How to promote heart health for your employees
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. And high cholesterol and high blood pressure are two of the leading causes of heart disease. Learn about the AllWays Health Partners benefit proven to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure — and three other ways you can promote heart health for your workforce.
About iHeart Championsm
iHeart Champion is a care management program that's included with all AllWays Health Partners plans. It was designed in collaboration with experts from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Remote Cardiovascular Health Program to help our members reduce their bad cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of heart attacks or stroke.
The program showcases AllWays Health Partners’ unique ability to work directly with clinical experts to design industry-leading programs that improve the health of our members.
How it works
The program uses custom algorithms to scan electronic medical records and identify patients who are at risk for heart attack or stroke. Providers can also refer their patients to the program directly.
These patients then have the opportunity to work with specially trained health care personnel known as navigators, who serve as the point of contact between the patient and the team of pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and cardiologist assigned to their care. This focus on regular communication between the patient and their health professionals has helped ensure consistent adherence to treatment plans and excellent results.
As of December 2020, the iHeart Champion program was serving over 1,000 members out of an estimated six thousand who have ASCVD (Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease). Outcomes for participants in the program include:
- An average of 54 mg/dl reduction in low-density lipoproteins (LDLs)
- An average of 22/6 reduction in blood pressure
Based on the observed cholesterol and blood pressure reductions, participants save an average of about 4.5% of their total medical expenditure (TME), or about $477 per year, compared to members not enrolled in the program.
Other ways to promote heart health
Making sure your employees are aware of iHeart Champion and that they can talk with their doctor about getting a referral to the program is a great first step improving heart health at your organization.
Here are 3 more ways you can help promote better heart health for your workforce:
1. Educate employees on risk factors.
There are many factors that can contribute to heart disease. These include certain health conditions, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Other risk factors are habit-based, like:
- A diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol
- Not getting enough physical activity
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Smoking or vaping
Awareness efforts can help your employees identify their specific risk factors and give them the information they need to talk with their doctor about a plan to be more heart-healthy in their daily lives.
2. Promote healthy living.
Once they know their risk factors, you can help support your employees in developing healthier habits by offering resources related to healthy living. Look for shareable resources, guest speakers, and timely events around topics like healthier eating, how to quit smoking or vaping, and ways to incorporate physical activity into daily life.
The American Heart Association has many helpful resources in these areas, including a heart-healthy recipe collection, tips for getting active and staying motivated, and guides to kicking habits like smoking.
AllWays Health Partners also hosts a series of free webinars focused on healthy living during the pandemic, including How to Combat Stress with Good Nutrition, Burnout Prevention and Recovery, and The Benefits of Strength Training.
3. Acknowledge the impact of stress.
Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors and can potentially trigger heart attacks or angina. It’s important to be mindful of your employees’ stress levels, especially during the pandemic, and work with them to mitigate job-related stress. If you offer stress management resources, like a wellness platform, mobile app, or an Employee Assistance Program, make sure your employees know how to access and use them.