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 website.
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.