Friday, April 17, 2009

Guidelines for Health Risk Appraisals

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

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

High quality Health Risk Appraisals offer, a computation for individual risk from the following most common diseases and health risk factors.

• Chronic Asthma
• COPD
Diabetes
• High Blood Pressure
• Ischemic heart disease
• Major depression
• Stroke
• Overweight and obesity
• Use of Tobaccos Products
• Mental health
• Immunizations

The Health Risk Assessment (HRA) collects and analyzes data to predict a individual's likelihood of experiencing the most common diseases.

Health Risk Appraisals: Demographic characteristics

An individual's age, sex and ethnicity are indicators of increased risk for certain diseases or conditions. At minimum, the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) ought to collect information, to the extent allowed by law, information on the individual's age, sex and ethnicity.

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

• Weight
• Diet and Nutrition
• Use of Tobaccos Products
• High Blood Pressure
• Cholesterol
Physical Fitness
• Alcohol Use
• Traveling by motor vehicle
• Stress Management
• Mental health

Perceived Health Status

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

Disclosure of use of Health Risk Assessment (HRA) information

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

Ability to save/print Health Risk Assessment (HRA) results

Internet-based Health Risk Assessment (HRA) ought to give the individual the ability to save/print his/her Health Risk Assessment (HRA) results. For paper-based Health Risk Appraisals, the business ought to have a mechanism in place for the individual to receive a written copy of the results.

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Results

Companies ought to offer a printed/printer-friendly web-based report for each individual participant. The report may emphasis on either individual risks for specified diseases or on Wellness.

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) computations may emphasis on either individual risks based on personal risk factors or on overall risk or health. The report ought to offer an explanatory information to assist 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 programs, web-based resources and materials) that can assist individuals change to a healthier lifestyle. At minimum, the business ought to offer computation for individual risk from the following most common diseases and health risk factors.

• Chronic Asthma
• COPD
• Diabetes
• High Blood Pressure
• Ischemic heart disease
• Major depression
• Stroke
• Overweight and obesity
• Use of Tobaccos Products
• Mental health
• Immunizations

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) report

The Health Risk Assessment (HRA) ought to offer web-based print-friendly results and the ability for the user to print the results. The Health Risk Assessment (HRA) report ought to include a profile of individual risk level for personal diseases or conditions according to age, sex, ethnicity and health 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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