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Se Habla Español

WellPoint launches online Spanish-language health appraisal tool built with WebMD, and Hispanic cultural and linguistic expertise.

Indianapolis-based WellPoint ($51.5 billion in assets) expanded its 360 Health suite of member services to include a free online Spanish-language Health Assessment as part of the insurer's personal health record capability. As of Dec. 12, members were able to complete a health questionnaire and receive a personalized report in Spanish, identifying personal risk factors and including recommendations on how to manage their health, according to the company.

Development of the tool was important because of changing demographics, says Mary Scanlon, SVP, e-business and consumer technology, for WellPoint. "We need to support our growing ethnic memberships, and we're doing that with a secure online tool to help them manage their risk," she comments. "Our research indicates that there are Hispanic-Americans who are disproportionately affected by some health conditions; this tool allows them to begin to identify those risks early, and it enables us to engage them in a way they probably haven't been engaged before."

The Health Assessment tool invites members to report personal information within a battery of health-related topics, including current health condition; family health history; lifestyle behaviors; vital statistics, such as cholesterol and blood pressure levels; life events; and use of healthcare resources (e.g., doctor visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations), according to Scanlon. Upon completion of the questionnaire, the information is integrated with the member's existing claims history and the member is given an easy-to-understand personalized report. "Through the data they input, they will begin to get some push messaging and more-personalized information on health status," she says.

Personalized Development

WellPoint worked with WebMD (New York) to develop the assessment functionality, Scanlon notes. "The integration to the back end, the usability and the e-portal front end for the members is all done by WellPoint's internal IT organization," she adds.

The carrier looked to other partners to help craft the site's content. "We used companies that specialize in Spanish language and Spanish health issues to ensure that we were relevant, both from a concept perspective as well as from a usability perspective," she says.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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