Indianapolis-based WellPoint has launched 360° Health, an online wellness program as part of a strategy to address preventative care and care coordination, and to facilitate the development of a national electronic medical record system.
The program is designed to integrate Wellpoint's (total assets of $41.8 billion) care management program and tools into an online system and complement the efforts of The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (Washington D.C.), which is working to establish an electronic medical record system by 2010. "We have created tools within 360° Health that are an example of how we are working to bring about a nationwide electronic medical record system," says Joan Kennedy, senior vice president at WellPoint.
The online tools allow members to interact with physicians, create a personal health record, and to use a claims information pharmacy that automatically populates the record with the policyholder's claims information and translates medical codes into common terms. WellPoint has also integrated all care management programs onto the online system to help nurses identify and serve members with critical needs, according to Kennedy. "We have provided a single point of contact for our members to help them understand what their healthcare needs are and help them meet those specific needs," she says.
WellPoint started designing 360° Health in 2001. To develop tools for the carrier's 50 programs, Wellpoint partnered with WebMD (New York), an online health information company. A team made up of members from the carrier and WebMD worked together in-house to customize the Web portal and incorporate analytics into the system. The analytics automate the personalized health record and have the ability to pull up information specific to the individual. The portal also includes wellness and lifestyle programs, discounts on health related products and alternative medicine therapies. "From a design perspective we wanted a health record to auto-populate and integrate with the medical system for nurses in care management to refer to," says Kennedy.
WellPoint has invested $100 million in 360° Health, according to Kennedy. In 2004 the carrier conducted a two-year pilot program in New York, which has shown a 95 percent participation rate and a 2:1 return on investment on all employees enrolled in the program. The ROI is based on a reduction in absenteeism and increased employee productivity, Kennedy says. WellPoint's 360° Health will be rolled out to its 34 million members state by state, starting with Georgia over the next two years.