during the hurricane. State law only allowed doctors licensed to practice in Texas to use telemedicine.

The Bottom Line

Below are a few reasons why face-to-face doctor visits won’t go away.

  • Some patients have complex or complicated illnesses
  • An initial diagnosis requires one-on-one assessments
  • Sensitive communications are delivered in person

On the other hand, a virtual visit is a perfect fit for other care interactions. Blood pressure, weight, dermatology or low emotional impact issues work.

The advantages of telemedicine include less travel and wait time, extra services, and promotion of well care.

Telemedicine is beneficial for employers. It reduces the time employees are absent from work because of doctor visits.

Contact the Proactive Broker Network

Want to know more? Contact Proactive Broker Network to incorporate telemedicine into your health management plan.

wellness companies

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Wellness Companies

A wellness company helps other businesses establish programs to improve the personal well-being of its workers. These companies use awareness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to boost the quality of life of the individuals.

Wellness companies provide tailored, personalized plans per individual and business. The plans are the result of using expertise, guided experience, and opinions. The goal is to improve individual health so they’re productive, less of a health insurance strain, and to create a happier atmosphere.

Have you considered promoting healthy lifestyles for your employees? Great!

Let’s explore the common mistakes when choosing a provider before you make the decision on which company to hire.

Five Common Mistakes of Wellness Companies

There are hundreds of wellness companies across the United States. That’s not including the thousands of smaller businesses offering these services. This makes the process of choosing the provider quite the challenge. It’s not only about the program but whether the info and guidance align (and stick) with the workforce.

What better way to weed out the low-quality contenders than to learn of the common mistakes? Let’s take a look at five that are red flags.

1. Incentives (without guidance)

Effective wellness programs use incentives to motivate employees to keep their healthy lifestyle and routines. These incentives are monetary bonuses but may also include merchandising, extra vacation days, and flex time.

Unfortunately, not all wellness programs lead to commitment. Incentives provide a positive reinforcement. But, so should the routine by rewarding activity and reaching milestones.

2. Inclusion and competition

The introduction of an incentive-based wellness program could lead to confrontation without the proper direction.

One would hope for positive competition to drive employees. Though, tensions between management and the workforce could exacerbate with this new outlet to compete. This could result forming inclusion that deters others from committing. Others do not want to commit because of the hostile environment.

3. Convoluted tracking & reporting

The wellness program is effective when biometric data is recorded often and used to make logical decisions on how best to motivate participation. A program that tries to factor dozens of data points creates a convoluted system that’s hard to track and report upon.

Instead, focus on one or two metrics:

  • Activity levels
  • Weight loss
  • Morale
  • Health care costs

Start small (weight loss) and work upward to bigger wins (health care costs) to determine the success of the program. Over time you’ll have the opportunity to expand your data set and measure a larger sample of biometrics. But, keep it simple for now when first starting out.

4. Commitment (both sides)

Healthy living isn’t accomplished in a few short weeks. Commitment must be the same as one would approach lifestyle changes versus a quick flash-in-the-pan trial of a diet.

The commitment needs to come from two angles:

  • Continual milestones, goals, and activity
  • Leading by example

The workforce will not commit if the higher-ups do not take part. The leadership needs to be present the same as any other area of the business. Practice what you preach. Do so and the employees will find the motivation to keep going.

It’s during this time to measure the mental well-being of the individuals as well.

Employees will develop the stamina and muscle to do the routines. Yet, if they aren’t emotionally stable and focused this can result in relapse. Use meetings, incentives (see above), and helpfulness to motivate those struggling so they do not lose their will to continue.

5. Lacking the ease of access

The tools and resources should not take considerable effort to find or use. This includes access to exercise equipment, healthy foods, and support (online, in-person, or over-the-phone).

Display results and community achievements with the discretion of the participants. Displaying these achievements encourage peer support. It also provides visual aids to understand progress.

