For more than 40 years, Health Services Foundation (HSF) has been committed to improving health and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Founded in 1974, HSF was engaged by a large multi-employer trust fund to provide health screening services to union members working in the food processing industry. Over the years, this service expanded into disease management and wellness programs that have kept participants healthy and medical costs under control.
Addressing a Need in the Health Care Delivery System
HSF was established as a non-profit organization to administer health care screening for workers in the canning, frozen food, and dehydrated food processing industries. The workers were covered members of a Taft-Hartley Plan sponsored by employers and the Teamsters Union. The screening program was developed as a way to identify workers with chronic conditions and connect them with health plan doctors before their conditions got out of control. By keeping workers healthy, the program addressed the issue of escalating medical costs by reducing hospitalizations.
Mobile Health Services
Because the workers were centrally located in processing plants, we built mobile units to bring the screening services to the workplace. Originally, the services included an overall health check-up focused on early detection, along with biometric screenings. Physicians were part of the mobile screening staff, along with nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and technicians. Eventually, participants were referred to the plan’s PPO network for full check-ups and other physician services.
As the program evolved, biometric screenings became the major component – focusing on early detection of modifiable risk factors for chronic conditions. The program was highly successful at identifying people who were unaware that they had health issues or were at risk for developing them. One of the strongest program components was the direct interaction between clinical staff and participants, which built a relationship of trust between the plan members and the staff.
Care Management Programs
Due to a high rate of chronic disease, we implemented a disease management program for members with diagnosed conditions. We later added a lifestyle coaching program for members at risk for developing conditions in the future. Through one-on-one calls from nurses, we assisted program members in making the behavioral changes necessary to successfully manage their conditions and adhere to their doctors’ treatment plans. The direct interaction between participants and nurses resulted in significant health improvements along with reductions in medical costs.
Integrated Health & Wellness Services
Today, we offer a full spectrum of wellness products, including web-based lifestyle coaching with specialty services, such as weight management, stress management, and smoking cessation. We also provide lab and physician-based biometric screening services. The heart of our program remains the interactions between our nurses and program participants, both during the biometric screening and telephonic follow-up coaching. More than 40 years of experience has taught us that good health is a human issue, and support from compassionate people is the key to making it happen.