start now

Start Now Health & Wellness Services
About Balls Food Stores Hen House Market
Balls Food Stores is a 3rd generation family-owned supermarket chain local to the Kansas City area comprised of 28 grocery stores operating under both the Hen House and Balls Price Chopper banners.
Why we decided to Start Now
Like many companies, Balls Food Stores was faced with ever increasing healthcare costs and needed a plan to impact this trend. Our company felt we could take steps to impact our employees (referred to as teammates) by focusing on wellness initiatives and disease self-management education for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, smoking, obesity, and asthma.
Implementation of our Start Now program
An important part of our Start Now program is communicating to our teammates about what they need to do to participate. Balls Food Stores chose to go with a 100% compliance program to minimize teammate confusion regarding what must be completed to earn their insurance premium discount. Teammates receive letters throughout the year by mail and paycheck stuffers, along with numerous communications posted at the stores and published in our quarterly teammate newsletter.
Alignment of Incentives
Our company has structured our health plan to financially reward a teammate who chooses to demonstrate good health behaviors. In turn, our teammates who do not choose to participate in healthy behaviors do not receive these discounts, and in effect take on a larger share of the cost for their own healthcare. All of our teammates on the health plan have the opportunity to earn a weekly insurance premium discount. To earn the discount, they must identify a primary care physician initially, and update this as it changes. They must complete an annual Health Risk Assessment. They must participate in our annual biometric screening event, where teammates are screened for blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, height, weight, and waist circumference. Alternately, they may provide these results from their physician visit. The final step a teammate must complete is participating in one of our disease state management programs if they are identified as having a particular chronic disease or lifestyle choice. We currently offer disease state management programs for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as programs for lifestyle changes of weight management and smoking cessation. Those teammates who are targeted for specific wellness services, such as our diabetes self-management education, also receive additional incentives in the form of medication copay discounts when they participate. The average teammate enrolled in our diabetes program in 2009 saved nearly $1000 in combined premium and copay discounts when compared to someone not participating in the program.

How can we help you on your journey to better health?

Diabetes Management
During one-on-one visits the pharmacist will assess the patient’s knowledge, skills, and performance for self-management of their diabetes. The patient will be educated on how to best control their diabetes over the course of their visits each year. The pharmacist will also work with the patient’s physician to keep the physician informed of the patient’s progress with the program, as well as optimize the patient’s treatment plan. We believe that by meeting with a pharmacist throughout the year the patient is held accountable to the program and is more likely to make and maintain healthier decisions about his or her lifestyle. The pharmacist will also focus on ensuring the patient is adherent with their medications and work with them individually to overcome any barriers to adherence that they might have. This level of follow up and accountability, along with the skills and experience of our pharmacists in patient education and treatment optimization, is what we believe differentiates our program from other diabetes self-management education programs.
Proven Positive Results
A1C for Patients with Initial A1C >7% and Blood Pressure Control
Additional Services
We are continuing to use the same process of pharmacist-led coaching and care for our teammates with other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. As you build upon your wellness program we can continue to be a resource for your employee-targeted disease self-management education and treatment plan optimization. Our pharmacists also facilitate a smoking cessation education program that is comprised of a six session series held as group classes. We also conduct annual biometric testing for our teammates. This program has been instrumental in helping us to identify employees who might not know they have indications of a chronic disease. With early detection, their education on the condition can begin prior to the onset of complications, which previously may have been the time of detection.Vaccinations including flu shots are administered by all of our pharmacies. Our pharmacists can also provide them at your work site.All of these opportunities are ways to take advantage of the skills our pharmacists have to improve the health of our teammates and in turn lower our overall health care expenses. We can help do the same for you.

Aligned incentives drive our teammates to begin and continue participation in the program. Our company feels the Start Now program has been invaluable by being financially beneficial, as well as has improved the health of our teammates.

Read Progressive Grocer’s article on Balls Foods being named one of Kansas City’s Healthiest Employers.