What’s the Outdoor Industry’s Role in Healthcare Reform?

What’s the Outdoor Industry’s Role in Healthcare Reform?

An article recently published by RootRated.com, explores what efforts have been made to define the outdoor industry’s role in health care reform.

The article highlights how Kaiser Permanente is a leader in integrating health care with outdoor activity:

“We believe being outdoors is critically important for good health,” says Dr. Jennifer Bass, a pediatrician with Kaiser in Portland, Oregon. She says Kaiser Permanente’s practitioners treat “exercise as a vital sign.”

But it’s not just about numbers: the physical setting for exercise is key. “There are benefits of outdoor [activities] versus indoor,” says Bass, noting that outdoor runners enjoy health benefits that treadmill users do not, and the former are more likely to continue with the activity in the longer term.

Launched in 2011, Kaiser’s Rx Play program in Portland is “a partnership between the healthcare system and the recreation department,” says Bass. The doctor writes a prescription for activity, and the patient gets a copy, as does the appropriate rec center, and an advocate places an outreach call to foster participation.

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“They’ve had great success getting people in,” says Bass. “Having a navigator to help families through the system is a critical part of the program.”

Messaging and marketing are also important. “Raising awareness is the first step,” says Bass. “Kaiser is in definitely in that phase.”

Now focused on kids in the city, Rx Play is being revised to focus on outdoor activities in a broader geographic region, with an all-ages goal. There’s a solid business case for the expansion. “We know there are cost savings,” says Bass. “It’s really about preventing and delaying chronic illnesses.”

Read more of this article here.

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