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Nancy Van Vessem, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Capital Health Plan
Q: I received a letter about CHP's new benefit CHP Health Coaching for "health information and support," 24 hours a day. Can I really call a Health Coach at any time? Who will be taking the phone call?
CHP Health Coaches are mostly registered nurses, but other professionals such as dietitians and respiratory therapists are available. The nurses are ready to talk with you 24/7 about health questions, decisions, procedures, or tests. They cannot provide emergency care or answer questions about benefits. However, you may ask the Health Coach about diabetes, breathing problems, back pain, heart disease, cancer, procedures like hysterectomies, and other concerns or choices you and your family face. For this one-on-one guidance, the coach uses evidence-based medical information, meaning that the information is up-to-date and supported by valid research.
The CHP Health Coach can send you additional information, including DVDs and brochures, if that is appropriate for your situation. You can choose to be followed by the same Health Coach by scheduling phone calls. Your primary care physician will receive a notice that you are participating in health coaching and can also refer you to the Health Coaches. The primary goal is for you to have information to do what is medically in your best interest, including understanding and following your physician's treatment plans.
Another new resource is the Dialog Center through www.capitalhealth.com. A vast array of tools helps you manage your health, including a Health Survey (find out where you stand and get recommendations for improvements), Healthwise (an encyclopedia of health information), and Balance modules (on-going help with weight loss, back pain, smoking cessation, stress reduction, and healthy eating).
Please take advantage of these new tools to improve your own health . . . and Live Well!