Magazine article Personnel Journal

Teleservice Helps Employees Take an Active Role in Their Health Care Management

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Teleservice Helps Employees Take an Active Role in Their Health Care Management

Article excerpt

Senior management at Cebcor hopes to trim hospitalization costs by 20-30% when it provides the Chicago-based health and risk management firm's 40 employees access to a toll-free health care information teleservice.

Cebcor plans to introduce the Personal Health Advisor concurrently with its November benefits enrollment period. Personal Health Advisor is a teleservice developed last year by Access Health Marketing, Inc., located in Rancho Cordova, California. Staffed by registered nurses, Personal Health Advisor empowers employees to become better health care consumers via symptom-based assessments of ailments and appropriate, cost-effective medical care recommendations. Employees can reach this service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"This program deals with the demand side of the health care equation," states Charles Stevenson, Cebcor's president and CEO. "So many cost-containment measures focus only on the supply side. Personal Health Advisor i educates employees to take an active role in managing their health care."

Cost savings, improved employee health plan satisfaction and reduced out-of-network utilization are among its benefits, according to Access Health officials. The service is designed to yield more efficient use while decreasing inappropriate and unnecessary care. This is achieved by one, or a combination of, the following five methods:

* Symptom-based assessment and triage

* In-network referral management

* Health events counseling (for major decisions or chronic conditions)

* Health promotion and intervention services

* AudioHealth Library, which catalogs pre-recorded information on more than 400 health topics.

Nurse counselors refer to a proprietary software system of medical protocols in assessing symptoms. They are instructed not to provide diagnoses, but to recommend home remedies and/or appropriate medical care. …

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