Florida County Sees Success with Health and Wellness Program

April 5, 2010

Fort Wayne, Ind. – April 5, 2010 – In an effort to reduce healthcare costs and better manage employee health, Manatee County, Florida launched a comprehensive health and wellness plan for its government employees in 2005 called “Your Choice,” resulting in significant improvements in outcomes.  To enhance the program, Manatee County has launched an online portal with a NoMoreClipboard personal health record (PHR) that allows county employees to compile, manage and share health information. 

“Our goal was to create a comprehensive plan that would help our employees manage chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension, as well as basic lifestyle issues such as obesity, depression and tobacco use,” said Kim Stroud, Director of Health and Lifestyle Management at Manatee County.  “The NoMoreClipboard PHR is helping us further engage county employees and their family members in managing their own health.”   

As a result of Manatee “YourChoice” holding their employees and their participating families accountable for lifestyle choices, the County has been seeing their Claims paid trending substantially below the annual national average.  In addition, the Verisk (formerly D2 Hawkeye) Data Management System is reporting: 

  • The county’s incidence of chronic disease is six percent below national averages. Diabetes hospitalization costs alone have decreased from $500,000 in 2005 to $70,000 in 2006 thru 2009.
  • Hospital stays in 2008 were 37 percent lower than in 2007.
  • The county has seen a 10 percent decrease in emergency room visits due to depression and an eight percent decreasein pharmacy claims for antidepressants. 
  • Approximately 36 percent of county employees are tobacco-free after six months of coaching and 62 percent are currently making an effort to quit.

“To compete in the new global economy, employers must transfer some of the expenses being used to fund health benefits and get to the heart of the matter — rebuilding a fit and healthy workforce.  The NoMoreClipboard PHR is a key factor in helping us streamline communication between our employees and medical professionals, and will help our employees be more accountable for their own healthcare,” said Bob Goodman, Benefits Manager at Manatee County.  

From the “Your Choice” PHR, county employees and their families can view automatically populated claims, pharmacy, health risk assessment and lab data imported from other sources to create a robust health record. Users can also use the portal to quickly find a Manatee County physician and send their PHR to that physician in advance of a medical visit.  The PHR populates county wellness exam forms with current health information so treating physicians simply have to add new data generated during an encounter. The system can also be accessed via employee cell phones, giving them easy access to their health information from any location.