Relevant Behavioral Risk Factors
As the director of strategic planning, I need to develop a plan to manage behavioral risk factors influencing the amount of health care expenditures in the area. These factors include the prevalence of unhealthy diet, high level of physical inactivity and extensive tobacco use among the residents. This plan should address the ongoing and possible community-based efforts and also the quality of existing clinical care, including chronic disease management. Such a comprehensive approach would ultimately lead to secure enhancement of the employees’ productivity and their health improvement in general.
The first step to the plan development should involve a thorough analysis of the data regarding the mentioned factors. Modern technologies allow an immediate collection of relevant information, including lifestyle characteristics of population groups. There is an advantage in the fact that most of the enrollees are insured by large companies. Therefore, those companies can execute different programs to collect data on their workers’ habits.
Next, it becomes feasible to construct a factors hierarchy depending on the analysis results. For example, the research concluded that the prevalence of everyday tobacco use in 2013 and 2014 in the United States was 21.3% or 49.2 million people as estimated (Hu et al., 2016). At the same time, another research states that the proportion of adults not engaging in physical activity in 2010 was 51.7% for women and 43.5% for men (Ladabaum, Mannalithara, Myer, & Singh, 2014). Also, the percentage of people with poor diets in 2012 was 45.6% (Rehm, Peñalvo, Afshin, & Mozaffarian, 2016). When taken together, these numbers can provide a comprehensive insight into the importance of every factor for the health of the U.S. population in general. Similarly, such calculations could be made for the given enrollees’ group. Further research into medical data can clarify the level of impact on health for each factor solely and in conjunction.
Behavioral Interventions and Health Care Models
The next step includes the development of practical strategies for managing these issues. One possible scenario of facilitating the behavioral change can suggest the employment of new technologies like captivating programs, websites, and smartphone applications as a part of the so-called Internet-based behavioral interventions. But to manage the population health more efficiently, it is reasonable to develop a strategy based on one of the existing models of health behavior change. For example, the Health Belief Model (HBM) has been extensively investigated and associated with the successful disease management, including heart disease, health-seeking behavior and cancer awareness (Riekert, Ockene, & Pbert, 2013). But HBM has certain limitations: in particular, it has been proven to be ineffective regarding the issue of tobacco use (Riekert et al., 2013). Therefore, this model is not applicable in this case.
The health care system contains multiple interrelated elements; therefore, the right model should be capable of approaching the problem systematically. According to Riekert et al. (2013), a systems perspective is essential for promoting behavioral change. This approach was implemented in different models, such as the Chronic Care Model, the Practice Change Model, and RE-AIM. A successful plan for health care should encompass the most efficient practices of existing models.
Large Companies’ Interests and Public Benefits
Also, it is necessary to consider political changes on the country level. The penalties for not providing employees with insurance have been eliminated or reduced recently, which can trigger a big change in the health insurance system in the area (Ginter, Duncan, & Swayne, 2018). However, a final plan should include a variety of policies that could direct large companies’ economic interests toward the public benefit.
Overall, the designed strategy would achieve significant improvements only if it was developed in consideration with all the mentioned conditions. It should be capable of addressing the factors both on the individual and community level through the development and implementation of appropriate policies and programs. Only then the cost-effectiveness of the plan would be maximized, and the healthcare cost would display a necessary change as well.
Ginter, P. M., Duncan, W. J., & Swayne, L. E. (2018). The strategic management of health care organizations (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Hu, S. S., Neff, L., Agaku, I. T., Cox, S., Day, H. R., Holder-Hayes, E., & King, B. A. (2016) Tobacco product use among adults – United States, 2013-2014. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(27), 685–691. Web.
Ladabaum, U., Mannalithara, A., Myer, P. A., & Singh, G. (2014). Obesity, abdominal obesity, physical activity, and caloric intake in US adults: 1988 to 2010. The American Journal of Medicine, 127(8), 717-727. Web.
Rehm, C. D., Peñalvo, J. L., Afshin, A., & Mozaffarian, D. (2016). Dietary intake among US adults, 1999-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association, 315(23), 2542-2553. Web.
Riekert, K. A., Ockene, J. K., & Pbert, L. (2014). The handbook of health behavior change (4th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.