Finding the Fit in Fitness

The mistakes made by wellness companies are beneficial. Meaning they are indicators to cut out the majority that isn’t aligned with your goals. Work your way backward through the selections and then consider the factors that make for a good fit with these programs. This way you have a great balance of what (and what not) to look for in these companies.

Justifying the Costs of Wellness Companies

Many business owners are skeptical of the return on investment with wellness programs. It’s easy to see why considering the costs to install these programs and the possible resistance that may be present within the workforce.

Studies have concluded that wellness programs do not cut costs but they do cut hospitalizations. The data collected showed that while costs associated inpatient hospital visits decreased there was an increase to out-patient services.

“At BJC, we understand that changing behavior to improve human health is a journey that is ongoing,” said Steve Lipstein, BJC president and CEO. “It cannot be easily measured in dollar cost savings. Wellness programs are about giving employees the information they need to understand and manage their personal health. Cost savings may follow over time, but nothing is more valuable than achieving and staying in good health.”

The justification for the investment in wellness companies should tap into this long-term goal. Critics agree that in order for the programs to work there must be trust in the system. If this trust is present then employee well-being and morale increases. This will lead to lower health costs, higher employee retention, and reduced absenteeism.

The result? A 3:1 return on investment.

Final Thoughts

We can all agree that promoting lifestyles that increase worker satisfaction and health is a good thing. Wellness programs are a great option for those that care for the well-being of their workforce. They’re easy to install but come with a host of mistakes unless you stay sharp and avoid these pitfalls covered in the article.

Need help choosing the right wellness company for your business? Take a look through our extensive network or get in touch for a personalized suggestion. We’re happy to help you find the perfect match!

lifestyle counseling

Why Everyone (Healthy and Not) Needs Lifestyle Counseling

You might have heard it said that America doesn’t have health care, but instead has “sick care.”

This comment reflects that fact that, of the money spent on health care in the United States, 75% is spent on treating preventable diseases. In other words, Americans spend more money treating sick people than promoting behaviors that prevent sickness.

But many folks are working to change this by taking charge of their own wellness. One way to do this is with healthy lifestyle counseling.

Depending on your current situation, lifestyle counseling can help you either improve or maintain your health. Let’s look at some of the ways it can benefit you personally.

What Is Lifestyle Counseling?

The purpose of lifestyle counseling is to help a patient identify factors that affect their wellness and to learn better habits and behaviors. Like other types of counseling, health counseling is centered on directed conversations between the patient and the provider.

Lifestyle counseling can focus either on preventative measures or on behaviors to alleviate current ailments. For instance, a patient with a family history of high cholesterol may seek health counseling to learn good diet habits. By contrast, a patient with diabetes may benefit from counseling to learn habits to maintain their condition.

What Kinds of Behaviors Will Counseling Address?

When you visit a lifestyle counselor, they ask a variety of questions about your daily habits and practices. This helps them to get a better idea of what factors could be affecting your health.

For instance, most lifestyle counselors will ask questions about your eating habits. This will help them identify whether your diet is healthy.

In some cases, a counselor may identify foods in your diet that could be adversely affecting you. For example, while you may not have noticed that you tend to experience stomach problems after eating dairy or eggs, a lifestyle counselor might notice this.

Of course, exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition. Based on your current level of fitness, they will recommend exercises that are appropriate for you.

A counselor will also ask about your sleep habits. They typically ask how long you sleep, and whether you sleep through the night.

Sleep allows the body to heal itself and manage stress. If the counselor notices that your sleep is irregular, they can help you identify habits to promote better sleep.

Finally, they will also ask about your relationships with your friends and family. While this might not seem relevant to your overall health, it actually has a big impact on it. People who have supportive relationships in their life are more successful in implementing healthy activities.

What Are the Benefits of Counseling?

If you are generally healthy, you may feel that you do not need health counseling. But the truth is that both healthy and sick people can benefit from counseling.

