Monthly Archives: April 2015

Design For Dance — And Towards Health And Wellness Results

“Join us on May 7th, 2015 as we (they) discover the unharnessed potential of dance @ work to improve employee health, collaboration, and more. Encompassing scientific research, educators, and companies currently using dance as part of their workplace, this one-day event is not to be missed.”


Professor Noriaki Kano Model of Product Design Happiness and the Apple Watch (and HealthKit?)

“We have a love / hate relationship with technology and the Apple Watch (and HealthKit?) will be no exception. By applying Professor Noriaki Kano’s model, companies can overcome the unavoidable deficiencies that come with new products by building-in features that continue to surprise and impress.” –

A Wellbeing Forum And One Of The Most Interesting World Leaders

“…German Chancellor Angela Merkel as ‘the most interesting world leader on this,’ citing a wellbeing forum she held in 2013…The report highlights efforts by her and other governments to track happiness, such as a grant won by the city of Santa Monica, California to study happiness among its citizens and an open letter written by Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to United Arab Emirates federal employees.

Jeffrey Sachs, another co-author of the paper and the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said he hopes U.N. members will include some measures of happiness when they meet in September, 2015 to adopt Sustainable Development Goals. ‘I’m actually optimistic that we’ll get there,’ he said.”

Behavioral Health Integration With Payment Reform

“One of the clinics in the Oregon’s Alternative Payment Methodology (APM) Pilot estimated that nearly half of the patients in its population has either depression or some other health issue with a behavioral health-related diagnosis. For many patients, long-term therapy and a 50-minute visit is not needed to help with their mild to moderate emotional or behavioral problem. In these cases, behavioral health clinicians can offer brief, problem-focused therapy. In this model, the behavioral health clinicians become familiar with the clinic’s panel of patients, and the team moves to a truly population-based approach. As of yet, however, this level of integration still remains the promise of a new care model rather than the current reality.

The Role of Payment Reform

All of the practices we have visited are early adopters, and while money is not the motivating factor for these practices (how could it be?), financing must be addressed to sustain integration efforts. If the primary way a health provider is paid is through physician visits (which is how providers were paid under the Fee-for-Service model), then it’s extremely hard to finance an integrated health care model. The APM pilot is one step toward a payment system that better enables health systems to implement integrated care in a financially viable way.

While APM is not specifically funding primary care-behavioral health integration, it is freeing up practices to look more broadly at how they treat their patients.The practices in the APM pilot do not have requirements for how to they spend their PMPM fee. Therefore, instead of needing to generate a high number of physician-patient primary care visits, they now have the flexibility to spend some of their fees on behavioral and mental health services. As long as the net effect is budget-neutral, they can treat patients in new ways and with new combinations of providers.

Integrated care is comprehensive primary care. To make it common practice will require leadership to push further on paying for services that are central to comprehensive primary care, align payment across payers to reduce complexity, and support system-wide practice change.”

People who live around trees are physically healthier and health care savings…around $7 billion a year

“…trees prevent crime, correlating tree coverage with crime statistics; the more trees, the lower the crime rate.
Research by the USDA’s Forest Service also showed that people who live around trees are physically healthier: ‘About 850 lives are saved each year, the number of acute respiratory symptoms is lower by about 670,000 incidents each year, and the total health care savings attributed to pollution removal by trees is around $7 billion a year.'”

Common Building Products, Cancer, and Healthier Alternatives

In episode 8 of The Spark on Bloomberg t.v., a New York company is turning to an unlikely alternative to a known carcinogen in a common building product. –