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Making A Commitment To Healthy Hearts

posted by Marilyn Tavenner

on February 25, 2016

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for one in every four deaths each year.  The best way to prevent heart disease and CVD-related deaths is a healthy lifestyle.

The health insurance community is working to fight heart disease by using its unique position to engage individuals across the spectrum. An important part of health plan initiatives to keep members heart-healthy is their ability to identify individuals with risk factors and customize treatment plans. For instance, Health Net’s telephonic tobacco cessation program uses targeted interventions that address members’ readiness to change, their motivation for quitting smoking, and support systems to help members quit on their own terms and at their own pace.

Health plans also are pioneering programs that promote healthy eating habits, physical activity, tobacco cessation, and better management of hypertension and diabetes. These programs go beyond simply instructing members to eat better and exercise more.  For Cigna, this means the focus is on developing personal relationships with individuals who happen to have heart disease. Behavioral health coaches learn what motivates each person in order to help them make the specific lifestyle and health care changes needed to improve their health and well-being.

AHIP has been a partner to the HHS Million Hearts initiative since its launch in 2011, and is committed to its goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Our member health plans are actively engaged in activities that support Million Hearts around the country, providing the support and resources individuals need to tackle health risks that lead to heart disease.