Avoid Preventable Illnesses

As we discussed at the beginning of this article, most health costs in the United States are related to treating preventable conditions. One of the biggest benefits of health counseling is learning behaviors to avoid these conditions.

For instance, research indicates that the average cost of treating type-2 diabetes over a lifetime is $85,000. Investing in lifestyle counseling could help a patient learn to manage their sugar intake early in life, making it less likely that they will develop diabetes. Preventing these kinds of chronic illnesses will lower patient health care costs significantly.

Another large source of health care costs is obesity-related disease and complications. Factors related to metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can be expensive to manage. Adopting healthy eating and regular exercise can reduce the likelihood of developing these illnesses.

Manage Stress

Healthy eating and exercise are not the only lifestyle factors to consider when seeking health counseling. Mental health-related issues like stress and anxiety can also be addressed with health counseling.

Stress is related to many adverse health symptoms, including muscle pain, insomnia, chest tension, and headaches. Counseling can help patients learn strategies to combat stress. These include breathing routines, exercise, and meditation.

Get a Full Picture of Your Health

One of the problems with America’s approach to healthcare is that it can sometimes be fragmented. If you are experiencing stomach pains, you will visit a gastroenterologist. If you have trouble sleeping, you will seek out a sleep specialist.

Each of these specialists will look at one aspect of your health and will respond to that aspect. As the old saying goes, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This can prevent physicians from identifying the connections between varied symptoms.

By contrast, a lifestyle counselor works to find the root causes of symptoms. For instance, if you are having digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain, a lifestyle counselor may be able to identify stress or anxiety as the root cause. This way, you can treat the causes of your illness, rather than just manage the symptoms.

Promote Employee Wellness

Most Americans with health insurance receive their health insurance benefits from their employer. Since patients with good coverage do not have to cover all of their own medical expenses, they sometimes do not consider the costs of developing long-term health problems.

Even if employees do not always consider these issues, their employers do. This is why many employers are adopting corporate wellness programs, which promote healthy living among their employees. By promoting employee wellness, employers can lower their health care costs.

This is why many corporate wellness programs include access to lifestyle counseling. The goal is that investing in this counseling will lower the total cost of health care for all employees. Additionally, healthy employees are often more productive, which boosts the company’s bottom line.

Taking Steps to Better Health

With the right lifestyle counseling, you can develop healthy habits that will improve your quality of life.

If you want to learn more about how counseling can improve your lifestyle, contact us. Our experts will work with you to find the perfect plan for your needs.

corporate wellness program

The True Value of a Good Corporate Wellness Program

Having a work-life balance is not always easy.

Far too often, employees have to sacrifice personal goals to meet deadlines or make it on time to the next meeting. One of these goals is living a healthy lifestyle, which should be important to both the employee and employers.

Healthy habits have lasting effects. They make us more productive, more positive, and better equipped to meet the challenges of each day.

Deciding to implement a corporate wellness program is a popular topic of discussion as employers aim to improve the health of employees. Some are skeptical about the savings, others say such programs are invaluable.

We have the details you need.

Three Simple Reasons to Invest in a Corporate Wellness Program

1. Employee Quality of Life (and Work)

Think of the two employees on your team with different lifestyles.

One wakes up early, goes to the gym, and is often bouncing on the way to their desk. They have the energy to take on the day and the endorphins to keep this momentum up.

The other, you may notice, is not as energized. You can tell this individual prefers to sleep in, likely hitting snooze and dragging themselves out of bed and into the office.

They do not prioritize time to take care of their body, leaving them with less excitement to be in the office and more fatigue in general.

Mental Health Impacts Productivity

An employee that is awake and excited for the day can be the difference between 80% and 100% productivity. An alert individual is much more likely to provide quality customer service and valuable ideas than one on their third cup of coffee.

This increases the overall productivity and flow of employees, their teams, and how they approach company goals. Investing in a corporate wellness program is an investment in the quality of your employee’s work.

