Guest Post: Disease Management at a Crossroads

WebMD Health Services, The Forum 12 Get Moving, Get Healthy Sponsor

By Dr. Tim Moore, Chief Medical Officer, WebMD Health Services

Disease management is at a crossroads. And while we all have opinions on where to go next, it’s pretty clear that straight-ahead, business-as-usual isn’t the right choice. But as we talk about innovation and creative new models, maybe we should be thinking about who’s in the driver’s seat. We think it’s time for a new approach to condition management that puts the consumer front and center.

What does this new approach look like?

  • Health coaching: A whole-person health coach focuses on the individual, not the disease. The coach helps each person define and set goals, not just around their condition, but also around other behaviors such as eating, smoking, exercise, and managing stress associated with their condition (or life stressors in general).
  • Online and mobile technologies: Many people are comfortable using their mobile devices and computers to manage their health via mobile apps, social networking, and “game-ified” health tools. Personalized technologies can drive greater engagement and let organizations reach more people at a lower price point.
  • Powerful biometrics: Home monitoring devices make it easy for people to automatically upload their condition data, such as glucose readings, weight, or blood pressure. Along with that, relevant, personalized resources can take advantage of the “teachable moment” when people are already thinking about their health.

Going forward, we need to focus on the full continuum of population risk. We need to help people change lifestyle behaviors such as poor nutrition and smoking that can act as bridges to the “big five” disease management conditions – coronary artery disease (CAD), congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and diabetes – and that can exacerbate those conditions. If we can get people to control their condition and also improve other behaviors such as eating better, getting more exercise, and reducing stress, we find that they participate better in daily activities and live more active, healthier lives.

As the new chief medical officer at WebMD Health Services, I’m very excited about helping bring about a new, disruptive approach to condition management. We want to expand condition management beyond the small percentage of people with chronic conditions, and address the larger population whose lifestyles are driving them towards disease management. We’re developing efficient, cost-effective digital technologies to help lower costs, improve health engagement and outcomes, and drive better ROI.

Someone asked me recently if I miss practicing medicine. The truth is, in those days I could see maybe a couple hundred patients a week. Now, I can have an indirect impact on hundreds of thousands of individuals by creating programs that can help them better manage their conditions and improve their health.

I hope you’ll come visit us in the destination wellness solutions center at this year’s Forum 12 and let us show you how this works.  In the meantime, you can get more details in my recent interview: If Disease Management is Dead, Where Do We Go from Here?

Dr. Tim Moore, Chief Medical Officer, WebMD Health Services

Dr. Tim Moore serves as the chief medical officer for WebMD Health Services and is responsible for the clinical effectiveness of all WebMD health management products and services. Tim oversees WebMD initiatives, serves as a liaison with industry trade groups and clinical bodies and also leads the WebMD Health Services clinical advisory board. Tim’s career as an experienced physician executive spans more than 25 years. Most recently, Tim served as the chief medical officer at a major health plan and a healthcare solutions company.

Tim is board-certified in family medicine and is a Fellow at the American College of Physician Executives. He has a B.S. from the University of North Dakota, a M.S from the University of Wisconsin, and a M.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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Guest Blog Post Disclaimer

CCA invites guest bloggers to post on Voice on Population Health Blog as a benefit for our members and the industry and to allow for exchange of ideas and information regarding population health.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and/or of the company the author represents and do not represent those of the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA), its members, or the industry as a whole. CCA is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this guest post article. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author(s) and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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One Response to Guest Post: Disease Management at a Crossroads

  1. Pingback: Visit Us at the Care Continuum Alliance’s Voice on Population Health |

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