How Health Risk Assessments Help You

January 7, 2022

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A health risk assessment (HRA), sometimes known as a health risk appraisal or health assessment, is a questionnaire that evaluates lifestyle factors and health risks of an individual. There are many types of HRAs, and they can be used for different purposes. For example, many populations health and wellness professionals use comprehensive HRAs that cover all dimensions of a person’s total well-being, including nutrition, fitness, stress, sleep, mental health, and biometric information such as blood pressure. A typical HRA includes:

  • Question section

  • Risk Score

  • Report with individualized feedback on areas of improvement

Health assessments can include condition-specific questionnaires, symptom checkers, and eligibility checkers that help prospective patients self-identify their need for care. These assessments are shorter than a comprehensive HRA used in population health and wellness programs, and typically focus on one condition or health concern.

History of the HRA

The origin of the HRA can be traced back to the 1940s when Dr. Lewis C. Robbins began to document patients’ health hazards in an effort to not only treat disease but also prevent it. For the next 20 years, the idea of a health hazard chart for physicians’ use progressed to a complete HRA including a patient questionnaire, health risk computation, and feedback strategies.

In 1970, Dr. Don Hall created the first U.S.-based computerized health risk appraisal. The following year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released publicly available HRA software that included a self-administered survey to calculate adult health risk. This led to widespread use of health assessments in the workplace.

What is an HRA used for?

HRAs use self-reported data to provide potentially life-saving information about an individual’s current and future health risks. This data is critical component of understanding population health and provides health and wellness professionals the insights they need to make targeted and informed population health decisions. By gathering data right at the source - from the individual - wellness and population health professionals shape impactful programs based on information that’s often harder to gather than biometric data.

This self-reported data complements biometric or clinical data a healthcare provider may gather. While the empirical data that physicians obtain - such as blood pressure or lab results - are good indicators of a person’s current health, only the individual can provide details on other aspects of their wellbeing that indicate their future risks, such as their mental health status or lifestyle habits that play a significant role in their future health.

We want to hear from you!

Taking your Health Risk Assessment helps StayWell better serve you so that you can take full advantage of your health insurance benefits. It will also help you stay on top of your health by putting into writing your health status. By having a deeper understanding of your current health status, you allow StayWell to work alongside your healthcare provider to develop a tailored healthcare program that is just right for your long-term health goals so that we can reach them together. At StayWell we want you to be successful in your health journey and an easy first step is understanding where you’re coming from and where you’re going! If you haven’t taken your Health Risk Assessment yet, you can easily fill out the questionnaire by logging into StayWell’s EnjoyLife Wellness Portal. Fill out your health risk assessment today, and get a head start on reaching your health goals!

Contact our Health Management Department to register for the EnjoyLife Wellness Portal and access the online wellness tools, including your Health Risk Assessment. Members can call (671) 477 - 5091 ext. 1185 or email [email protected].

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