The more you, as an employer, emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, the more your employees will understand its benefits.

This goes beyond 30 minutes of sweat or choosing to skip dessert. It leaves lasting implications in all areas of your employees’ lives, with clear benefits in the workplace.

Dr. Peter Wald of USAA understands the possibilities.

His “surround sound” approach to making wellness an integrated part of company culture made people pay attention – up to 80% participation rates. Many employees went from classified at-risk to being well on the health scale and improving their work efforts.

2. Fewer Costs in the Long Run

In addition to the overall increase in quality of life, there is a valuable decrease in company costs and spending.

It mainly works in two ways.

Increased Productivity

The first is in project completion and customer satisfaction. Healthy employees are less likely to take sick time, meaning they are more frequently present in the workplace to meet deadlines.

This leaves room for teams to make their way through contracts and projects at a faster speed, thus generating and completing more work and earning more money.

Decreased Healthcare Expenses

The next is the savings on healthcare and return on investment from a corporate wellness program.

The less an employee is at risk of being sick, the less likely they are to go to the doctor. They will in turn claim less medical visits and prescription drugs. This can be as simple as the flu on a sick day or as important as fighting chronic illnesses down the line.

In one investment, you are both increasing the quality of your workforce and, potentially, their lifespan. All while saving money for you.

Clear return on investments can be calculated from a corporate wellness program. One of the most popular companies pioneering in healthcare initiatives is Johnson & Johnson.

After offering incentives for employees to complete a health profile, the company extended the opportunity for employees to join weight loss programs like Weight Watchers. Their ROI weighs in at a healthy $600 average per employee and 20% less than industry average disability rates.

3. Better Employee-Employer Relations

Johnson & Johnson has also partnered with internal teams to create programs centered around a healthy lifestyle, not just healthy choices.

They work to create an in-depth program that reaches personal motivations. This makes it more effective and powerful as the benefits unfold for the employee and employer.

At the end of the day, a healthy lifestyle is the personal responsibility of an individual, despite the push from their employer. However, when the workplace takes the time (and money) to give employees the gift of taking their life back, it means something.

Employees are more valuable in a workplace they feel comfortable and supported in. An often overlooked benefit of a good corporate wellness program is the relationship it establishes in the workplace.

Give Employees a Voice

Take L.L. Bean for example.

The company allows employees to take healthcare into their own hands by funding new fitness programs at specific locations. All it takes is a minimum of 15 people showing interest and expressing department needs. From there, the program builds lasting relationships.

Employees are holding each other accountable to things outside of the workplace and close to their hearts. It also gives individuals the chance to share a passion for yoga or running in an environment that may typically focus on sales and strategy.

When an employee feels part of something bigger than them it builds community. One that goes beyond corporate.

This community feel overpowers the company setting any day.

Invest Now for Lasting, Priceless Effects

A corporate wellness program is more than a smart investment in the books.

It is an initiative with the power to transform your workplace from the ground up. A healthier lifestyle empowers and energizes your employees. It makes them happier in their every day life and more productive and innovative in the office.

The right program can actually save money and transform lives.

Stop waiting and debating. Make the changes you and your employees need today.

Contact us to ask about the right wellness program for your workplace. The possibilities are waiting to increase productivity and boost employee moral.

top corporate wellness companies

What Programs do the Top Corporate Wellness Companies Offer?

It’s hard to deny that the world today is more wellness-minded than ever before, and the corporate world is no exception.

In a significant way, forward-thinking employers and a new generation of workers led the charge to bring the wellness initiative to where it is today. There’s no denying that a company’s wellness program can make a big difference in the organization. It’s valued by potential employees and can impact its ability to attract top talent.

There’s no denying that a company’s wellness program can make a big difference in the organization. It’s valued by potential employees and can impact its ability to attract top talent.

Implementing a wellness program doesn’t have to be difficult, but what the top corporate wellness companies offer goes a long way in setting them apart and making them an attractive place to work.

