The Hello Heart team had an incredible few days at The Conference Board 2023 Annual Employee Health Care Conferences in San Diego and New York. HR and benefits leaders and innovators from various industries came together to discuss redefining benefits strategies around this year’s theme – Finding Focus: Access, Innovation, Affordability.
The conference was filled with insightful presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and outstanding networking opportunities. We were able to connect with colleagues and discuss controlling heart health and the associated rising costs. The event was an excellent platform for attendees to learn from each other and share their experiences and ideas, and we certainly learned a lot ourselves! After reflecting on the event, here are five key takeaways that stood out for us:
1. Drive cost savings: Healthcare costs are spiking, and there is a cost to doing nothing. Budgets continue to tighten with increased scrutiny on most purchasing decisions. Benefits leaders are also facing rising costs due to inflation, so point solutions must not only drive clinical results but also deliver a clear ROI. Hello Heart’s SVP of Client Experience, Sue Giordano, presented the cost savings that we are able to deliver to clients alongside Cara McNulty of CVS Health, and the Validation Institute found in an analysis of 2017-2020 employer claims data commissioned by Hello Heart, that Hello Heart users reduced healthcare spending compared to matched non-users. The analysis found an average savings of $1,865 in total year-one medical costs per Hello Heart user compared to matched non-users.
2. Address social determinants of health: Employers need to actively evaluate whether their benefits effectively address health disparities and create equitable health outcomes for all individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic status or background. Throughout the conference, a common theme that we heard was that minorities are still suffering from worse health outcomes. According to an abstract published in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension journal, Hello Heart’s digital health coaching was found to have the same clinical outcomes for blood pressure reduction across age, race, gender, and preferred language.
3. Emphasize women’s health: Employers need to support the unique needs of women and ensure that they are getting the care they need to stay healthy. Numerous presenters discussed how women need more comprehensive care, especially in disease prevention and early detection, family planning, sexual health, and menopause. To help address this, Hello Heart provided a free resource to benefit leaders, a women’s heart health toolkit, to help them raise awareness across their workforce.
4. Effectively engage employees: Benefits leaders need to focus on effectively engaging their workforce by choosing health benefits that employees actually need, want, and will use. Numerous leaders spoke about the lack of knowledge in their populations around available benefits and the difficulty associated with communicating about them. Solutions need to be very easy for members to understand and use, or they will not engage with them. We heard several benefit leaders express their biggest fear is implementing a solution that is not used by their population. Hello Heart drives high engagement through our intuitive and fun solution that gives members small, digestible bits of health coaching.
5. Move away from sick care: Benefit leaders acknowledged that since the pandemic, the return to normalcy and the focus on preventive care has been slow. To combat this, they are turning to digital solutions that meet the patients where they are, including virtual primary care, telemedicine, and digital therapeutics. Hello Heart’s solution encourages preventive, primary care. Not only did the Validation Institute analysis demonstrate overall medical cost savings, it also observed an increase in costs for primary care visits among Hello Heart users, which may be attributable to the program encouraging users to engage in preventive care.
Overall, Conference Board’s 2023 Annual Employee Healthcare Conferences in San Diego and New York was a valuable event for benefits professionals looking to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in their field. We were able to see the great progress that is being made in the space and are excited to see the innovation continue in the coming years as we work towards a healthier and more equitable healthcare system for all.
Hello Heart is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. You should always consult with your doctor about your individual care.
1. Gazit T, Gutman M, Beatty AL. Assessment of Hypertension Control Among Adults Participating in a Mobile Technology Blood Pressure Self-management Program. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(10):e2127008, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.27008. Accessed October 19, 2022. (Some study authors are employed by Hello Heart. Because of the observational nature of the study, causal conclusions cannot be made. See additional important study limitations in the publication. This study showed that 108 participants with baseline blood pressure over 140/90 who had been enrolled in the program for 3 years and had application activity during weeks 148-163 were able to reduce their blood pressure by 21 mmHg using the Hello Heart program.) (2) Livongo Health, Inc. Form S-1 Registration Statement. https:/www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1639225/000119312519185159/d731249ds1.htm. Published June 28, 2019. Accessed October 19, 2022. (In a pilot study that lasted six weeks, individuals starting with a blood pressure of greater than 140/90 mmHg, on average, had a 10 mmHG reduction.) NOTE: This comparison is not based on a head-to-head study, and the difference in results may be due in part to different study protocols.
2. Validation Institute. 2021 Validation Report (Valid Through October 2022). https://validationinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Hello_Heart-Savings-2021- Final.pdf. Published October 2021. Accessed October 19, 2022. (This analysis was commissioned by Hello Heart, which provided a summary report of self-fundedemployer client medical claims data for 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users from 2017-2020. Findings have not been subjected to peer review.)