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Healthways Proves Effectiveness of Senior Fitness Program with QualityMetric Health Survey
Date:6/18/2008

QualityMetric's SF-12v2 Health Survey Results are Used to Measure Physical

and Mental Health Status of Program Participants

LINCOLN, R.I., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Launched in 1997, the SilverSneakers(R) Fitness Program was created to encourage older adults to increase their level of physical activity. It is now the nation's leading fitness program aimed exclusively at older adults. The program is offered by Healthways, a provider of health and care support solutions based in Nashville, Tennessee. Healthways contracts with fitness centers and YMCAs across the country, enabling members of partnering Medicare health plans to enroll in SilverSneakers for free.

To convince health plans to offer SilverSneakers to their Medicare members, Healthways needed evidence that the program works.

Proving the Program Works

The growth of SilverSneakers is due in part to Healthways' ability to prove the program's effectiveness to health plans by monitoring the health status of participants on an ongoing basis. To accomplish this, Healthways uses a comprehensive questionnaire that incorporates the SF-12v2(R) Health Survey. Developed by QualityMetric(TM) Health Outcomes Solutions, the SF-12v2 captures reliable and scientifically valid patient-reported outcome (PRO) information.

Health plans are getting the message. Today, SilverSneakers has grown to over 4 million Medicare participants and is offered by 29 independent health insurance providers, as well as national organizations such as AARP, United, and Humana.

Results

According to Mary Ferron, Vice President, Health & Economic Outcomes at Healthways, "the SF-12v2 provides vital information that we can compare with national data from the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey. The SF-12v2 is an instrument health plans recognize and believe is credible."

Not only have the surveys reinforced anecdotal evidence of physical improvement, Healthways has also learned that the socialization component of SilverSneakers has a tremendous impact on participants. Ferron says, "We've learned that the socialization component is important, given the high rate of depression in older adults. This support has had a huge impact and SilverSneakers members have very strong mental health status scores. Two-thirds of our members have multiple chronic conditions, such as heart disease and arthritis, yet their physical health status scores don't decline as you would expect. That's why we know SilverSneakers is an effective program for managing the health of populations. This kind of information sends an important signal to the health plan that SilverSneakers is helping manage the health and well-being of its members."

Why It Works

The SF-12v2 and related products (including the SF-36v2(R) and SF-8(TM) Health Surveys) are widely recognized as the leading assessments of general physical and mental health status. Used throughout the world by health plans, disease management and pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and government agencies, they measure physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems, and mental health.

About QualityMetric:

QualityMetric Incorporated works with the world's largest healthcare and life sciences companies to measure health outcomes. Our products help market new drugs and biologics, track health improvement or decline, screen populations for disease, and identify future health risks. QualityMetric's patient-reported outcome (PRO) surveys provide scientifically valid assessments of both physical and mental health. Our PROs include the SF-36v2(R), SF-12v2(R), and SF-8(TM) Health Surveys, SF-10(TM) Health Survey for Children, Asthma Control Test (ACT(TM)), Pain Impact Questionnaire (PIQ-6(TM)), and DYNHA(R) Dynamic Health Assessments. Our Outcomes Insight Consulting(TM) Group can develop customized PROs and provide in-depth analysis of the results. QualityMetric's founder and CEO, John E. Ware, Jr., PhD is a thought-leader in the field of psychometrics and health outcome measurement. Visit us at http://www.qualitymetric.com


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SOURCE QualityMetric Incorporated
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