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Recommended Guidelines for Health Risk Assessments
Author: John Bates

Health Risk Assessments are tools that identify and quantify a person's risk of morbidity or mortality using demographic, medical and lifestyle information. "Health Risk Assessments and Medicare", an evaluation report completed by RAND for CMS, reached the following conclusions.

Effective Health Risk Assessment initiatives have demonstrated beneficial effects on behavior, physiological variables and general health status
Interventions that combine Health Risk Assessment feedback with the provision of Health Programs are most likely to show beneficial effects
To be effective, Health Risk Assessment questionnaires ought to be accompanied by follow-up interventions (e.g., information, support and referrals)

High quality Health Risk Assessments provide, a computation for personal risk from the following common illnesses and risk factors.

Asthma
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseaase (COPD)
Diabetes
Hypertension
Ischemic heart disease
Major depression
Stroke
Overweight/Obesity
Use of Tobaccos Products
Mental health
Immunizations

The Health Risk Assessment gathers and reviews data to predict a member's likelihood of experiencing the common illnesses.

Health Risk Assessments: Demographic characteristics

An individual's age, sex and ethnicity are indicators of elevated risk for certain illnesses or conditions. At minimum, the Health Risk Assessment ought to gather information, to the extent allowed by law, information on the individual's age, sex and ethnicity.

The Health Risk Assessment ought to include questions addressing the individual's personal and family history of illnesses or risk factors for common illnesses or conditions. The Health Risk Assessment must include questions to assess health risks related to the highly personal health characteristics and behaviors listed below.

Weight
Diet and Nutrition
Use of Tobaccos Products
Blood pressure
Cholesterol
Exercise
Alcohol Use
Traveling by motor vehicle
Managing Stress
Mental health

Health Status

The Health Risk Assessment ought to include questions that assess An individual's self-perceived health status. The questions ought to allow a person to rate their own health status on a relative scale.

Disclosure of use of Health Risk Assessment information

The organization ought to disclose how the information obtained from the Health Risk Assessment will be used and to whom it'll be disclosed. The organization may provide the disclosure and use information within the Health Risk Assessment tool or reports or through written communications.

Ability to save/print Health Risk Assessment results

Internet-based Health Risk Assessment ought to give the member the ability to save/print his or her Health Risk Assessment results. For paper-based Health Risk Assessments, the organization ought to have a mechanism in place for the member to receive a written copy of the results.

Health Risk Assessment Results

Corporations ought to provide a printed/printer-friendly online report for each individual participant. The report may emphasis on either individual risks for specified diseases or on Health.

Health Risk Assessment computations may emphasis on either individual risks based on individual risk factors or on overall risk or health. The report ought to provide an explanatory information to help them understand the outcome. Reports ought to clearly identify specific behaviors that can lower risk for each risk factor, and recommend targets for improvement. Reports ought to include resources (e.g., community initiatives, online information and materials) that can help members change to a healthier lifestyle. At minimum, the organization ought to give computation for individual risk from the following common illnesses and risk factors.

Asthma
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseaase (COPD)
Diabetes
Hypertension
Ischemic heart disease
Major depression
Stroke
Overweight/Obesity
Use of Tobaccos Products
Mental health
Immunizations

Health Risk Assessment report

The Health Risk Assessment ought to give online print-friendly results and the ability for the user to print the results. The Health Risk Assessment report ought to include a profile of individual risk level for individual conditions or diseases according to a person's, sex, ethnicity and risk factors that were identified in the questionnaire. The report ought to clearly identify specific behaviors that can lower the risk for each risk factor and recommend targets for improvements.

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John Bates, company wellness and corporate fitness tells you all about fitness and health related issues.



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