Read on to learn about some of the best offerings, and how you can make sure that your office stays competitive with the top corporate wellness companies operating in today’s market.

1. Step Counters

At its core, wellness is about health and nothing has done more to promote a healthy lifestyle than step counters and fitness wearables.

By tracking how many steps a person takes in a day and providing a goal number, fitness wearables hold users accountable for moving throughout the day and getting a certain amount of exercise.

The top corporate wellness companies have gotten in on the trend in various ways. Some provide their employees with the trackers or offer them discounts to purchase one.

Many will offer company-wide competitions that encourage their employees to reach or exceed a specific amount of steps over a set period of time, and then reward the winners with additional benefits like more vacation time or cash bonuses.

By incorporating accountability into their wellness offerings, companies create a culture where employees feel valued for being healthy.

2. Mindfulness

The top corporate wellness companies understand too that health is more than just physical.

Mental health and wellness is being taken more seriously now than ever before, and employers are recognizing that by offering employees different ways to practice and prioritize mindfulness.

Company-wide meditation classes have become more popular, and create a sense of community mindfulness which can be especially important in more competitive industries.

Other ways the employers promote mindfulness is by encouraging employees to actually take their lunch hour or short breaks throughout the day so that they clear their head and recharge.

Some companies have even gone so far as to create spaces where their workers can take a brief nap, allowing their minds to shut off for a little while and then return to their work reenergized.

3. Healthy Food

Offering employees free food is nothing new, and offering unlimited snacks is still a great way to catch the eye of potential employees who are comparing you to your competitors.

What’s different is the kind of food that companies are now offering to reflect the changing wants of their employees.

From corporate cafeterias to break room snack drawers, the top corporate wellness companies are getting a complete makeover. Many of them will even consult with nutritionists and chefs to make sure that the food available to employees will support overall health and wellness goals, be better for productivity as well.

4. Stress Management

The corporate world is more demanding now than ever before, and the top corporate wellness companies recognize that this affects employees as well. Not only are we being asked to do more to remain competitive within our careers, but our personal lives keep us busier too.

Offering stress management resources to employees is a great way for employers to communicate an important message. That, while they expect a certain level of work, they do not want or expect employees to run themselves into the ground.

An employee who feels that his happiness is respected at work–and who is given the tools to manage stress to maintain that happiness–will always do a better job at the office and will feel supported even when he or she is off the clock.

5. Unlimited PTO

Unlimited personal time off is becoming more common among the top corporate companies. Employers realize that employees are not abusing the program and that the offering doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity.

In fact, just because companies have an unlimited PTO plan doesn’t actually mean that workers are taking more time off than they would have otherwise. And those who do, tend to be more productive when they are actually in the office.

What many top corporate wellness companies have realized is that offering unlimited PTO goes a long way in establishing goodwill, and makes employees feel that their work-life balance is important.

6. Financial Wellness

The overall quality of someone’s life can be very dependent on their financial standing, and the top corporate wellness companies are recognizing this.

One of the newest trends in corporate wellness is offering employees tools to take control of their financial wellbeing.

This may mean offering classes on financial literacy, encouraging employees to save with matching 401k programs, or even in some cases offering tuition matching or loan relief.

Employees who are preoccupied with a difficult financial situation will have a hard time focusing on their work, so offering these types of programs as part of an overall corporate wellness package makes sense for both the employer and the employee.

Guiding Principles

When deciding how to implement a wellness program or what services to offer, the most important thing that the top corporate wellness companies do is value their employees as whole people, not just people who come into an office and sit at a desk.

This guiding principle is why so many of the top corporate wellness companies offer programs that improve both an employee’s physical and mental health. It’s also why these programs aim to find ways to help employees make the most of their time outside of the office.

For more information on who the top corporate wellness companies are, what they do, and how you can create a wellness program that makes sense for your business and your employees, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.