HealthPartners, a nonprofit, Minneapolis-based HMO network, conducted a pilot program with three HMOs, each representing a different health plan model, to explore the feasibility of expanding weight management services in managed care settings.
Physicians and their support staff in primary care settings could make referrals to a telephone weight management counseling service via a proprietary Web site.
- HealthPartners staff developed a Web site that offered weight management training to clinicians, linked obese patients to telephone counselors and allowed physicians to monitor their progress. It is no longer in existence.
- Project staff ultimately developed a business plan for reaching other health plans, as well as fitness management and disease management organizations, with health promotion services.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $302,650 for this work from November 2002 through October 2004.