Denver based weight loss company to testify at Senate Appropriations Hearing
Washington, DC, July 15 — Jack Rule, CEO of incentaHEALTH, a Denver based company, will be testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations at a hearing entitled “Preventing Chronic Disease Thru Healthy Lifestyles”. Other members of the panel include Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, former Baltimore Orioles player Cal Ripkin, Jr., and nutrition expert Dean Ornish. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 15 at 9.30 am in SD -192.
“Our program is unique in that it is employer-based and uses proprietary automated technology, realistic and tailored exercise and nutritional advice and a unique incentive program to help participants modify their lifestyle and lose weight,” Rule explains. “The program rewards participants with cash incentives if body weight is lowered and maintained at the reduced levels.”
For the individual, the cash incentive provides a positive reinforcement and encourages participants to stick with the program. While participants may weigh in as often as they like, “official” weigh-ins are conducted on a quarterly basis. Based on the results of the quarterly weigh-in the employee may qualify for an incentive check. If the weight loss is maintained for the next quarter the participant receives a second check; if it continues, the check increases but if weight is gained, the checks stop. The funds for the incentive are made available from a portion of the employer’s health care cost savings generated from reduced lost time, medical visits, and pharmacy costs. IncentaHEALTH monitors the progress, processes the payments, and distributes the incentives to the participants; the sponsoring organization reimburses incentaHEALTH.
The incentaHEALTH program differs from other methods in its use of communication technologies to help employees change their behavior. “The incentaHEALTH system allows employers to simultaneously reach thousands of employees,” said Todd McGuire, Chief Technology Officer for incentaHEALTH. “We deliver a very personalized level of care to each participant. Since we are using secure technology to provide daily coaching and to track performance, the process is much more private than traditional, manual approaches. The product truly facilitates the creation of a HIPAA compliant program.”
“Best of all, the program works,” Rule declares. “Rapid weight loss is difficult to sustain, so incentaHEALTH focuses not on simply losing excess pounds, but on reshaping the eating and exercise habits of individuals. By changing these patterns of behavior, sustainable healthy weight loss can be achieved.”
The incentaHEALTH program has been used successfully in pilot programs including at Kaiser Permanente. IncentaHealth is currently developing proposals for other customers including in the Washington, DC metro area. IncentaHEALTH is based in Denver, Colorado and has been in operation since January 2003.