Health Coaching a Key Employee Benefit in Controlling Healthcare Costs

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Corporate wellness programs are best supported by individualized health coaching to drive lasting behavior change among employees

Yet that goal can be vague for both management and employees to reach without specific steps. Individual health coaches help employees bridge this gap between overall intent and the ways to accomplish this goal.

One of the biggest concerns of employers is containing the high cost of employee benefits – particularly healthcare expenses. Wellness programs are among the most effective ways for an employer to promote a healthy workplace and cut overall health expenses.

The challenge for employer-led preventative wellness programs is to get the employee far more involved. Individual health coaching takes on a much more important role in this context. In fact, researchers from the Center for Disease Control indicate that "individual coaching may be the critical component for effective worksite health promotion programs."

Hummingbird Coaching Systems’ new white paper, "Why Health Coaching Programs Fail" available for download at http://www.myhealthcoach.com/default.aspx?tabid=8038 , examines key ways corporate health coaching programs fail. Among them are lack of support from the top, promoting the program among the wrong population, not providing practical tools, training and communications to help employees take responsibility for their health, and lack of a dedicated health coach to direct employees on the best ways to guard their health.

"Often employer-led wellness programs claim lofty goals of establishing ‘an environment of wellness’," said Sean Slovenski, president and chief executive officer. "Yet that goal can be vague for both management and employees to reach without specific steps. Individual health coaches help employees bridge this gap between overall intent and the ways to accomplish this goal."

Health coaches work with employees, evaluating their personal health risk assessment and helping them develop a personalized health plan, with direct involvement in reaching their goals. Dedicated health coaches also develop a relationship of trust with the patient in working through often very personal issues.

Online health coaching programs like MyHealthCoach.com encourage more honest feedback and self-reporting, contributing to higher success rates. Such online forms of communication as email, instant messaging/text messaging, journals, blogs, and personalized website information provide employees ‘instant gratification’. Often an employee feels better after composing an email and articulating the problem – even if the response doesn’t come until the next day.

Since Hummingbird Coaching is ‘on-demand,’ online enrollees receive an average of four contacts per month, compared with five to seven annually for the average telephonic participant. MyHealthCoach.com provides support in the areas of weight management, blood pressure and cholesterol control, nutrition and smoking cessation.

About Hummingbird Coaching Services
Cincinnati-based Hummingbird Coaching Services is a pioneer in health coaching since 1997. Hummingbird provides comprehensive workplace wellness programs that impact employee health and productivity. Using its proprietary coaching model and online delivery platform, Hummingbird provides coaching services to businesses such as Motorola, United Healthcare, Leeza Gibbons Inc., and the Muhammad Ali Center. Through its innovative technology platform and coaching programs, Hummingbird provides health, parenting and life coaching to drive real behavior change in individuals and help employers lower healthcare costs. For more information, visit http://www.hummingbirdcoaching.com.

Contact:
Sean Slovenski                        
Sean.Slovenski (at) hummingbirdcoaching.com
877-240-4588

Colleen Harris    
Hummingbird Coaching                 
harrischh (at)roadrunner.com
877-240-4588

This press release was distributed through eMediaWire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Colleen Harris
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