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State of Georgia expands partnership with Sharecare to improve health of state employees, teachers and their families
Walmart to contribute annual incentive dollars earned through Sharecare to help eligible State Health Benefit Plan members purchase prescription medications and vision products at its retail stores; Emory Healthcare and Rollins School of Public Health to measure impact of new incentive program
ATLANTA, Jan. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sharecare, the digital health company helping people manage all their health in one place, today announced that the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) is launching a new incentive program to reward State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) members who engage in healthy behaviors through its award-winning comprehensive health and wellness engagement platform. Additionally, as one of Sharecare’s premier partners, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) will contribute funds to increase annual incentives for eligible SHBP members in 2019.
“Supporting employees in their pursuit of health and wellness is the right thing to do and it’s good for business,” said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. “As Georgians work toward physical goals, we understand that a healthy workforce provides a strong foundation for a healthy economy. Over the last year, Sharecare has helped to rally stakeholders across Georgia’s public and private sectors in a shared commitment to improve the health of our citizens and our workforce. By bringing together health plan providers, hospitals, businesses of all sizes, academic institutions, community leaders and others, Sharecare is making Georgia healthier. I appreciate the efforts of Sharecare’s leadership in working with the Department of Community Health to make Georgia the healthiest place to call home.”
“As one of the State Health Benefit Plan’s primary partners, Sharecare is empowering our teachers, state employees and their families to live healthier, happier, more productive lives,” said Frank W. Berry, Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health. “As Commissioner, I am committed to working with innovative leaders like Sharecare to bridge the gaps in care that exist for so many Georgians, whether they live in our city centers or our most rural communities.”
On January 1, 2018, SHBP began enrolling its members into Sharecare in an effort to encourage them to engage in their health and empower them to make and sustain positive behavior change. Effective January 1, 2019, the new Sharecare incentive rewards SHBP members who engage in healthy behaviors1 with a $150 Walmart gift card, to which Walmart will contribute an additional $75 for members to use on prescription medications and vision products. This unique collaboration increases the cash value reward incentive that can be earned by each SHBP member using Sharecare to $225 per year, and builds on the legacy established by Gov. Deal’s Healthier Georgia initiative and Walmart’s commitment to making health and wellness products more affordable and accessible.
Access and cost pose some of the most significant barriers to well-being in Georgia and the U.S., particularly in terms of vision care, medication adherence and nutrition. In fact, vision care is one of the most common medical needs among Americans with 70 percent of the U.S. workforce requiring vision correction and one in four children having vision problems. Yet, according to Jobson Research, nearly half of all U.S. parents with children under age 12 have never taken their child to an eye care professional, and more than 12 million adults need vision correction but do not seek assistance. Similarly, 45 million adults over the age of 18 did not fill a prescription in 2016 due to cost, according to an analysis by Prescription Justice.
“As part of helping people manage all their health in one place, we are very intentional in designing programs to help people – especially for the more than 60% of Georgians managing a chronic condition – gain easier, safer, more affordable access to prescription medications, whether it’s through this new initiative with Walmart for our state employees, teachers and their families in Georgia or our recently launched Sharecare Rx digital pharmacy savings card for consumers,” said Jeff Arnold, founder, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. “We are grateful to Gov. Deal for his leadership in bringing this new incentive program to so many in Georgia’s workforce, and likewise are committed to working alongside Commissioner Berry to continue improving access for all Georgians and engaging them in their health for years to come.”
As Sharecare’s lead research partner in Georgia, Emory Healthcare, together with the Rollins School of Public Health, will analyze anonymized data from the platform and retail transactions in order to optimize and improve incentive and rewards programs for Sharecare and its client partners. Over time and through the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub powered by Sharecare, Emory also will embark on related research projects with Sharecare to explore how data can be used to help people make healthier choices at varying points in their health journey – from having a baby or training for a marathon to preparing for surgery or managing their diabetes.
“When we formed the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub powered by Sharecare earlier this year, we made a commitment to seek solutions that put the patient at the center of care delivery, and minimize cost burdens for both patients and the healthcare system while improving clinical outcomes – and this new incentive program sits right at the intersection of those guiding principles,” said Scott D. Boden, M.D., vice president of business innovation for Emory Healthcare and chief medical/quality officer for Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital. “We look forward to leveraging Emory’s expertise to study the validity of incentive-based rewards and their compounding impact on sustaining healthy behaviors, all while maximizing our collaboration with Sharecare to help make Georgia healthier.”
This announcement builds on the partnerships Sharecare has forged across the state since it announced the creation of the Sharecare Movement in August 2017, which aims to make Atlanta and Georgia among the nation’s healthiest places to live. SHBP members can register for and download Sharecare by visiting www.BeWellSHBP.com.
About Georgia Department of Community Health
The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) is one of Georgia’s four health agencies serving the state’s growing population of over 10 million people. DCH serves as the lead agency for Medicaid and also oversees the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) and Healthcare Facility Regulation, impacting one in four Georgians. Through effective planning, purchasing and oversight, DCH provides access to affordable, quality health care to millions of Georgians, including some of the state’s most vulnerable and underserved populations. Six enterprise offices support the work of the agency’s three program divisions. DCH employees are based in Atlanta, Cordele and across the state. Frank W. Berry serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Health.
Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive life. In addition to providing individual consumers with direct access to award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare also helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.
About Emory Healthcare
Emory Healthcare, with more than 21,000 employees and 11 hospitals, is the most comprehensive academic health system in Georgia. Emory Healthcare has $3.3 billion in annual net revenue and provides $89.1 million in charity care. System-wide, it has 2,673 licensed patient beds, 2,800 physicians practicing in more than 70 specialties and serves metro Atlanta with 250 locations. Emory Healthcare is the only health system in Georgia with three Magnet-designated hospitals, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Emory University Hospital and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, for nursing excellence. Emory Healthcare's core purpose: "To serve humanity by improving health through integration of education, discovery and health care." For more information, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org.
1 To be eligible for the Sharecare incentive, SHBP members must complete the RealAge test and some combination of the following: biometric screenings, Green Day Challenges, Monthly Step Challenges, and phone calls with health coaches.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ac9ead84-fcd9-4902-ab3e-915eba676187.
Sharecare PR Team