|Print Press Release|
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Partners with incentaHEALTH on Nation’s First Community-Wide Program That Offers Rewards for Positive Results
DENVER — April 25, 2011 - A new program launching this week in metro-Denver promises to reward people with cash incentives for achieving healthier lifestyles. Weigh and Win, a partnership between Kaiser Permanente and a local health technology company, incentaHEALTH, is the nation’s first community-wide program offering cash rewards and prizes to individuals who achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
Weigh and Win will be available for free to all Coloradans ages 18 and over. Individuals who sign up for the program will participate in quarterly photographed weigh-ins at kiosks stationed conveniently throughout the Denver-metro area and receive cash incentives for positive results. Participants will have access to a variety of online coaching tools to help them reach their goals.
“We know that being overweight or obese has serious health consequences. It not only increases the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but there’s also a tremendous cost to our communities,” said Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Kaiser Permanente Vice President of Government and External Relations. “Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of all Coloradans and this program builds upon our extensive work to increase healthy eating and physical activity.”
Weigh and Win is just one example of how Kaiser Permanente is committed to comprehensively fighting the obesity epidemic by making the healthy choice the easy choice through environmental and policy change. In addition to providing evidence based weight management strategies and health education programs to its 535,000 members in Colorado, the organization is a founding funder of LiveWell Colorado, the only statewide non-profit dedicated exclusively to leading a collaborative fight against obesity. To date, LiveWell has reached more than 130,000 children at 1,087 schools and more than 700,000 people with community-wide strategies.
“The Weigh and Win partnership is to be applauded for finding ways to encourage people to make healthier choices,” said Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We appreciate partners like Kaiser Permanente and our many community partners who help people achieve healthier lifestyles through better nutrition and increased physical activity.”
Weigh and Win introduces a cost effective and population based approach to behavior modification. Community partners are stepping forward to support and promote the program and to encourage participation. Community partners to date include: Denver Health, LiveWell Colorado, Metro Mayors Caucus, Colorado State Library, kiosk location sites, and many retail locations offering prizes.
While this is the first time the program has been applied to a community at large, similar initiatives have achieved notable results in workplace settings. In corporate deployments of the incentaHEALTH program, the average employee loses 6 percent body weight (12 pounds for a 200 pound person) and 40 percent of participants stay in the program for one year.
According to Todd McGuire, chief technology officer and co-founder of incentaHEALTH, for a community-based weight management program to succeed at reversing the obesity crisis it must contain four components:
“The combination of our patented HEALTHspot kiosk, weight loss incentives, and daily handholding via email and text messaging gets the job done,” said McGuire.
There is an urgent need for community-based programs that address the growing obesity crisis in Colorado. While Colorado has long been known as the “leanest” state, obesity rates are climbing faster than the national average. Currently, more than 55 percent of Colorado adults are overweight or obese.
“Municipalities have a responsibility to provide services and amenities that facilitate an active and healthy lifestyle. In Commerce City, we have built 27 miles of recreation trails, partnered with community non-profits to create three neighborhood gardens, and offer recreation programs that serve more than 12,000 children annually. Our city council is committed to further investments, because wellness helps achieve our vision of a quality community for a lifetime,” said Mayor Paul Natale.
HOW IT WORKS:
Additional kiosks will be added in the coming months in Colorado Springs, Glendale, Lakewood and Broomfield.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Denver, Boulder, and southern Colorado area residents for 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 21 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the third straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado , No. 9 in the nation and one of the top 5 Medicare plans in the U.S. for the second year in a row. In 2009, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $82 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter